Mosquito Myths Debunked: Separating Fact from Fiction

We all know that person (or maybe we are that person) who mosquitoes seem to love. But is it really true that mosquitoes prefer to bite some people over others? Today we’re here to set the record straight on this question and several other common beliefs about mosquitoes.

Some of these facts might even help you get bitten less – although your best defense against mosquitoes is going to be wearing long sleeves and insect repellent combined with monthly mosquito control treatments for your yard.

Mosquitoes prefer to bite some people over others

Yes, it’s true! Mosquitoes do seem to have a preference when it comes to their targets. One study found that Aedes aegypti, a common mosquito here in South Carolina, shows a clear preference for people of the type-B blood group.

Other factors such as body odor, the amount of body heat you emit, lactic acid concentration in your body, and even the amount of carbon dioxide you exhale can increase or decrease your attractiveness to these pests.

All mosquitoes bite humans

This is a common misconception. In reality, only female mosquitoes bite – they need the protein found in blood to help develop their eggs. Male mosquitoes, on the other hand, are only interested in nectar and couldn’t care less about your veins.

Also, some species of mosquitoes, like the native Elephant Mosquito (Toxorhynchites rutilus) actually eat other mosquitoes. A single T. rutilus larvae can eat over 500 larvae of the disease spreading A. aegypti and A. albopictus mosquitoes. The adult mosquitoes of this mosquito-killing species are entirely harmless – with both male and females feeding solely on nectar.

Mosquito issues can be effectively addressed by draining the bird bath or kiddie pool

While draining stagnant water from a little used wading pool can help reduce some mosquito breeding grounds, it’s far from a foolproof solution.

Mosquitoes are incredibly resourceful and can breed in even the smallest amounts of standing water. The tiny rim of water left in the saucer below potted plants or even a discarded plastic bottle cap can be enough to start the mosquito life cycle anew.

Removing sources of standing water, like old tires and trash, is an important first step towards reducing mosquito populations. However, more comprehensive measures like mosquito control treatments are required for effectively managing mosquito populations.

Ticks on dog.

Mosquitoes are more active during a full moon

It might sound like an old wives’ tale, but it’s true! Many studies have demonstrated that mosquitoes are more active during a full moon. The increased light may make it easier for them to navigate and find their next meal—unfortunately, that could be you!

However, don’t think that just because there is a new moon that you are entirely safe! Most likely the mosquitoes are simply adjusting their feeding time and you might see more intense mosquito activity at dusk on moonless nights.

Mosquitoes only bite at night

OK, anyone who has lived in the South knows this is a myth! While it is true that many species, particularly the North American native species of mosquitoes, bite at dusk or at night, many others are not so picky!

You should be prepared to defend yourself against mosquitos at all hours of the day.

Mosquitoes prefer darker colors

This one is true as well. Mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors like black, dark red, and navy blue. Wearing lighter colors can make you less of a target, although it’s no guarantee you’ll avoid bites altogether.

For those who like the color yellow, you’re in luck – as a study found that this was the least attractive color to mosquitoes!

Mosquitoes have big appetites

Despite their small size, mosquitoes have rather large appetites. A single female mosquito can consume up to three times her body weight in blood! So, the next time you get multiple bites, know that you’re not alone in thinking mosquitoes are gluttonous eaters.

Water stain inspection

All mosquitoes transmit disease

Fortunately, not all mosquitoes are vectors for disease, and even though many different species of mosquitoes can spread disease, most mosquito bites will not cause illness.

While this is a myth – it is important to keep in mind that mosquitoes almost certainly have killed more people throughout history than any other creature on earth. Many common species of mosquito are capable of transmitting diseases like malaria, dengue, West Nile Virus, and Zika. It is always a good idea to minimize your exposure to mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes grow up fast

These little critters don’t waste much time. An egg laid by an adult Anopheles mosquito needs just one week to hatch, go through multiple larval stages, become a pupa, and then emerge as a biting adult!

With every female Anopheles mosquito being capable of laying up to 200 eggs at a time, it’s no wonder that mosquito populations can quickly become a problem if not properly managed.

Know Mosquitoes To Have No Mosquitoes

Understanding the real facts about mosquitoes can help you take better preventative measures and keep these pesky pests at bay. Remember, effectively managing a mosquito problem often requires a multifaceted approach. Working with a professional pest control company which offers mosquito management plans is the best way to reclaim your outdoor spaces from these winged invaders.

Cramer Pest Control and Environmental Services