The Science Behind Mosquito Bites

Ever wondered what happens when a mosquito bites you? Why the bite itches? How to treat the bite?

Everyone knows mosquitoes are a nuisance, but not everyone knows how these creatures work. Despite their small size, mosquitoes can cause a lot of harm– not to mention they are the deadliest animals in the world

Knowing the science behind mosquitoes and their bites is important for us as mosquito control professionals. We also believe it is important to educate our customers on these things in order to practice thorough mosquito control. So, here are some things you might not have known about mosquitoes, their infamous bites, and how to treat them:

Why do mosquitoes bite?

The short answer is, mosquitoes bite to survive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, female mosquitoes need a blood meal to lay their eggs. In order to get that blood meal, they must feed on humans and/or animals. Because blood meals are only needed to lay eggs, male mosquitoes do not bite people and typically feed off of flower nectar and fruit juices.

What happens when a mosquito bites you?

Mosquitoes have a mouthpart on their heads called a proboscis. Female mosquitoes use their proboscis to pierce the skin of their host and suck its blood. Since male mosquitoes do not need to feed on blood, their proboscis is not strong enough to pierce the skin of a human or animal.

Why do mosquito bites itch?

Mosquitoes are known for leaving a nasty bite when they are done feeding on a host. But what makes a mosquito bite itch? It’s actually very simple: when a mosquito bites a person (or animal), it injects a little bit of saliva into the host. The itchiness that follows is a result of your body reacting to the mosquito’s saliva. 

How do you treat a mosquito bite?

There are a few different ways you can treat a mosquito bite. The CDC recommends the following:

  • Washing the bite with soap and water
  • Applying an ice pack for 10 minutes to reduce swelling and itchiness
  • Applying a mixture of baking soda and water

How can you prevent mosquito bites?

While knowing how to properly treat mosquito bites is important, learning how to prevent mosquito bites is even more crucial. The purpose of mosquito control is to protect you and your family from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, which means putting an end to mosquito bites. Here are some ways you can prevent mosquito bites around your home and outdoor space:

  • Get rid of any standing water in your yard. Standing water tends to collect in items like trash can lids, tire swings, and children’s toys.
  • Wear insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when you are outside.
  • Minimize your outdoor activity during dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are typically most active. 
  • Hire a local mosquito control company

Hiring a local mosquito control company is the best way to ensure mosquitoes stay away from your property. At Mosquito Authority, we use proven treatments to make sure you have a mosquito-free yard. 
Find your local mosquito control company here.