Ah, summer! The sun is shining, the pool is refreshing, the weather is warm, and the mosquitoes are biting. It's true, like it or not, mosquitoes are a nuisance you must deal with each summer.
As mosquitoes are so prevalent, there are many myths out there about these small pests and how to avoid them. Read more to learn the truth behind the top 5 myths about mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are attracted to "sweet" blood
If you get bit by a mosquito, a well-meaning person may tell you it's because mosquitoes are only attracted to your "sweet blood." While scientists do know that mosquitoes seek out different types of people and animals for their blood, there has been no conclusive research determining who is more attractive to mosquitoes or that a certain blood type is preferable to mosquitoes over other blood types.
Mosquitoes die after biting
This myth possibly comes from the semi-myth that bees die after stinging (only honeybees die after stinging). Female mosquitoes are the only mosquitoes that bite, and they bite to gain protein and nutrients for their eggs. Female mosquitoes will bite many people and animals throughout their month-long lifespan to increase the nutrients needed for their eggs, but in fact will not die after biting one person.
Mosquitoes are only active at dusk and dawn
There are thousands of species of mosquitoes in the world and over 170 species in the United States. Different species are active at different times of the day. Some species are active in the morning while others are more active in the afternoon and others at night. Because multiple species can be found in the same area, it's safe to assume one mosquito species or another is always active where you live.
Bats will eat all of the mosquitoes in your yard
You may have heard the claim that bats can eat over 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour, therefore luring bats onto your property would be an effective, eco-friendly way to control mosquitoes. But this is false. Bats may help by eating some mosquitoes, but they do not eat them frequently enough to control all of the mosquitoes in your yard.
Mosquitoes do not carry disease in the United States
Many Americans think mosquito-caused diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, dengue fever, and Zika do not exist within the United States, and that these diseases only occur outside of the country. This is false.
Conditions for mosquito-spread disease exist throughout the United States, from warm, humid climates to stagnant water. Several mosquitoes within the United States have tested positive for disease in recent years and hospitals treat thousands for mosquito-transferred diseases yearly.