WORLD MOSQUITO DAY August 20
August 20 is World Mosquito Day. On this day in 1897, British scientist Sir Ronald Ross made the breakthrough discovery that malaria is transmitted between humans by the female anopheles mosquito. More than 100 years later, we are still working to find a cure for this deadly disease.
The website malarianomore.org.uk debunks myths regarding mosquitoes:
Myth: Garlic and marmite ward off mosquitoes.
Garlic won’t keep mosquitoes at bay. Nor will Marmite—brewer’s yeast and vitamin B do not deter mosquitoes! Instead, use insect repellent. If you’re camping, sleep under a mosquito net to protect yourself.
Myth: Antiseptic mouthwash repels mosquitoes.
Antiseptic mouthwash might give you fresh, minty breath, but it won’t put off a mosquito, so don’t rely on it.
Myth: Mosquitoes bite
Mosquitoes don’t have teeth, so they suck rather than bite. They use their serrated proboscis to pierce the skin, locate a capillary and draw blood through one of two tubs, drinking up three times their weight in blood. Note: It would take about 1.2 million bites to drain all the blood from your body.
Myth: Mosquitoes die after feeding
Female mosquitoes live to bite again and again—that’s how they transmit malaria. A female will typically bite on four separate occasions before she can pass malaria on to another person. So don’t assume that once you’ve been bitten, you’re off the hook!
Myth: Mosquitoes transmit the HIV virus
Mosquitoes do not transmit the HIV virus from human to human. The virus that causes AIDS is digested in the stomachs, so it’s broken down without being passed on. However, mosquitoes do carry malaria, the West Nile virus, dengue fever, and other serious diseases, so make sure you protect yourself.
Myth: Electrical bug zappers work on mosquitoes
Bug zappers re useless against mosquitoes. Less than 1% of insects killed by zappers are mosquitoes or other biting insects. Use insect repellent and sleep under a mosquito net to keep them away!