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5 Things You Didn't Know About Mosquito Bites

Most of us have certainly experienced multiple mosquito bites in our life. But unfortunately, mosquitoes are among biting insects whose existence are very difficult to avoid for anyone, unless you live in Antarctica!

Mosquito

Apart from how annoying of a single mosquito bite can be, many people don't know a lot about some interesting things about mosquito bites.

Here are 5 things you didn't know about mosquito bites:

  1. Only female mosquitoes bite humans
  2. Different species of mosquitoes active and bite at different times
  3. Mosquito inject saliva into your body while biting
  4. There is no limit to the number of mosquito bites
  5. Mosquitoes bite some people more often than others

1. Only female mosquitoes bite humans

Why do only female mosquitoes bite?

Generally, both adult females and males mosquitoes feed on the nectar or honey dew of plants as for their primary nutrition sources. However, male mosquitoes are exclusively dependent on the nectar of flowers - whereas female mosquitoes require a blood meal to develop their eggs.

Human blood is rich in protein and iron that are essentials for female mosquitoes to help them produce and develop their eggs. When the female mosquitoes have drawn sufficient blood from their host, she’s ready to immediately lay their eggs.

2. Different species of mosquitoes active and bite at different times

Have you ever wondered what time of day do mosquitoes bite?

The biting behaviour of the mosquito depends on many factors, but one of the most decisive factors is the species of mosquito itself. Some mosquito species are known to be active primarily during the night time, while some of them are also known to be day time bitters or active during the day.

The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes - which is known as the vector that transmits several life-threatening diseases in the world including yellow fever virus, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus is most active early in the morning (1-2 hours after sunrise), and 2-3 hours in the evening before sunset.

Anopheles mosquitoes act as malaria vectors are known to be more active during the night time (5 pm - 9 pm) and occasionally early hours in the morning. On the other hand, the peak biting time for Culex mosquitoes is during the night time from midnight to 5 am.

Learn more about the different species of mosquitoes in Indonesia here

3. Mosquito inject saliva into your body while biting

If you have ever wondered why we can’t feel anything when mosquitoes bite you? This is the answer.

When a female mosquito bites us, they inject saliva through its proboscis into our skins. Mosquito saliva serves as an anticoagulant which helps them to prevent the clotting of blood during bloodsucking, while at the same time ensuring the host is unaware when they get bitten.

4. There is no limit to the number of mosquito bites

How many times do mosquitoes bite? The answer is limitless!

A female mosquito can bite multiple times and will continue to feed on humans blood until she is full. If she gets interrupted by movements of the host before she is full, she will attempt to feed again from another host (animal or human) to get a sufficient amount of blood in order to develop and nourish their eggs.

After enough blood meal, the mosquito will rest within a few days between 2 or 3 days while waiting for the  blood to be digested before laying their eggs and ready to bite again.

5. Mosquitoes bite some people more often than others

What makes mosquitoes bite some more than others?

Female mosquitoes use some sensory information combination of visual, thermal, and olfactory to track down their bite targets.

There are some specific factors that make mosquito attracts to humans, including:

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Body heat
  • Body odour
  • Moisture
  • Visual cues

There is no reason for a female mosquito to choose their host. But apparently, some humans are more enticing to mosquitoes than others. For example, mosquitoes are attracted to certain people with a strong body odour which emitted from fragrances, perfume and scented lotions.

People are more vulnerable to get mosquito bites after an intense exercise because we breathe more heavily and release more carbon dioxide that becomes signals that attract mosquitoes to come nearby. And lastly, people with lighter colour clothing are less attractive than is dark clothing by mosquitoes.

How to make mosquito bites stop itching?

Mosquito Bite

Individual reaction to mosquito bites varies from person to person. In general, mosquito bites come in the form of itchy and swollen red bumps that appear on the surface of your skin after a female mosquito has punctured the skin with her thin proboscis to feed on your blood.

Mosquito saliva contains immunogenic proteins to humans that provokes an immune response from our body, including the appearance of redness, swelling and bump on the skin, which is what makes a mosquito bite itch so much.

The symptoms of a mosquito bite are often mild and heal with time. Thus, treating them is a relatively easy task and does not necessarily need medical attention.

Below is the advice for treating mosquito bites:

  1. Gently clean the bite with soap and warm water
  2. Use a cold compress, such as  ice in a cloth or ice pack on the bite to reduce the swelling
  3. Use antihistamines cream to relieve the itchiness
  4. Avoid scratching as this will increase the itch and could lead to the bite becoming infected by bacteria

It is advisable to consult with the doctor or allergist if:

  1. The pain and swelling becomes very severe, especially when doing movements
  2. The swelling continues to worsen for up to 48 hours after the bite
  3. The bite appears to be infected

How to stop mosquito bites?

There are a couple of things you can do to prevent mosquito bites, including:

  • Wearing long sleeves when doing activity outdoors to reduce the exposed skin that mosquito can bite you
  • Applying insect repellent products on the exposed skin to keep them away
  • Do not wear bright colours or use strong scents such as perfumes and deodorants as these might attract mosquitoes to come nearby

Need professional mosquito control?

Rentokil has a great deal of experience getting rid of mosquitoes in Indonesia. We realize that mosquitoes can pose significant risks to human health and we will work with you to identify the best treatment method to your mosquito infestation that suited the needs of your property.

For further advice on fast and effective mosquito control contact us online to arrange an inspection for your home or business.

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  • Safe, effective, environmentally-friendly pest control
  • A broad range of mosquito control options to suit your home and business needs
  • With over 2,800 local, accredited pest controllers, we provide a fast-response service across Indonesia
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