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9 questions we should ask about mosquito bites

Channel News Asia (CNA) has just reported on 22 March total five dengue deaths since this year, which is double the number of death cases compared to last year. In this recent news, it reports 5,033 dengue cases in Singapore as of 22 March. NEA Singapore has also stressed the importance of the need to take urgent action to battle against dengue fever in particular associating with DENV-3. With the launch of the National Dengue Prevention Campaign, the regulatory reports the population of Aedes Mosquito, which is one the various types of mosquitoes species in Singapore, is still high.

Rentokil Singapore shares some key information we should know of in view of this outbreak.

  • Where are the dengue clusters located?
  • Dengue symptoms to look out for
  • What is the 5 step mozzie wipeout about?
  • How to prevent dengue fever?
  • Causes of mosquito infestation
  • What attracts mosquitoes near you
  • Identify the signs of signs of mosquito
  • List of mosquito breeding sources

How dengue transmitted to humans

All it takes is getting mosquito bites to be a potential victim to dengue. It is transmitted by getting a bite by the female Aedes who is infected and thus spreading and transmitting the diseases back to humans and the cycle repeats. Question is why do mosquitoes bite in the first place? However, symptoms might be somewhat similar to that of ZIka and it is important to understand the difference between both diseases and seek necessary prompt medical attention.

The female mozzies require their blood meals to feed on and survive in order to complete the reproduction process through its mosquito life cycle by hatching more eggs before developing into an adult mosquito. However, not all mosquitoes bite, for instance the male gender of mozzies do not require blood as a food source.

Mosquito dengue transmission

9 essential facts we should know about mosquito bites

1. What are mosquito bites itchy?

Firstly, for easy extraction of blood from our body, the female mosquito will release some saliva into our blood as the mozzie bites. Secondly, the compounds in the saliva contain an anti-clotting effect on the blood. Thirdly, this process aids mosquitoes to seek blood quickly by causing blood clots that block the mouthparts. Finally, your body will then respond with her defence system thus causing a reaction, resulting in itchy bumps.

2. Why mosquito bites go unnoticed until much later

These pests are tiny and definitely their body parts. The mouthparts are tiny and thin that anyone of us would barely notice the bites.

  • Compounds released by mozzies creates a local anaesthesia effect
  • Thus mosquito requires few seconds more to take on more blood
  • Their flight and take-off manoeuvres are amazingly skillful
  • Extra wing beats enhance their mode  of speed
  • Ability to avoid detection by host, instance yourself
Speed of mosquito wings beat

Interesting fact about mosquitoes

3. How often and when do mosquitoes bite us?

Mosquito species’ activities vary over the day. It depends on the species type. Firstly, the Anopheles mosquitoes that cause malaria are mostly active during the night when it is in a dark environment. Thus, sleeping with bed netting helps to protect yourself from bites. Secondly, the Culex mosquitoes prefer to bite during dusk and dawn. Lastly, the dreadful Aedes Mosquitoes or otherwise known as day-biting mozzies are active in the morning.

How often do you get mosquito bites depends on the number of mosquitoes that you encounter, how attractive are you to mosquitoes, and the mosquito protective measures you take to avoid them from biting you. This includes sleeping with a netting, applying repellent or patch and placing of mosquito traps around.

4. Do all mosquitoes bite including gender and species?

Fortunately, only female mosquitoes bite to take blood food supply for the eggs development. The good news is, male mozzies do not bite nor transmit diseases. In addition, Aedes species tend to bite humans more than others. Besides, each mosquito species has their preferred host, some prefer humans, some are birds and some even prefer to bite lizards and frogs. Above all, many insects might look like mosquitoes, but in fact, are not real biting mozzies. For exmaple, the Chironomidae, or also known as chironomids, non-biting midges or lake flies. They actually look a lot like mosquitoes, but are harmless to us and do not bite.

5. Who is at risk of receiving bites?

Everyone is at risk of getting a mosquito bite unfortunately. However, some are more attractive to mozzies than others are. This is due to the odours emitted from the skin that produced skin bacteria. Having said, a hungry mosquito will also seek the less attractive hosts where there is competition for food source or left with other choices in the environment.

