Separate fact from fiction when it comes to mosquitoes - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Separate fact from fiction when it comes to mosquitoes

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One common myth is that all mosquitoes bite humans. One common myth is that all mosquitoes bite humans.

(CNN) - Summertime means more time outdoors - and mosquitoes.

It's important to get your facts straight when it comes to protecting yourself against mosquitoes, since the tiny, pesky predators can carry a host of diseases.

One common myth is that all mosquitoes bite humans.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes. Different ones feed on either plant nectar, reptiles, birds or mammals.

Of those species that bite humans, experts say, only the females go for the blood. They are seeking protein for egg production.

Another commonly held belief is that mosquitoes are attracted to certain foods, colors or blood types. The truth is that these factors generally don't make a difference.

Also, it's a myth that the U.S. is free of mosquito-borne diseases. Dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, malaria and the West Nile virus are real threats.

If you are going to be outdoors, use insect repellent on your exposed skin and clothing. Look for ingredients recommended by the CDC or EPA.

Wear long sleeves, pants and socks. Empty standing water around your home. Support your local county or city mosquito control programs.

Also, limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active.

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