Mosquito bites are an intractable pain. It can be red, itchy, and take a long time to go away. While mosquitoes may seem more annoying than others, mosquitoes can actually carry a number of diseases.
Dengue fever, malaria, Zika virus, West Nile virus, and chikungunya fever are some of the diseases that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Today we will be sharing all the details of mosquito bites, including why mosquitoes bite, who they bite, and how to reduce the risk.
Why do mosquitoes bite?
Before we begin, it should be clear that not all mosquitoes bite. There are about 3,500 species of mosquitoes, and only three of them suck blood. These are the mosquito mosquitoes, house mosquitoes, and forest mosquitoes.
Likewise, if only female mosquitoes are taken into account, this number is even lower. Females need protein to produce and lay eggs. Therefore, it sucks our blood to meet our nutritional needs.
Typically, a female mosquito can lay 30 to 300 eggs at a time. To produce more eggs, the female mosquito must drink more blood.
Male mosquitoes do not bite because they get their nutrients from plant nectar and other liquids. Females can live without drinking blood, but the three species mentioned above need to drink blood to reproduce.
Female mosquitoes bite because they need nutrients in their blood to reproduce.
Why does it itch when a mosquito bites?
When a mosquito bite, a sharp needle in the mosquito’s mouth pierces the skin and injects saliva into the area. This prevents the blood from clotting, allowing mosquitoes to suck blood more efficiently.
The immune system reacts to chemicals in the insect’s saliva, which can cause a variety of reactions, such as redness, swelling, and itching.
Although these symptoms are more common than others, children, people with weakened immune systems, and adults who have never been bitten by a mosquito tend to react more strongly to mosquito bites. These more serious symptoms may include fever and chronic urticaria.
Is there anyone who is good at mosquito bites?
It may be unfair, but the answer is “yes”. Mosquitoes have preferences. Some studies show that 20% of the population cannot resist mosquitoes. Likewise, entomologists have discovered other factors that can make you more attractive to these insects.
Read below for some of the most common ingredients that can make mosquitoes a favourite snack.
1. Colour of clothes
Mosquitoes use their sight to find food. Studies have shown that mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colours like black, green and red. In other words, wearing these colours can be a target for many mosquito bites.
2. Blood type
As mentioned earlier, female mosquitoes rely on proteins in their blood to produce eggs. So it’s not surprising that you’re so fond of certain blood types. In one study, an entomologist observed that mosquitoes preferred people with blood type O twice as much as people with blood type A and least preferred people with blood type B.
3. Breath of carbon dioxide
Mosquitoes can smell the carbon dioxide we release when we breathe. So the more you exhale, the more vulnerable you are to mosquito bites. If so, be prepared to fight mosquitoes the next time you walk or jog outdoors.
This explains why you often hear the constant buzzing of bugs around your head. Because they are drawn to your breath!
4. Blood composition of blood and body temperature
Mosquitoes can also detect prey by sniffing lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia, and other blood components released in sweat. Also, these insects prefer people with a higher body temperature.
Maintaining an active lifestyle in this way can actually make you more prone to mosquito bites. This is because the amount of lactic acid in the blood increases and the body temperature rises. However, there are genetic factors at play when it comes to how much uric acid and other components are secreted in the blood.
5. Bacteria on the skin
Scientific research has shown that the type and amount of bacteria on your skin can make you more susceptible to mosquito bites. The most irresistible mosquitoes were those with more specific types of skin microbes.
This could help explain why so many mosquitoes flock to their feet and ankles. Because that area is a den of bacteria.
Studies have shown that pregnant women are more likely to be bitten than non-pregnant women. This is because pregnant women emit about 21% more carbon dioxide and have a significantly higher body temperature.
A study conducted in 2002 found an association between alcohol consumption and higher rates of mosquito bites. The researchers concluded that beer drinkers were more attractive to mosquitoes than non-beer drinkers.
Mosquito bites are irritating and can transmit disease.
Can mosquito bites be prevented?
There are some simple things you can’t change to avoid mosquito bites, but there are a few steps you can take to limit your mosquito bites to some degree.
What’s even better is that it can reduce your risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases. Here are some simple tips to avoid mosquito bites.
- Use insect repellent.
- Wear long-sleeved tops, long pants, and socks if possible.
- Choose brightly coloured clothes.
- Do not go out at dawn and sunset as this is the time when mosquitoes are most active.
- Keep the terrace away from places where mosquitoes can spawn, such as places with standing water.
- Try to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
Of the 3,500 mosquito species, only three are blood-sucking. Moreover, only female mosquitoes bite to get the nutrients they need to produce and lay eggs.
In other words, there are certain people who prefer mosquitoes over others. This group includes pregnant women, people who drink beer, people with blood type O, people who like sports, and people with certain bacteria on their skin.
Some of these factors are not easy to change, but following the advice above can minimize your risk.