Summer is here, and that means mosquitos are, too. You’ve probably read a lot over time about how to keep mosquitoes away, including plants and other DIY methods to prevent you from getting bitten. However, there is a lot of false information still swirling around out there surrounding these insects and how they interact with humans. Keep reading to learn the five most common misconceptions about mosquitoes, and remember to call Hopper Termite & Pest this summer when you need professional mosquito control services.
The Top 5 Mosquito Myths
- Male & Female Mosquitoes Bite Human: While you might assume that all mosquitoes flock to human blood for sustenance, the truth is that it is only females that bite people. This is because they need blood from humans and animals to fertilize their eggs. Males, on the other hand, use nectar from flowers as their primary food source.
- Mosquitoes Prefer People with Fair Skin: While there are certain factors that influence why mosquitoes prefer some types of humans over others, skin tone is not one of them. Mosquito bites cause small red bumps on people’s skin, and fair-skinned people simply have a more visual reaction to their bites. So while it may seem that fair-skinned people get bitten more, in reality, this is merely a case of misconstrued optics.
- All Mosquitoes Carry Disease: There are approximately 3,500 species of mosquitoes around the world. While many of them do carry diseases, some don’t even bite humans, and among the variety that do prefer human blood, only a fraction harbor viruses. Granted, mosquito bites are still something to be taken seriously, as they can transmit West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, and dengue fever. Yet the chances of you getting a disease from a mosquito are fairly low unless you live in certain parts of the world where disease-carrying varieties are more common.
- Mosquitoes Have No Preference in Size: Although larger people and smaller people can get bit by mosquitoes, these insects do, in fact, seem to prefer larger human beings. To wit, adults are more likely to be targeted by mosquitoes than children, and men are more likely to be bitten than women. This is because the bigger a person is, the more carbon dioxide and body heat they emit, and these factors are what attract mosquitoes in the first place. Also, larger people simply have more space on their body for mosquitoes to bite.
- Bats Help Keep Away Mosquitoes: While rumor has long held that bats help ward away mosquitoes from people’s yards and other areas, the truth is that these animals do not have an effect on the mosquito population. In contained settings with no other food sources, bats have been found to eat mosquitoes. But while bats do love to eat flying insects, mosquitoes comprise less than 1% of their diet. So if you are thinking of using bats to keep away mosquitoes, we’d suggest against it—after all, you’d only be trading one pest problem for another.