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Mosquito Bite Myths

Mosquito(CNN) — Mosquitos are annoying, and no one wants to get bitten, but avoiding them is a pretty good idea because they also can carry serious diseases.

So it’s important to separate the facts from beliefs that are just plain wrong.

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.

Lastly, 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 repellant 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. And lastly, limit outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

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