There are a lot of common myths about mosquitoes out there in this day and age, everything from why they bite certain people to ways of keeping them at bay. Here are just some of the many myths about mosquitoes and the truth about them.
Male and Female Mosquitoes Both Bite Humans
Out of all the types of mosquitoes there are in the world, only a select few will feed on humans and from the ones that do, only the female will actually bite. This is an important part of the breeding cycle, as they require protein from the blood in order to produce their eggs and breed. The males, on the other hand, rely on nectar from flowers and other food sources.
Myth: Mosquitoes Prefer Certain Blood Types
An extremely common myth about mosquitoes is that they prefer certain types of blood over others or that their blood is “sweeter” and therefore “more appealing”. This isn’t the case, however, most mosquitoes will not be drawn towards people because of their blood type. Mosquitoes are like many other animals and will eat wherever they can find a food source. What is most likely to attract them is carbon dioxide and heat, this is why people recommend to not wear dark clothing in mosquito-prone areas, as darker colours absorb heat.
There are some genetic factors that can determine if you are more likely to get bitten or not. including the bacteria on your skin, which is generally predetermined by genetics.
Myth: People with Fair Skin Are More Likely to Get Bitten
Mosquito bites can look unsightly and be incredibly itchy and sometimes even painful. There is a common misconception that people with lighter skin are more likely to get bitten, but this isn’t the case. People with fairer skin generally have a worse reaction to mosquito bites and so the red marks appear more prominent on the skin. Not to mention that a bright red bite is likely to look more noticeable on fairer skin.
Myths About Mosquitoes: All Mosquitoes Carry Disease
There are approximately 3,500 known species of mosquito in the world, only a small fraction of these will actually bite humans and drink blood, whether it be human or animal. Of those, only the females consume blood. This leaves a really small percentage and because most mosquito-borne diseases come from the insects biting other animals, contracting the disease and then passing it onto humans, there is actually a really small percentage of mosquitoes that carry disease. Some mosquitoes are susceptible to picking up certain types of disease more than others.
Myth: Mosquitoes Will Bite All People Regardless of Their Size
Mosquitoes generally tend to prefer larger people over smaller people. Making adults more prone to getting bites than children and men to get more bites than women. It is thought that this is due to larger people emitting more carbon dioxide and heat than smaller people. It has also been suggested that because larger people have more surface area on their body, it simply makes it easier for mosquitoes to seek out.
There are many other myths about mosquitoes, take precautions when travelling, as not all methods of keeping them at bay actually work.