The Sting of Summer -- Take a Bite Out of Mosquito Myths

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Preferred Realty
(ARA) – When it comes to summer most of us can’t wait to hit the beach, hike local nature trails or even lounge in the backyard. In fact, according to the OFF! PowerPad survey, adults say they and/or their families plan to attend a barbecue (73 percent), watch fireworks (59 percent), attend outdoor concerts (33 percent), go camping (28 percent) and go to amusement parks (32 percent) this summer.  

With so many families spending time outdoors, it’s important to stay protected from unplanned summer mishaps. In fact, adults named insect-related (25 percent) concerns like stings, bites and contracting the West Nile virus from infected mosquitoes among their top protection concerns during the summer.

Are you one of the 78 percent of adults who believe in over a dozen mosquito myths, like eating garlic will repel mosquitoes? Even if the answer is no, you may want to rethink your summertime protection rituals as the OFF! PowerPad survey reveals several common mosquito myths.

MYTH #1: Eating bananas will attract mosquitoes, while eating garlic will repel them.
Although 14 percent of adults believe one or both of those myths to be true, changing your diet will not protect you against mosquito bites. Nor will rubbing yourself with fabric softener sheets -- another common home remedy that 14 percent of adults believe to repel mosquitoes. Using a personal insect repellent is a proven method to protect against mosquitoes.

MYTH #2: Citronella candles effectively repel mosquitoes.
Traditional citronella candles only repel mosquitoes up to one foot, although 85 percent of adults believe citronella candles are somewhat to very effective. If you are looking for an area repellent that will keep your guests protected during a backyard barbeque, the easy-to-use OFF! PowerPad Lamp & Lantern both protect an area equal to 225 square feet (the average size of a deck or patio), which is 15 times greater than a citronella candle/bucket.

MYTH #3: Both male and female mosquitoes bite.
Female mosquitoes ‘bite’ because they need the protein from the blood of humans and animals to develop their eggs. It may shock the 20 percent of adults who believe that both the male and female mosquitoes bite, and that the male mosquitoes do not have a biting mouth that can penetrate human skin.

MYTH #4: Kids are at the most danger of getting sick from West Nile Virus, a disease carried by mosquitoes.
People older than 50 years old are at the highest risk for developing severe West Nile disease, but it is always a good idea for children to avoid mosquito bites. Twenty-five percent of adults agree, as they are concerned about protecting their families from insect-related mishaps, such as bites, stings or contracting the West Nile virus from infected mosquitoes. In 2007, mosquitoes were blamed for causing more than 3,500 cases of the West Nile virus across the United States.

MYTH #5: Insect repellents with a higher percentage of DEET will repel more mosquitoes.
Fifteen percent of adults believe that an insect repellent with 5 percent DEET compared to one with 15 percent DEET last the same length of time, but the repellent with 15 percent DEET repels more mosquitoes. The truth is that the more DEET a repellent contains, the longer time it can protect you from biting insects.

Continue to fight the bite by applying the truth of these debunked myths to your summer activities. The next time you throw a backyard barbeque, you’ll be prepared to protect your guests from those pesky uninvited guests. For more information on how to combat mosquitoes, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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