Take this mosquito quiz to prepare for the inevitable onslaught

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Always annoying and sometimes deadly, mosquitoes are some the most reviled creatures on the planet. How much do you know about these irksome insects?

Question 1 of 12

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male and female mosquito
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Which mosquitoes bite?

If you've been bitten by a mosquito, it was a female. While male mosquitoes are just fine noshing on plant nectar, reports Smithsonian, females need blood so they can lay eggs.

Question 2 of 12

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Mosquitoes are fast for their size, zipping along at about 7-8 miles per hour.

These guys are tiny — only about 1/8 to 3/4 of an inch, according to National Geographic — but they're not speedy. Depending on their species, they travel about 1 to 1.5 miles per hour, reports the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). You should be able to outrun one mosquito trying to bite you, but it's never just one, is it?

Question 3 of 12

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mosquito biting
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What makes us attractive to mosquitoes?

There are oh-so-many things that can make mosquitoes come your way. They can be enamored of your exhaled breath, which is why you hear them buzzing around your face. They also are drawn to odors like sweat and lactic acid, as well as body heat. Movement helps them zero in on their victims.

Question 4 of 12

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citronella candle
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Citronella candles cut in half your chances of being bitten by a mosquito.

That sickly sweet smell of citronella is often a backyard summer staple, but a new study suggests maybe you should snuff out those candles. Not only do they have no effect on repelling mosquitoes, according to the 2017 study published in the Journal of Insect Science, but the candles attract slightly more mosquitoes than a person without citronella.

Question 5 of 12

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If not citronella, what insect repellent is the most effective?

Don't believe everything you read on the label. Researchers found that DEET and oil of lemon eucalyptus sprays reduce mosquito attraction by 60 percent. But they found herbal bracelets and sonic repellents were of little use.

“We are not aware of any scientific study showing that mosquitoes can be repelled by sound waves and therefore we consider these devices as the modern equivalent of snake oil,” wrote the authors about the sonic devices.

Question 6 of 12

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dog lying by standing water in a yard
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Why does it help to get rid of standing water?

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in shallow water or even damp soil. To help keep mosquitoes away from your home, get rid of standing water like puddles that don't dry up, bird baths or any random containers that collect water when it rains.

Question 7 of 12

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mosquito with belly full of blood
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If left undisturbed, a mosquito can take in about 1/2 teaspoon of blood in one sitting.

Although it may seem like a mosquito is having a serious feast, in reality, most of the time she is imbibing anywhere from .001 to .01 milliliter, according to the AMCA. At most, that's not even .002 teaspoon.

Question 8 of 12

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Mosquitoes are the deadliest creatures in the world.

Most recently, mosquitoes are the bearers of Zika, but these tiny insects have been responsible for many deadly disease outbreaks.

“Mosquitoes are perhaps the most dangerous animals in the world,” Omar Akbari, Ph.D., an assistant professor of entomology at the Center for Disease Vector Research at the University of California Riverside, told Healthline. “They are the primary vectors for major human diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, and dengue fever, which together infect hundreds of millions of humans worldwide and kill millions each year.”

Akbari points out that the World Health Organization reports more than 50 percent of the world’s population is currently at risk of mosquito-borne diseases.

Question 9 of 12

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dead mosquito
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How long do most mosquitoes live?

If it's any consolation, the mosquito that made your life miserable likely had a very short life of its own. Although a mosquito's lifespan depends on its species, most typically live just a few weeks, according to the AMCA. Some species that survive winter in warm places like garages and attics can live as long as 6 months.

Question 10 of 12

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Which is more attractive to mosquitoes?

There's some disagreement on whether mosquitoes really care what color you're wearing, but there's a belief that they're more drawn to dark clothing because they can see you better.

"The color of your clothing has been shown to make some difference — mosquitoes prefer dark colors that don’t reflect much light — but keep in mind that most mosquitoes are active after dark, when the color of your clothes won’t make much difference," says Dr. Edward Blumenthal, assistant professor of biological sciences at Marquette University.

Question 11 of 12

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What makes mosquito bites itch?

When the mosquito sticks her proboscis into your skin and sucks away, she leaves behind a tiny bit of saliva. The saliva has an anticoagulant that keeps your blood from clotting around the insect's mouth, so it's not trapped against your skin, explains the New York Times.

Your body attacks the foreign substance, releasing histamine, which causes the itching. Some people don't have a reaction to mosquito bites and some lucky folks develop a tolerance over time.

Question 12 of 12

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swarm of mosquitoes
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Some mosquitoes will migrate as far as 40 miles for a meal.

In rare circumstances when food is scarce, mosquitoes that breed in salt marshes will travel 20 to 40 miles to look for dinner. They typically hang on when they're caught in updrafts that carry them for long distances.

Most species have ranges of only 1 to 3 miles and some, like the Asian tiger mosquito, prefer to breed around the house. They have a flight range of only about 300 feet, says the AMCA.

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close-up of mosquito on water with sunset in the background
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