Mosquito facts and myths - FOX 32 News Chicago

Mosquito facts and myths

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(WJBK) - Escaping from mosquitoes seems impossible no matter where you go. With the long, hard winter and wet spring it's likely we're seeing more of those biting bugs than usual. So it's time to learn how to fight the bite.  

Just breathing brings the biters to us. They're attracted to our carbon dioxide, not to mention the lactic acid in our sweat.

Steve Kuhse, an entomologist from Terminix, says to keep them away, keep calm and cool in light-colored clothing.

"Mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors, so any lighter colors, especially long sleeved shirts if it's not too hot, is going to be helpful," Kuhse says.

Another helpful idea is to create some wind with a floor fan. Cross-winds greater than five miles per hour can keep those biters away, so bring on a breeze.

What about eating garlic?

"That is a myth where if you eat enough garlic it comes out of your pores. It's going to be repellant - not to mosquitoes. To people, possibly, but not to mosquitoes, no," Kuhse says.

We've all seen the citronella candles in someone's backyard. Do those really help?

"There's no data that really proves that citronella is repellant to mosquitos but candles by nature though, the heat of them and sometimes the smoke can be repellant however," says Kuhse.

Mosquitoes definitely do not like DEET, the chemical found in many bug sprays. If you don't want the spray on your skin you can spray on your clothes.

Watch out for the Asian tiger mosquito which is a day feeder, so it's around more than just at sunrise and sunset.

Remember, also, to get rid of any standing water. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in just about one tablespoon of water.
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