Mosquito Myths: Five Old Wives’ Tales Busted Absolute health
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Mosquito Myths: Five Old Wives’ Tales Busted
By Health Coach ⋅ October 15, 2012 ⋅ Post a comment
You know how it goes. One person observes a strange correlation between something she did that day, and the size and volume of her mozzie bites. She tells another person that she ‘always’ does it because it helps to reduce the number of mosquito bites, and that person tells another, and then all of a sudden it’s ‘fact’ on the internet.
We’re here to bust some myths concerning mosquitoes. Doing any of these things may make you feel better, but there’s no scientific proof that they will help to keep the mosquitoes at bay.
Taking Vitamin B supplements. We read this all the time on the internet, and we don’t know how it got started. Sometimes it’s vitamin B1, sometimes it’s B6, other times people claim you need to take the complex vitamin to feel any benefit. One thing’s for sure: vitamin B is good for a lot of things, but it will not protect you from mosquitoes. From a scientific perspective, in the double-blind studies that have been conducted Vitamin B doesn’t test out well.
Eating garlic. This is a peculiar one. Garlic features in a number of old wives’ tales, and there is actually a tiny element of truth in it. If you rub garlic juice over your skin, it will be repellent to mosquitoes – for about 20 minutes. After that, you’re fair game for the mosquitoes, but we’re guessing the rest of the human population will avoid you for a lot longer than that.
Mouthwash. Do you think this one was put out there by the mouthwash companies? According to the tale, gargling with mouthwash will help you to become repellent – particularly convenient when you want to get a good night’s rest and the mosquitoes won’t leave you alone. But although some of the ingredients in Listerine have repellent properties, using mouthwash at night isn’t going to help keep the bugs at bay.
Drinking alcohol. Interestingly, there are all sorts of justifications as to why you might want to down your favourite cocktail, from lowered carbon dioxide exhalations due to the depressant nature, to the cooling effect of a chilled beverage. However, we know that alcohol actually can have the opposite effect – since it warms you up and occasionally makes you begin to sweat, you become the mosquito’s favourite drink of choice. Mozzies are attracted to warm, sweaty skin, particularly the sweat emitted from the armpits and feet. If you want to have a drink, by all means go ahead. It just won’t help you fight the bugs.
Dishwashing liquid. The myth says that adding a few drops of Lemon Joy to a pail of water will attract the mosquitoes and then kill them. What would be more likely to happen is that the standing water would become a breeding ground for the little suckers and you would then have to deal with a fresh crop.
Instead, pest control experts recommend that you drain all standing water sources regularly, plant natural repellents like citronella and lavender in the garden and dress appropriately in cool clothing that covers your arms and legs.
Kate Lee is a freelance writer who regularly writes about natural solutions for pest problems. She contributes to several pest control websites, including Preventive Pest.
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