Have you ever wondered why mosquitoes bite humans in the first place? Why do mosquito bites itch so much? Can you have an allergic reaction to a mosquito bite?
Everyone knows mosquitoes are a nuisance, but not everyone knows how these creatures work. At Mosquito Authority, part of our job as mosquito control professionals is educating our customers on mosquitoes and the serious risks that these pests pose.
Despite their small size, mosquitoes can cause a lot of harm – not to mention they are among the deadliest animals in the world. Knowing the science behind mosquitoes and their bites is important for us as mosquito control professionals.
We also believe it is important to educate our customers on these things in order to practice thorough mosquito control. Here are some things you might not have known about mosquitoes, their infamous bites, and how to treat them:
Why Do Mosquitoes Bites?
Contrary to what many people think, mosquitoes do not bite humans simply because they want food. In fact, only female mosquitoes bite humans, while male mosquitoes feed on other things such as nectar from flowers.
So why do female mosquitoes feed on blood? Because they need blood meals to produce and lay their eggs. Since male mosquitoes do not bite humans or animals, they cannot spread diseases like female mosquitoes.
Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?
Almost everyone is familiar with the dreaded, itchy sensation that follows being bitten by mosquitoes. But what makes these bites itch so much?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the answer is actually pretty simple.
When a mosquito bites a human (or animal), the insect injects saliva into its host’s skin while feeding. Afterward, the host develops a bump as a reaction to the saliva that is now in its body.
In other words, the bump and subsequent itch of mosquito bites occur because of the saliva that mosquitoes transmit to their hosts while feeding on them.
Some of the signs that you have been bitten by a mosquito include:
- A puffy and reddish bump
- A hard, itchy bump or several bumps that can appear a day or so after the bite(s)
- Small blisters
- Dark spots that resemble bruises
How Do You Treat A Mosquito Bite?
There are a few different mosquito bite remedies you can use to treat the affected area. The CDC recommends the following:
- Washing the bite with soap and water
- Applying an ice pack for 10 minutes to reduce swelling and itchiness
- Applying a mixture of baking soda and water
Can You Have an Allergic Reaction to a Mosquito Bite?
The short answer is yes; you can have an allergic reaction to mosquito bites. One thing that makes mosquitoes so dangerous is that, in addition to spreading diseases such as West Nile virus and malaria, they can also cause severe allergic reactions in some people. Having this severe allergic reaction to mosquito bites is known as skeeter syndrome.
While most people only experience a small bump and itchiness after being bitten by a mosquito, those with skeeter syndrome have more serious symptoms. Symptoms of skeeter syndrome can include:
- A large amount of swelling (more than what is typical)
- Anaphylaxis (in rare cases)
How Can You Prevent Mosquito Bites?
While knowing how to treat mosquito bites properly is important, learning how to prevent mosquito bites is even more crucial. The purpose of having mosquito control services is to protect you and your family from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, which means putting an end to mosquito bites.
Here are some ways you can prevent mosquito bites around your home and outdoor space:
- Get rid of any standing water in your yard. Standing water tends to collect in items like trash can lids, tire swings, and children’s toys.
- Wear insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when you are outside.
- Minimize your outdoor activity during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are typically most active.
- Hire a local mosquito control company.
Hiring a local mosquito control company is the best way to ensure mosquitoes stay away from your property. At Mosquito Authority, we use proven, professional mosquito treatments that are rooted in science to make sure your property is mosquito-free.
Contact us today for more information about our local mosquito control service for your yard.