Why Itchy Mosquito Bites Are Potentially Dangerous
Why do mosquito bites itch, and why does scratching a mosquito bite feel so darn good? Learn about how mosquito bites work, how and why they bite, plus why mosquito bites are potentially very dangerous.
Before we get into why mosquito bites itch, please remember that you should always try to avoid these bites whenever possible. Mosquito bites come with a risk of spreading diseases. These flying pests are known carriers of viruses like West Nile and Zika. And while most mosquitoes don't carry these diseases, a bite can potentially cause serious health issues beyond an annoying or painful itch.
Mosquito Bite FAQ
Why do mosquito bites itch and why does scratching a bite (temporarily) feel good? Let’s take a look at how mosquito bites work, as well as why these flying insects bite animals and humans.
◾️ Why do mosquitoes bite?
Mosquitoes are the “vampires” of the insect world. Female mosquitoes have an insatiable need for blood, but only the females. But unlike fictional vampires (think Dracula or Nosferatu), these flying insects don't need blood to stay alive; they only need blood for reproducing and laying eggs. Human and animal blood contain proteins that help mosquitoes survive.
◾️ How does a mosquito bite?
Mosquitoes are light as a feather. Their stealthy biting behavior is so efficient, you often don't know you've been bitten (unless you hear or see them) until the blood-draining culprit has already winged off.
When a mosquito lands on your body, she quickly inserts her proboscis into your skin. The proboscis is like a tiny straw, with several parts. A female mosquito will use her proboscis to locate a blood vessel. As she draws blood into her body, she releases anti-coagulant saliva, which keeps the blood flowing.
After a bite, your immune system will quickly kick in. Your body will produce histamine to counteract this invasive foreign substance (mosquito saliva). Histamine triggers blood vessel swelling, which causes a red bump and irritation at the bite location, along with an itching sensation. This itching lets you know you've been bitten.
◾️ Why does scratching a mosquito bite feel good?
Scratching offers temporary relief (distracting your nerve cells from the itching sensation). But you should always resist the temptation to scratch. Your nails can break the skin, opening the door to infection.
◾️ What is an effective mosquito bite remedy (for itching)?
Baking soda and water is a natural soothing remedy that works. Mix baking soda with water to create a thick paste, then apply the paste to the bite area. Roll-on antiperspirant deodorant works for some people as well. Or, you can try an anti-itch cream or lotion.
Mosquitoes breed in large numbers. And while most of these flying insects don't carry harmful viruses, some pose a significant threat to public health through their bites. Mosquito-borne illnesses can be life-threatening, which is why MosquitoNix® offers a portable On-The-Go Dispenser and other eco-friendly mosquito treatments.
Contact our mosquito-fighting experts today to set up a free consultation to learn about mosquito control options that will make your property safer, more comfortable and mosquito free.
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