Maybe it’s because they are so small and we don’t really notice mosquitoes until they bite us, but there are a lot of myths out there about the humble mosquito. Here at Mosquito Squad, we do our best to help you eliminate them, which we are in a position to share the truth about them. Here are some of the most common misconceptions, but if you have others, please give us a call!
Mosquitoes are all the same.
- False. There are over 3500 species of mosquito in the world, including about 85 here in Texas. They vary in size, appearance, habitat, diet and more.
All mosquitoes bite people.
- False. Not all mosquito species target humans for blood. And even of the human-biting species, only females feed on blood.l
Some people are mosquito magnets.
- True. The human scent signature is made up of over 200 chemicals, and the quantity and ratio of these chemicals varies from person to person. Some people produce a more attractive chemical cocktail, and are therefore bitten more often. In addition, mosquitoes are attracted to heat, dark colors, CO2 and lactic acid, so the amount of each of these a person produces will change their attractiveness to mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are attracted to certain blood types.
- True. Some studies have shown that they prefer people with Type O blood, and next attractive is Type A.
Changing your diet can change how often you are bitten by mosquitoes.
- False. Adding garlic or vitamin B12 to your diet won’t change how attractive you are to mosquitoes. Twin studies have shown that mosquito attractiveness is an inherited trait. Evidently you get what you get! Garlic does repel mosquitoes, but the amount you would have to eat in order to repel mosquitoes would be certain to repel people too!
Drinking beer makes you more attractive to mosquitoes.
- True. This may be because of the CO2 emitted by the beer itself, and the fact that when you are drinking beer you are also likely to be doing other things that emit more CO2, heat and lactic acid, like shooting baskets or talking with friends.
Mosquito repellents don’t work.
- False. Repellents do work, but some are demonstrably better than others. The best and most long-lasting repellents are made with Deet, and they should be over 30%. If you want a plant-based option, try one with lemon eucalyptus. Even the best repellent will need to be reapplied, and you may find that sometimes the mosquito pressure will be so high that you will still get some bites.
Citronella candles will keep mosquitoes out of your yard.
- False. Citronella does have a small repellent effect, but it doesn’t extend much past the actual heat of the candle. If you can’t feel the candle you probably won’t feel the effect.
All the bats in Central Texas keep the mosquito population down.
- False. Bats will certainly eat mosquitoes, but in general bats fly too high for mosquitoes to be their main source of food. Also bats prefer larger, more meaty insects like beetles, and moths.
If you put a purple martins house in your yard, you won’t have mosquitoes.
- False. Just like bats, purple martins will eat mosquitoes, but they focus their energy on bigger, more substantial prey like dragonflies, June bugs and cicadas. Any reduction in mosquito population will probably not be noticeable.