As reported by the Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2008.

Mosquito Myths, Debunked

By Karen Ravn

Myth: Taking large doses of vitamin B -- some say B-1, others say B-6 or B-12 -- causes the skin to exude an odor that wards off mosquitoes.

Reality: Uli Bernier, a research chemist in the Mosquito and Fly Research Unit of the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Gainesville, Fla., tested the vitamin B theory. "We dosed ourselves so high you could smell us," he says. Verdict: The mosquitoes still bit.

Myth: Tying a sheet of Bounce fabric softener through a belt loop or rubbing one on your body keeps mosquitoes away.

Reality: No such luck, Bernier says. "I walked around with sheets flapping from my arms," and the insects still bit.

Myth: Eating lots of garlic or taking garlic supplements repels mosquitoes.

Reality: Bernier found garlic had no effect, as did a study at the University of Connecticut Health Center. However, the lead author, T. V. Rajan, thinks garlic could work. It's just that the amounts required might not be "socially acceptable," he says.

Myth: Mosquitoes can't bite through clothing.

Reality: They can! According to Bernier, who has helped develop repellent-treated clothing for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, "It is quite evident that they can even bite through thick uniforms when there is insufficient or no repellent present." Clothing may, he concedes, make biting a little more difficult for them.