Mosquitoes are some of the peskiest summer pests we deal with on Long Island. They always seem to be around when you don’t want them, and are incredibly good at finding ways to bite you even when you think you’ve avoided them. These little insects can also carry serious diseases like West Nile virus and malaria that can be serious if not treated in time. If only there was some way to repel mosquitoes…
Well, there is! But first, let’s tackle some common myths about these flying insects:
Mosquito Myth #1: All Mosquitoes Bite
The first myth we are going to bust is that all mosquitoes bite. According to the CDC, there are around 3,500 species of mosquitoes. On Long Island, we see two key species: the Culex Pipiens Mosquito and the Asian Tiger Mosquito; of these two species, only the female mosquitoes bite humans and animals, and they do so to acquire a blood meal that’s necessary for their reproductive cycle. Female mosquitoes require proteins from their hosts’ blood in order to produce their eggs, which then allows for the creation of an entirely new generation of mosquitoes.
Mosquito Myth #2: Being Pregnant Makes You More Likely to Get Bitten By a Mosquito
There’s another common misconception that pregnancy makes a person more likely to get bitten by a mosquito. This is…kind of true. While mosquitoes don’t necessarily gravitate toward people because they’re carrying a baby, mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide in exhaled breath, which pregnant people expel more of!
Mosquito Myth #3: The United States Is Free From Mosquito-Borne Illness
You may think that you’re safe from mosquito-borne illness if you live in the United States, but this could not be further from the truth. Mosquitoes can be found in nearly every state, and they can carry diseases such as Zika, West Nile, dengue fever, and malaria. These illnesses occur regularly enough in the U.S. to warrant caution when outdoors during warmer months.
Mosquito Myth #4: Mosquitoes Are Attracted to Certain Foods
It’s not true that you can attract mosquitoes to your yard by eating certain foods or drinking lots of beer. However, there are some things that will make mosquitoes more likely to bite you. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale and the lactic acid we produce when we exercise, so if you’re sitting out on the back porch with a big glass of lemonade, chances are good that some of those suckers will be drawn toward you like moths to a flame. Some studies also suggest that certain scents in our breath may attract mosquitoes as well—but this doesn’t mean that consuming specific foods causes their attraction!
Mosquito Myth #5: Citronella Candles Will Do the Job of Repelling Mosquitoes
A lot of people think that citronella candles will keep the mosquitoes away and they’re wrong. Citronella oil has a strong scent but only lasts for about 20 minutes, after which it evaporates. Citronella is most effective when it’s mixed into products like sprays or lotions, but when using these products make sure that they contain at least 10% DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide).
Protect Your Family from Mosquitoes This Summer
The most effective way to prevent mosquito bites on yourself, your family, and your pets this summer is by reducing the mosquito population in your yard with a regular mosquito control service from Suburban Exterminating. Our team of state-certified, licensed pest control technicians starts by identifying mosquito breeding sources on your property, then follows up with mosquito treatments every two weeks with our eco-friendly, child and pet-safe mosquito control spray.
For a free mosquito estimate, call (631/516) 864-6900.