Ask any vertebrate if it’s fond of mosquitoes, and you’ll get an emphatic, “Are you crazy?!” in response. But, of all the vertebrates out there, only humans have the scoop on the facts and fiction regarding the pesky little vermin and their capacity to spread disease. Or so you would think. Unfortunately, some humans have fallen prey to some misinformation which we aim to correct.
Myth: All mosquitoes bite.
Fact 1: Only Mrs. Mosquito bites. Mr. Mosquito is cool simply buzzing around your head chasing after his honey bunch. Not even all of the girls sidle up to the dinner table that is your skin, either.
Fact 2: Out of more than 3,500 species, a few can actually lay eggs without a blood meal first. But the biters far outnumber the peaceful ones making it seem like every species is out to get you.
Myth: Mosquitoes can spread HIV.
Fact: Mama Mosquito can deliver malaria, West Nile Virus, encephalitis, Zika virus, dengue fever, chikungunya and other nasties through her saliva as she drills you with her proboscis. However, she digests the HIV virus and eliminates it through the other end of her tract, by which time it is rendered harmless.
Myth: People with Type-O blood attract more mosquitoes.
Fact: Like Dracula, mosquitoes are happy to drink anyone’s blood. What draws them is your carbon dioxide emissions and body heat, plus maybe a cocktail of your skin’s genetically-determined fragrance. Perhaps the myth gained traction because Type-O is the most common blood type of all.
Myth: Citronella candles repel mosquitoes.
Fact: Who started that myth? The guy who invented citronella candles? The truth is, other botanicals effectively repel mosquitoes, but citronella fails to live up to claims.
Myth: Citizens of the United States are in very little danger from mosquito-borne diseases.
Fact: Americans enjoy no special favor in that department; however, as well-fed as Americans are, it’s possible that our immune systems have a heartier resistance once infected. But that’s mere speculation. We do know, though, that the U.S. definitely has infected mosquitoes and once in a while we get an outbreak of mosquito-borne disease.
Myth: Every continent on the planet has mosquitoes. You can’t escape them.
Fact: Yes, you can. But you’ll have to move to Antarctica to do it. Even the arctic tundra and Siberia swarm with the pests during their short summers.
Myth: My family will never enjoy the outdoors in the summer because of the difficulty in eradicating the mosquitoes in my yard and the exorbitant cost of pest control.
Fact: Sit up and smile! The Mosquito Squad can bring effective and affordable mosquito control to your life right now. If you can work with your neighbors, too, and eliminate all the breeding places mosquitoes love, you can go a long way towards thinning out the hoard. Plus, avoid the yard during the hours of dawn and dusk when the critters are out in force. After that, apply a personal repellent containing DEET so you’re set to enjoy your yard again. Let us take care of the mosquitoes. Call 269-932-1444