Mosquitos And Their Remedies: Myth Busting

Mosquitos And Their Remedies: Myth Busting June 1, 2018

From Minda Zetlin:

It’s officially summer and you know what that means: Hiking, swimming, backyard barbecues…and mosquitoes. Everyone is bothered by them, but some people think they’ve found the perfect antidote to unpleasant, and potentially disease-laden mosquito bites. Do these magic cures hold up under scientific testing? In many cases the answer is: Absolutely not.

Believe it or not, mosquitoes are the deadliest creatures to humans on our planet, with more than 1 million deaths a year attributed to the diseases they carry, which include malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, Zika, and yellow fever. With climate change causing warmer winters in many places, and thus fewer of the hard frosts that cut down mosquito populations, mosquitoes will only become more numerous in the coming years. White nose syndrome, a fungus that has killed millions of bats in the United States is worsening the problem, since bats are voracious mosquito eaters.

These are all very good reasons why you need to know the difference between myth and reality when it comes to mosquito control. Here are some mosquito cures people swear by, but science shows do no good whatsoever:

1. Sonic devices or smartphone apps.

2. Avon Skin So Soft

3. Citronella candles

People have been using citronella candles to try to keep mosquitoes away from outdoor gatherings for more than 100 years. Do they work? Not particularly, according to the NEJM study. They may draw mosquitoes toward the candle and away from the party but according to one study noted by WebMD, only because candles emit heat, carbon dioxide, and moisture, all of which attract mosquitoes. Regular candles also emit those things and so should work just as well.

4. Wristbands

So, what does work? The answers are much more boring than smartphone apps or exotic body lotions. Here they are:

1. DEET

2. Lemon eucalyptus oil

3. Picaridin

4. Mosquito traps

5. Getting rid of standing water

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