Common Tick and Mosquito Myths

As a mosquito and tick control business, we know it is important for our customers to have all of the facts when it comes to these pests. Think you know all there is to know about mosquitoes and ticks? Here are some commonly-believed myths about these pests that might surprise you:

Myth: All mosquitoes bite

While it might seem like every mosquito on earth is out to bite you as soon as you step outside, that is actually not the case. The truth is only female mosquitoes bite humans, as they need blood to lay their eggs. Male mosquitoes, on the other hand, only need to feed on nectar and other plant nutrients.

Myth: Ticks find their hosts by falling or jumping from trees

While this is probably the most widely believed “fact” about ticks, it is a myth. Ticks lack the ability to jump and fly, so they will climb up a blade of grass or some shrubbery and wait until a human or animal brushes by. This is why trimming tall grass and other foliage around your yard is a common method of tick control.

Myth: Citronella candles are 100% effective

While citronella candles work to some degree as mosquito deterrent, they are not totally effective. In fact, regular candles probably work just the same as those with citronella in them. The amount of citronella oil used in candles is very small, so using a DEET repellent is a much more powerful deterrent.

Myth: Ticks die off in the winter

It is a popular belief that ticks, along with most other summer pests, die off in the winter. However, some species of tick, such as the Ixodes scapularis (blacklegged tick) and Ixodes pacificus (western blacklegged tick), can actually survive the colder months. Temperatures have to be below freezing for ticks to die, so there is a good chance ticks will still be around if you live in a warm region of the country.

Myth: Mosquitoes are more attracted to people with “sweet” blood

There is a common myth that mosquitoes tend to bite certain people who have “sweet” blood. However, this is not true. In fact, the taste of a person’s blood has nothing to do with his or her risk of being bitten. According to the CDC, Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and the lactic acid in our breath, so the odors we release play a big role in how attractive we are to these pests. 

Studies have also shown that mosquitoes are more likely to bite those with Type O blood rather than Type A, so your blood type might actually be contributing to your mosquito bites.

Myth: Drinking alcohol does not attract mosquitoes

Studies have shown that drinking alcohol, particularly beer, increases your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. In a study published by the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, researchers discovered that the percentage of mosquito landings on people greatly increased after beer drinking. In other words, make sure you are wearing extra mosquito repellent if you are planning on having a drink outside.

We take mosquito and tick control seriously so you and your family can have peace of mind in your outdoor space. Contact a Mosquito Authority location near you to take back your backyard and check out our other blogs for more information on these pests.

Tick and Mosquito Control Facts

At Mosquito Authority, we know it is important to have all of the facts when it comes to tick and mosquito control. Educating yourself on these pests is a big step towards having a mosquito and tick-free home, and we want you to be as informed as possible. There is a lot to know when it comes to mosquitoes and ticks, so we put together some fun facts you might not have heard before:

Scratching a mosquito bite agitates the area

Although you might feel relief for a few seconds, scratching a mosquito bite does not actually help. In fact, it makes it worse by agitating the area and increasing the itchiness you feel. Some remedies including aloe vera, honey, and chamomile tea can help reduce the itch of a mosquito bite.

Animals can contract more than one disease from ticks

The need for tick control stems from their potential to spread diseases to both humans and animals. According to Country Friends Veterinary Clinic, animals can actually contract more than one disease from a single tick bite. Also, dogs are more likely to experience a tick bite because cats frequently clean themselves.

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in shallow water

Have you ever wondered why mosquito control specialists recommend getting rid of any standing water in your yard? Well, it’s because female mosquitoes lay their eggs in areas of shallow water and sometimes even damp soil. 

You should avoid removing ticks with your bare hands

While you might be tempted to remove a tick from yourself or a pet with your hands, use tweezers instead. Using tweezers will allow you to grab the tick as close to your skin as possible to make sure you don’t leave any part of the tick in your skin. It is also important to remove ticks as quickly as possible!

We didn’t always know that mosquitoes spread West Nile Virus

According to Smithsonian Magazine, birds were once believed to be the cause of spreading West Nile Virus in the United States. It was not until 2010 that a study revealed mosquitoes to be the true cause of West Nile Virus cases from 2001 to 2004. As mosquito control specialists, we want to ensure that you and your family are protected from these pests and the diseases they carry.

Most ticks go through four life stages

The life stages of most ticks are egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. Ticks need a blood meal at each stage of life, meaning they need to find and feed on at least one host per life stage. 

There are several effective mosquito repellents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are four effective chemical repellents: DEET, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, IR3535, and Picaridin. 

There are more species of tick than you think 

While there are only 90 tick species found in the United States, there are over 850 species of ticks throughout the world. Tick species found in the U.S. include the American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the Eastern Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes scapularis), and the Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum). 

For more information on tick and mosquito control, check out our other blogs!