Mosquito biting skin

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Mosquito bites

Although most mosquito bites are harmless and do not carry the risk of serious illnesses, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in annual reports of mosquito-borne diseases. In particular these include viruses like West Nile Virus, Zika, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

A person’s chance of becoming ill from a single mosquito bite remains relatively low. Nevertheless, you should always ensure that you take the appropriate steps necessary to prevent mosquitoes from biting you and your family, thus reducing the risks of being infected by a serious vector-borne disease.

What do mosquito bites look like?

Female mosquitoes are attracted to us by our body heat, the carbon dioxide in our breath, perspiration on our skin and even our body odor. They are capable of travelling between 1-2 miles in search of a blood meal.

Male mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant juices because their mouth parts are not designed for piercing skin and feeding on protein.

Mosquito bite symptoms

  • Itchy Red Bumps - Visible red bumps that are itchy and that appear on the surface of your skin after a female mosquito has punctured the skin with her thin proboscis. She does this to feed on your blood, later using the protein from the blood to produce eggs.

  • Swelling - A mosquito's saliva contains proteins, digestive enzymes and an anticoagulant that prevents our blood from clotting. The protein in their saliva provokes an immune response from your body, resulting in redness, swelling and a bump.

Why do mosquito bites itch?

When you're bitten by a mosquito, your body reacts by producing histamine to fight the bite. The histamine causes a bump to form in the affected area which irritates nerves, resulting in an itchy feeling. 

The swelling will usually subside as the immune cells in your body break down the foreign agents in the bloodstream – generally disappearing before the itch does.

The swelling will usually subside as the immune cells in your body break down the foreign agents in the blood stream and generally disappear before the itching does.

How to get rid of mosquito bites

Reaction to bites will vary from person to person. Symptoms that develop are just our immune system’s response to their saliva. Mosquitoes don’t actually inject anything into us when they bite.  Here are some ways to aid mosquito bite relief: 

  • Clean the wound - this is the most important treatment for a mosquito bite.

  • Use an ice pack - swelling can be reduced immediately after a bite by covering it with an ice pack. It may take more than a week to go down and may remain itchy for several days.

  • Take antihistamines - itchiness and swelling can be relieved with antihistamine creams for bites and stings. Oral antihistamine can also help, especially if you have multiple bites.

  • Do not scratch - avoid scratching as this will increase the itch and could lead to the bite becoming infected by bacteria.

Are you worried about your reaction to a bite?

Young children and those with repeated bites are more likely to develop a severe reaction.

Consult a doctor if:

  • The swelling or pain is so severe that it prevents movement or sleeping.

  • The swelling continues to worsen more than a day after the bite.

  • The bite appears to be infected.

Call 911 immediately if a bite causes swelling to the throat, mouth or tongue that restricts breathing.

Need professional mosquito treatment?

Call Rentokil now at 1-800-837-5520 or contact us online to benefit from our range of efficient mosquito control solutions.

We provide season-long mosquito control by creating a mosquito-free barrier around your property. We also target adult mosquitoes where they rest using conventional or all-natural materials.


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