Things like barbecues and beach trips come to mind when you think of summer. Aside from all of the fun in the sun, the season is also recognized as a peak period for mosquitoes. These pests may ruin any summertime activity by generating itchy red bumps and are capable of transmitting serious diseases such as West Nile virus, Zika virus, and eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), among others, throughout the United States.
However, you can buy the fly swatter to killer the mosquitos.
The itchy feeling caused by a mosquito bite is well-known to most individuals. But why do mosquito bites itch in the first place, and why do they bite people?
What causes mosquitos to bite?
Mosquitoes that bite require blood protein to sustain their growing eggs. As a result, only female mosquitoes bite. Biting mosquitos use a variety of cues to find a host, including carbon dioxide, heat, and body odor. Some people are more attracted to mosquitoes than others due to various variables.
What causes mosquito bites to itch?
When a mosquito bites, it pierces the skin and draws blood with straw-like mouthparts. The mosquito injects part of its saliva, which includes an anticoagulant and specific proteins. The anticoagulant keeps blood from clotting around the mosquito’s mouth, which may cause it to become entrapped.
The proteins secreted by the mosquito activate the body’s immune system, causing histamine, a chemical that allows white blood cells to enter the affected area, to be released. Histamine causes inflammation and edema by increasing blood flow and white blood cell count. Histamine also sends messages to the bites’ nerves, causing mosquito bites to itch.
While some people may suffer the well-known irritation, others may be unaware that they have been bitten. Some adults do not react at all to mosquito bites. Adults who are repeatedly exposed to the same types of mosquitoes may develop some resistance to the protein, resulting in reduced immune system responses and slight itching. People who travel to new regions and come into contact with different mosquito species, on the other hand, will experience itching reactions.
Is it true that scratching mosquito bites makes them itch much more?
Scratching a mosquito bite will most likely aggravate the itchy feeling by promoting inflammation. Scratching a bite can also raise the risk of infection if the skin is broken.
How to Avoid Mosquito Bites
To avoid mosquito bites and itchiness, remove any areas of standing water around the property, such as flowerpots, birdbaths, and grill covers, as these are excellent mosquito breeding grounds. Females lay eggs in materials that may retain as little as half an inch of water, which means a bottle cap can store enough water for larvae to develop!
Homeowners should also screen all windows and doors, patching any holes. Furthermore, many mosquito species are most active at dark and dawn, so limit your time outside. When possible, wear long pants and sleeves and apply insect repellent with an EPA-registered chemical such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Although it may appear straightforward, there are correct and incorrect ways to apply insect repellant.