5 myths you can stop believing about mosquito bites now
As you head outside to watch fireworks and enjoy a delicious meal, many Americans will be putting on bug spray to prevent uninvited guests from attending the party.
We all know mosquitoes can be annoying, causing you to uncontrollably itch whenever they’re around.
However, experts say just about everything you thought you knew about mosquitoes may be wrong.
They offered a few facts to help prevent bites and maintain your health.
Myth No. 1: All mosquitoes bite humans
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 3,500 species of mosquitoes. Some feed on plants, reptiles, birds and other mammals.
Of the species that bite humans, it is only the females that go for blood.
Officials say the protein helps with egg production.
The Aedes vexans species, which is found in every state, feeds on humans and makes it seem like all mosquitoes are out to get you.
Myth No. 2: Mosquitoes are attracted to certain foods, colors and blood types
You may try to eat certain foods to repel mosquitoes but experts say your meal doesn’t really affect theirs.
It’s also not the color of your clothes that draw mosquitoes but rather how hot you are.
Harry Savage, a chief research entomologist at the CDC, said carbon dioxide and heat are the biggest draws for mosquitoes
Ingredients in your sweat and other skin secretions can make one person more attractive to a mosquito than another.
One thing that does play a role may be your size.
Evidence suggests the bugs tend to prefer men over women, adults over children and larger people over smaller ones. Larger figures likely produce more heat, more carbon dioxide and have more body mass to bite.
Myth No. 3: Pregnancy puts you at risk
If you think being pregnant will make you a mosquito magnet, you aren’t alone.
Experts say pregnant women give off more heat and carbon dioxide.
However, they say breathing heavily after a workout could make you just as much of a target as a mother-to-be.
Myth No. 4: Citronella plants and candles will protect you
Citronella is a weak repellent and doesn’t do too much to prevent mosquito bites.
The best option is a repellent that contains DEET.
Myth No. 5: The United States is free of mosquito-borne diseases
Experts say that is simply not true.
The Asian tiger mosquito, which is common in the eastern and central part of the country, came from Asia in the 1980s. It is a documented carrier of dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, dog heartworm and West Nile.
And you don’t have to worry about ”Jurassic Park” coming true any time soon.
The mosquito featured in the movie wouldn’t have bitten dinosaurs because it is the only species that doesn’t feed on blood.