It seems like something out of a science fiction novel. You notice you’re being bitten by a mosquito. Simply pull your skin on either side of the mosquito taut, trapping the mosquito’s proboscis, and you force the mosquito to ingest so much blood that she explodes. Fact or fiction?
Surprisingly, this is true and has been verified by a number of people. However, the bigger question is why you might want to do this. It doesn’t do anything except kill one mosquito that has already bitten you and subjected you to whatever diseases it may be carrying. It does nothing to prevent future bites or to reduce the local population of mosquitoes.
So explode the mosquito if it brings you pleasure or a sense of accomplishment, but unless you derive a great deal of joy from watching a mosquito drown in your own blood, there are better ways to manage the annoying little pests.
Everybody is looking for the ultimate mosquito repellent and sprays made from garlic often come up on the radar. But is it true that the scent of garlic sprays, which eventually become undetectable to the human nose, causes mosquitoes, with their more sensitive sense of smell, to avoid certain areas?
This one falls firmly in the fiction category – mosquitoes really don’t have a sense of smell at all. Yes, they’re attracted to certain odors, but most repellents work not by making you smell bad to the mosquito, but by covering up your normally attractive aroma.
If you’re looking for a repellent, there are a number of effective natural remedies, such as DEET, which is very reliable – not garlic sprays.
Ultrasonic transmitters designed to repel mosquitoes have also become very popular lately. Some stores even offer small models you can wear around your neck as a pendant or clip to your clothing. But do these transmitters work? And are they safe for humans to wear?
Here’s the short answer on ultrasonic transmitters – no, they don’t work. The EPA spent two years testing every ultrasonic transmitter they could get their hands on in hopes of finding a way to get rid of mosquitoes without using chemicals. Unfortunately, there was no measurable effect on mosquitoes or on humans as far as they could tell. The EPA’s findings have also been upheld by additional studies at various universities. In fact, manufacturers of ultrasonic transmitters are finding themselves in trouble with the EPA and the United States government over their unsupported product claims.
The best way to avoid mosquitoes is to remove any potential breeding grounds from the areas you frequent outdoors. For example, if you see standing water – such as a bird bath, a puddle or even an overturned shovel or flower pot – do your best to eliminate it. Also, avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when most mosquitoes prefer to bite. If these two solutions alone aren’t enough to end your mosquito woes, choose an insect repellent that contains DEET for maximum effectiveness.