August 16, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Myths and Mosquitoes | Press

Myths and Mosquitoes |  Press

When it comes time to roam the woods in the spring, everyone has their own tactics to counter the public enemy number one: the biting worm. There is consensus on many concepts. However, there are some myths in the media. It is regulated by experts on mosquitoes, black flies, biting midges and horseflies.

Posted on June 24th

Mary Tyson

Mary Tyson

Only females bite

This applies to all groups of biting insects.

“Andre-Philippe Dropio Picard, entomological information officer at the Montreal Insectarium, said,” After sexual intercourse, the body wants to get the protein it needs to form eggs. ”

There are fewer insect bites in estre than Laurentians

Photo by Dominic Gravel, Law Press Archives

A farmer’s land near Mount Orford

Photo by Hugo-Sebastian Abert, Press

Agriculture is abundant in the eastern townships.

This is true.

“Areas with a lot of swamps have more insects,” Mr Drape Picard explained. South of St. Lawrence, the environment is largely desolate for agriculture. ⁇

Some attract mosquitoes more than others

“This is not a myth, we are not equal before mosquitoes,” said the specialist.

Metabolism, which varies from one person to another, as well as the microorganisms on the surface of the skin are also questionable. “An American researcher has identified 150 compounds in the sweat of athletes that attract mosquitoes,” said Jacques Boycevert, a retired professor at Quebec University in Trois-Rivieres who spent most of his career studying insect bites.

Light-colored fabrics are less attractive to biting insects

This is true.

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Mr. Drew Picard recalled that flies and mosquitoes detect heat. “In the sun, darker fabric absorbs more of the sun’s energy. It will be even hotter. ⁇

Mosquito nets work well

Yes, but nothing more.

Jacques Boisevert reminds us that black flies are experts in the art of finding the slightest space to get inside. Hence the need to adapt to the nets that cover the upper torso. “The problem with tenderloin is that if you’ve going to dine, well, it sucks. ⁇

The worst time is sunset

Photo by Bernard Bralt, Press Archives

Mosquitoes are not active after sunset.

You can bite at any time.

“We have more than 60 species of mosquitoes in Quebec,” Mr. Boisewart said. Some are active in the evening and others in the morning and evening. Black flies are active from morning to evening, while biting midges emerge after sunset. ⁇

DEET, icaridin and p-menthane-3,8-diol products are harmful to your health

These products have been studied and found to be safe and effective.

“But it’s important to follow the instructions in the container,” Mr. Drew Picard recalled. DEET, we do not keep it in our eyes. We do not put it on the skin four times a day. ⁇

Lemongrass is as effective as DEET and icaridine products

Certainly not.

According to Jacques Boiswert, the biggest difference is in defense time. We talk about 8 to 10 hours for DEET and icaridin, and then 30 to 90 minutes for lemongrass. “I put lemon grass on myself when I have a BBQ. I will go out, I will put the steak, I will see again, I will come inside, ”he said.

Bracelets and candles successfully repel biting insects


Jacques Boycewart collected a large number of products that did not work in a large box. They include bracelets, soaps, shampoos, candles and ultrasound equipment. On the other hand, clothing mixed with permethrin, it works!

Thermocell type diffusers repel biting insects


According to Jacques Boiswert, these pyrethroid-based diffusers work. Some can be hung on a belt, but are very expensive. For use on the patio, good old green coils work with the same type of pesticide and have the same effect. However, “if sold, there are people who are not protected at all and who receive it in the face”.

Electroconvulsive devices are a good solution.

No, because they not only attract mosquitoes.

“We have five beekeepers in the area,” he said. A convenience store owner puts out his device: he’s picking up a lot of bees. ⁇

Mosquitoes get bitten by eating bananas

The biggest myth of all.

For science purposes, Jacques Boiswert swallowed six bananas in a row. He is not dead.

The winning strategy is to stay calm

Movement, like heat and carbon dioxide, attracts flies and mosquitoes, Jacques Boiswert recalls.

“You have to be calm. You should not start hitting the mosquito like you want to kill an elephant. ⁇

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