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6 Common Mosquito Myths Debunked

December 15, 2015

We think it’s pretty safe to bet that everybody hates mosquitoes. Depending on where you are in the world, mosquitoes can range from being extremely annoying to being deadly since many mosquitoes carry diseases. Unlike other insects (like bees), mosquitoes generally serve no purpose besides being a source of food for other animals.

Fortunately, mosquitoes don’t post much of a threat to us in Canada. Aside from those little bloodsuckers making us swell and itch, they’re fairly harmless. That being said, no one wants mosquitoes as guests to their outdoor summer event, and mosquito repellent is a polite and quick way to get rid of these unwanted pests, as long as it works.

But do you know what repels mosquitoes and what attracts mosquitoes? Below we’ve gathered some common mosquito repellent myths, so you know what not to do the next you’re trying to get rid of mosquitoes.

get rid of mosquitoes repellent repel mosquitoes

Myth #1: Does Garlic Repel Mosquitoes?

Garlic, although may repel some people, does not repel mosquitoes. Garlic does have a mildly repelling effect on mosquitoes, but not nearly enough to prevent them from biting you and definitely not nearly enough to last for a sufficient amount of time. Similar to a citronella candle, garlic may keep mosquitoes at bay while it is still pungent, but they’ll hover around, waiting for the scent to wear off, preparing to go in for a bite.

So to answer the question, “does garlic repel mosquitoes,” we say nay.

Myth #2: Stop Eating Bananas To Prevent Mosquito Bites

Some say that eating bananas helps to repel mosquitoes, while some others say eating bananas is what attracts mosquitoes. Both are incorrect.

It’s a common misconception that if you eat bananas, mosquitoes will be able to smell the sugar in your blood and on your skin. It’s another misconception that bananas contain B6 (true), which repels mosquitoes (not true.)

We say, eat the banana if you want the banana. There are a few factors that contribute to what attracts mosquitoes, and bananas are not one of them.

Myth #3: What Attracts Mosquitoes? Not “Sweet Blood.”

Similar to the banana myth, some believe that if they have “sweet blood”, that is, high sugar levels, they’re a mosquito magnet. This isn’t true. Mosquitoes do prefer some blood to others, but this has nothing to do with your sugar intake, and rather your blood type.

Those with type O blood, either negative or positive, have a greater risk of being bitten by a mosquito than those with A blood. Like we said above, eat the banana if you want it. It won’t make you a tastier treat for mosquitoes.

Myth #4: Dryer Sheets and Mosquitoes

Some recommend using dryer sheets to repel mosquitoes. They claim this is an efficient way to use what you have handy at home as a mosquito repellent. While you can use dryer sheets as a mosquito repellent, they wouldn’t make a very good one.

Mosquito repellents are made to mask human odour that mosquitoes can pick up, such as carbon dioxide, which is what attracts mosquitoes to us. If you could douse yourself in dryer sheets, or rub one all of your body every 30 seconds or so, it might act as a temporary mosquito repellent, but it wouldn’t last long.

We only suggest using dryer sheets as a mosquito repellent if you don’t mind walking with them in your shoes, in your hat, taped to your body, and covering every inch of you (Not the most attractive look, to be sure.) However, any mosquito repellent containing DEET is a more convenient and effective (not to mention cheaper) way to keep those bloodsuckers away.

Myth #5: Use Citrus Scented Dish Soap To Repel Mosquitoes

Citrus scented soap can get rid of mosquitoes, but not in the way you might think. In fact, having pools of water around your yard may attract more mosquitoes than repel, regardless of whether or not it’s soapy. Mosquitoes love stagnant water so be prepared to have mosquitoes flocking to this area.

On the other hand, soap can create a thin film on the surface of the water, which can help to drown mosquitoes (and other pests) that land on this water.

As for the citrus scent itself repelling mosquitoes, this is a misconception. We often associate citrus scented things as mosquito repellent (think citronella candles which contain citronella oil), but unless you can find soap made with pure citrus oil, it won’t repel mosquitoes.

Myth #6: Mouthwash Can Prevent Mosquito Bites

Mouthwash helps to keep cavities away, but it’s not as effective at repelling mosquitoes. Most mouthwashes contain eucalyptol, which comes from eucalyptus oil, which is a common ingredient in mosquito repellent. However, the amount of eucalyptol in mouthwash is so low, spraying mouthwash on or around you as a mosquito repellent wouldn’t keep mosquitoes away for more than a few minutes, if even that.

Although using mouthwash as a mosquito repellent will smell much better than a mosquito repellent containing DEET, you’ll end up paying for it with itchy mosquito bites.

From using dryer sheets to repel mosquitoes, to giving up bananas to prevent mosquito bites, these common mosquito repellent myths are not nearly as effective as other tested and true methods. If you can’t get rid of mosquitoes in your card, contact Magical Pest today at (905) 738-6676 to learn about how we can help end your mosquito problem.

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