Washing regularly does not help make you less attractive to mosquitoes

6. How to prevent mosquito bites?

Firstly, you can proof the windows and doors with netting, screenings and mesh, and protect with a bed net when you sleep at night. Secondly, you can prevent skin exposure to mosquitoes by wearing long sleeves and pants. Thirdly, apply repellents or use of essential oils such as lemongrass and citronella to deter mosquitoes away. Fourthly, you can keep yourself cool with a fan or air-conditioning. Above all, reducing the mosquito population or number of mozzies flying around will help to answer questions on how to prevent mosquitoes at home. In conclusion, users can adopt fogging or spraying methods, or placement of traps such as In2care Mosquito trap system.

7. How far and how fast can mosquitoes travel?

The following can influence mosquitoes’ flight capacity

  • Landscape structure
  • Meteorological conditions
  • Temperature, humidity, illumination
  • Differences in mosquitoes species type physiology

Generally, mozzies have an average maximum flight distance of between 50 meter and 50 kilometre, depending on the species. Only a few mosquito species are long-distance travels, and those species are not diseased causing pests. The day-biting Aedes mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti – yellow fever mosquito, and Aedes albopictus – tiger mosquito, both transmitting diseases like dengue, zika, chikungunya) are weak flyers and mostly fly only between 50 and 700 meter.

Although some travel up to almost 3km, this also explains why some traps recommended at every 400m2 interval placements.

8. How long do mosquitoes live without their blood meal?

In general, mosquitoes live for several weeks. However, mosquitoes that go into hibernation can survive at least for 4 months on nothing but water and their fat reserves. This means, adopting pest control companies to perform mosquito control is important to protect yourself and family from harm caused by mozzies in a consistent and regular manner.

9. What can you do for mosquito bite relief?

According to the healthline experts, here are some suggestions to relieve the nasty bite.

  • Cold temperature and icing not only reduces inflammation but helps numb the skin for short term and immediate relief
  • Try applying aloe vera that that contains anti-inflammatory properties
  • Purchase some anti-itch and bite relieve cream from a pharmacy
  • Relief itch, to some extent, using Calamine lotions
  • Honey, a commonly sought-after natural relief for anti-inflammation purposes
Pouring honey on spoon

Honey is commonly-used for it's anti-inflammation properties

Debugging common mosquito pest myths

With the rise in these dreadful and deadly pests, what are the mosquito prevention home remedies that address the common question on how do you keep mosquitoes away naturally?

Here are some mozzie myths to debug:

  • While there is a tendency for mosquitoes to target larger size individuals due to more carbon dioxide and heat emitted that attracts them. They might have more surfaces for mozzies to reach. However, there are more factors contributing to mosquito attraction.
  • People with fair skin are prone to mosquito bites are not true. Perhaps they are a target perceived with the more visible and prominent bumps seen on the skin.
  • All mosquitoes make buzzing sounds regardless of gender. It comes from their quick and repetitive beating of wings that produces the buzzing sound effect.

How to get rid of mosquitoes effectively?

Firstly, the critical and first step to take is to adopt mosquito breeding prevention activities. Secondly, address the elimination of root sources and preventing these larvae from growing into an adult through larviciding measures. Thirdly, eliminate adult mosquitoes flying around through fogging and traps. Above all, these are done by professional pest control services.

Correct your common home guilt with mosquitoes

Do you know, some actions and home designs may promote a mosquito infestation? This includes the following:

  • Poor planting and landscaping habits
  • Missing out on potential water receptacles
  • Compromised housekeeping around water leaks
  • Insufficient mosquito control measures in place
  • Neglected gully traps and drains or external area

Read here on the full content coverage on common home mozzie mistakes.

Spraying on plants

Practicing good housekeeping habits can help to prevent mosquito breeding.

Get a home inspection check today

Start getting some visibility on potential hot spots your home might be having right now. Infestation signs are usually small, less obvious, hidden or non-familiar to the eyes of the untrained. In addition, detection of mosquitoes is hard as they hide well or beyond sight and reach. Engage a professional and trained pest control specialists to detect and perform pest identification.

Call Rentokil Pest Control at 6347 8138 for an integrated mosquito pest control today.

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