It’s summertime. Time for backyard barbecues, family reunions, and exotic vacations. Unfortunately, it’s also time for mosquitoes. Not only can these buzzing nuisances cause those itchy bites we are all familiar with, they are also known to be one of the deadliest insects in the world. The reason? They are disease transmitting machines. Recent headlines only prove this as Zika transmitting mosquitoes continues to spread across coastal communities. There are many ways to protect yourself from mosquito transmitted diseases. The Center for Disease Control has some excellent tips, especially if you are traveling abroad. But, one of the best ways to protect yourself is by separating mosquito fact from the fiction that is found all over the internet today. Please read on as we bust some of the most prevalent mosquito myths that you probably believe are true.
Myth No. 1
Mosquitoes prefer people with certain blood types.
While people claim that mosquitoes are attracted to them based on their blood, studies have disagreed. Although researchers have yet to pinpoint exactly what mosquitoes find idealistic in the prey they choose, there are certain elements of each human that make them more or less attractive to mosquitoes. We have outlined a few of these in our online FAQs. Some of these elements may be related to compounds and odors people exude. Carbon dioxide is also an attractant. The more carbon dioxide given off by a person, like an adult, the more attractive to a mosquito you are.
Myth No. 2
You’re safe if you spend most of your time in air conditioning.
As Zika began to spread to the U.S. many people were advised to stay inside, in the air conditioning to protect themselves. While this could lower your risk, it does not mean that mosquitoes cannot find their way inside of a home or building. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. This can be water found within a potted plant container, bathroom, or even basement.
Myth No. 3
All Mosquitoes carry diseases.
Did you know that there are approximately 3,500 species of mosquitoes around the world? Sounds scary, but the majority of those species don’t even bite humans. And of the species that do prefer human blood meals, only the females are doing the actual biting. Out of those that do bite humans, it has been found that only certain species are more predisposed to carrying mosquito-spread diseases than others. For example, Zika, dengue, and chikungunya are spread to people through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito.
Myth No. 4
Bats are a great way to keep mosquitoes out of your yard.
The Internet is awash in ideas for repelling mosquitoes. And one of the strangest ones we have found is to keep bats in your yard. You can even purchase wooden bat homes with promises you will see a significant reduction in those buzzing bothers. While there may be great reasons to have a bat friendly yard, mosquito prevention is not one of them. As far as we can tell this myth probably originated with studies that placed bats in a room with nothing but mosquitoes to munch on. While bats will eat mosquitoes, given the option they would prefer a number of other flying insects including beetles, moths, and cicadas. In fact, mosquitoes make up less than one percent of a bat’s normal diet.
Myth No. 5
We would be safer if all mosquitoes were eradicated.
Sounds like a dream come true! Mosquitoes do pose a real threat in disease proliferation around the world, and they are just plain annoying. In reality, though, total extinction of all mosquito species could be risky to the environment, if not impossible. Keep in mind, not all mosquitoes are problematic. Out of those 3,500 species we mentioned earlier, only about 200 bite humans. And, mosquitoes are a part of several ecosystems. In many places, including the Artic, mosquitoes are a crucial food source for animals.
So now that we have busted some myths, let us provide you with some comforting facts. In the wintertime, they will be gone. Mosquitoes are cold blooded and, as a result, are incapable of regulating body heat. Mosquitoes cannot function below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. So, what about the warmer months? Our Guaranteed Protection Plan kills mosquitoes and begins the critical process of establishing a protective barrier on your property to help keep mosquitoes at bay. Find out more and get a quote here.