Summer has finally landed, but unfortunately, that means mosquitoes will start emerging looking for their next feast.
You may be wondering:
- Why do mosquitoes bite?
- What do mosquito bites look like?
- How can I treat mosquito bites?
- How can I prevent mosquito bites?
Why do mosquitoes bite?
Here’s a fun fact for you, did you know that only female mosquitoes bite? Male mosquitoes don’t rely on human blood to develop and feed only on the nectar of flowers.
Female mosquitoes bite to engorge themselves on a cocktail of our blood. Our blood is rich in protein and other compounds which female mosquitoes need to help produce and develop their eggs.
What happens when a mosquito bites?
When a mosquito bites you, she releases her saliva into the wound. Mosquito saliva contains an anticoagulant which helps the blood to flow easily whilst also ensuring the host is unaware of the activity, allowing the mosquito to feed without being disturbed.
How many times can a mosquito bite?
There is no limit to the number of times a mosquito can bite. A female mosquito will continue to bite and feed on blood until she is full. After they have consumed enough blood, the mosquito will rest for a couple of days (usually between 2-3) before laying her eggs. Once this is complete she is ready to bite again.
Do mosquitoes die after they bite you?
UnlikeÂ bees, who will die after they have stung you, mosquitoes don’t have to face their mortality after biting you.
What do mosquito bites look like?
Even though mosquito bites share some similarities in their appearance with other insect bites, there are some differences which can help you identify them. Mosquito bites can appear anywhere on your body, particularly in areas where the skin is exposed, such as arms and legs.
Mosquito bite swelling
Mosquito bites swell because your body is suffering from a very mild allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva. To combat the anti-coagulant delivered by the mosquito, your body releases a histamine to fight it. As a result, the area around the bite becomes inflamed.
Why do mosquito bites itch?
The reason behind mosquito bites being so irritatingly itchy is quite simple really. Just like the swelling, the itchiness is due to your body reacting to the mosquito’s saliva. As the blood vessels around the bitten area begin to swell, they cause the nerves to become irritated, which results in the bite becoming itchy.
Flea bites vs mosquito bites
At first glance, flea bites and mosquito bites often look similar to one another. However, there are a few differences. For example, flea bites are usually felt immediately and are often found on the feet and lower legs.
Click here to view our infographic on flea bites.
Do bed bug bites look like mosquito bites?
Just like flea bites, mosquitoes bites also share some similarities with bed bug bites in terms of their appearance. Unlike mosquito bites, bed bug bites usually appear in a line and are usually small and flat.
How to treat mosquito bites
Treating mosquito bites is a relatively easy task and can be done at home, and is similar to how you would treat other insect bites. You can treat mosquito bites by:
- Cleaning the bite with warm soapy water.
- Placing an ice pack on the bite to reduce the swelling
- Taking an antihistamine to help relieve the itchiness.
- Avoid scratching to reduce the risk of infection.
Home remedies for mosquito bites
Mosquito bite home remedies:
- Toothpaste: The menthol flavour of the toothpaste helps to soothe the bite
- Honey: Honey is a natural antibiotic and will help with the swelling
- Aloe vera: Aloe vera is a natural antiseptic agent and can help reduce the pain, swelling, and itching.
Allergic reactions to mosquito bites
As you are aware, the itching and swelling of mosquito bites are due to an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva. For most people this reaction doesnâ€™t go past these symptoms. However, some people can suffer from severe allergic reactions to mosquito bites. In these cases, it is highly advised that you visit your doctor for treatment.
How to prevent mosquito bites
There are a couple of things you can do to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Wearing long sleeves when venturing outdoors will eliminate the areas in which a mosquito can bite you. Applying insect repellent will help keep them away.
How to get rid of mosquitoes
The best way to prevent mosquito bites is to prevent mosquitoes themselves. Eliminating the source of the problem will drastically reduce the possibility of getting bitten by a mosquito.
Getting rid of mosquitoes
- Mosquito traps: Installing mosquito traps and zappers will help keep these biting insects away
- Remove standing water: Mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in stagnant water. Eliminating the potential breeding sites from your property will make it less appealing to mosquitoes.
- Professional treatment: Contacting a pest controller or exterminator is the most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes. The range of services and solutions they can offer will help keep mosquitoes away, and reduce the risk of mosquito bites.
One of the biggest impacts mosquito bites can have is transmitting diseases. Mosquitoes are regarded as one of the deadliest animals on the planet due to the harmful viruses they spread, causing millions of deaths each year.
Looking for help with a mosquito problem? Contact Rentokil today.
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