Mosquitoes: unravel the truth of the false

65 points

Mosquitoes: unravel the truth of the false

They prefer some skins

True. This is not a story of sweet blood. In reality, they are attracted, via their antennae, by the smells that releases our skin. With a predilection for the acids secreted when one perspires or the vapors of alcohol (some species being more amateurs of beer scents!). People who sweat a lot, play sports or feel feet would be ideal prey, as those who release a lot of CO2 breathing (sick, pregnant women ...).

Natural mosquito repellents are as effective

False. The essential oils of lemongrass, lavender or geranium have only a short duration of action, about 20 minutes. Among the four repellent molecules considered effective (during 4 to 8 hours), only one has a natural origin: it is Citriodiol, extracted from lemon eucalyptus essential oil (present in particular in Biovectrol Eucalyptus, MoustiCare ...). To be really protected, especially in tropical zone, you must also impregnate your clothes with an insecticide spray based on permethrin.

They bite especially at night

False. It depends on the species. If those responsible for malaria attack us at night, others are active during the day. This is the case of the tiger mosquito, recognizable by its white stripes, which currently rages in the south of France and goes into action early in the morning or late afternoon. It is advisable to use an anti-mosquito and / or to wear loose clothing covering all day. Good to know: only females bite, and only during the laying period, to feed their eggs.

Zika represents a danger for everyone

True. Certainly, the main risk with this virus transmitted by mosquitoes in the tropics is a brain deformity in babies if the mother (or father) was stung. But in 20 to 30% of cases, it can also give, in anyone, the equivalent of a big flu. Within 3 to 12 days after the bite, there are pimples, fever, headache and joint or muscle pain (aches) that usually last less than a week and must be relieved with paracetamol and rest. No fatal cases have been identified, but there are rare complications, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome (as with other viral infections).

Cold soothes bites

True. It is one of the most effective natural solutions: the cold soothes the itch (even if its effect is of short duration) and can also reduce the swelling in case of allergic reaction or small pimple. For example, you can apply an ice cube or cold effect gel, based on menthol or peppermint essential oil.

Read also :

⋙ Scientists have finally found a radical method to eliminate tiger mosquitoes

⋙ Mosquitoes, spiders, ticks: how to recognize the different insect bites?

Diabolical bug: what is this insect that proliferates in France?

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