Mosquitoes are annoying pests that can ruin a fun evening spent outside. In addition to giving you itchy bites, mosquitoes can spread severe viruses that are avoidable by taking the right precautions. Widespread misunderstandings about mosquitoes can cause you to make mistakes when seeking to protect yourself. The best way to stay safe when spending time outside, therefore, is to make good decisions by understanding some of the most common misconceptions about mosquitoes.

1. Mosquito-Borne Viruses Are Not Found in Texas

Texas has a diverse climate, but it has mosquitoes in all of its regions. Dallas and Houston have high mosquito population levels due to a combination of warm weather and frequent rain storms. Even in the dry deserts of western Texas, mosquitoes can breed in water cisterns and appear after heavy rains. Mosquitoes can carry viruses regardless of where they are found, so the dangers of these pests are as prevalent in Texas as they are in any other part of the world.

2. All Mosquitoes Can Bite Humans

Although any mosquito is capable of carrying viruses, only female mosquitoes are capable of biting humans. Females need the blood of mammals to generate eggs necessary for reproduction. Male mosquitoes, on the other hand, rely on a diet of nectar found in a wide variety of plants. Flowers are a favorite for male mosquitoes since they contain copious amounts of nectar can be easily accessed.

3. Mosquitoes Are Nocturnal

One of the most prevalent misunderstands about mosquitoes is the mistaken belief that these pests only bite at night. It is true that mosquitoes have a tendency to primarily search for food at night because dark lighting conditions help to protect mosquitoes from being spotted by their hosts. Mosquitoes will, however, bite any mammal that they find at any hour of the day. If you venture too close to a mosquito breeding ground, the chances are high that you will get bitten.

4. Eating Certain Foods Can Attract Mosquitoes

There is no truth to the myth that mosquitoes are attracted to people who eat certain types of foods. Garlic, for example, is often claimed to act as a mosquito repellent when it is ingested while other narratives claim the strong scent of garlic attracts mosquitoes. The reality is that mosquitoes will feed on any mammals with warm blood. The food you eat has no impact on a mosquito’s willingness to bite you.

5. Bats Control Mosquito Population Levels

Parents often tell their children that bats are needed to keep mosquito populations in check. Although stories about bats eating mosquitoes can help to calm a child’s fear of going out at night, the reality is that bats do not eat enough mosquitoes to have a significant impact on the population of any insect in the ecosystem.