You may be scratching like mad, but you haven’t actually been bitten at all
Few things are more annoying then when you’re sitting outside on a nice warm day and suddenly you get a bite from a pesky mosquito. The moment is instantly ruined, and now you have to go inside to avoid getting chomped on further.
Mosquitos can be awful, but they are also very misunderstood, as are their bites. For one thing, they’re not actually bites at all. Let us explain.
Only females need apply
First of all, not all mosquitos bother us, and the ones that do are only females. And when you see that little lady fluttering near you, she’s not thinking about biting you exactly, but, like a vampire, she is after your blood.
How does she get it without biting?
If you’ve ever seen a picture of a mosquito (or perhaps had a very close encounter), you will have seen a long appendage on its head. This is the proboscis, and a mosquito will stick it into your skin to search for a blood vessel. When it’s found, the clever girl will release some of her saliva into the wound, which contains an anti-coagulant. The point of this is to keep your blood flowing so she can suck up as much as possible.
Why don’t we swat that mosquito immediately?
Good question. You would think having a mosquito straw inserted in us that removes our blood would raise an alarm, but remember that mosquito spit? In addition to it allowing that mosquito to basically have an all-you-can-eat blood buffet, it also numbs your skin, so you may not feel anything until that little bugger is long gone.
Your body knows what your brain doesn’t
Your brain may not register what’s going on when a mosquito is feasting on you, but your body certainly does. Once that saliva hits your skin, your immune system produces histamine, a substance used to help with allergic reactions. When the histamine gets to the right spot, those blood vessels the mosquito was so interested in start to swell up, which results in a red bump.
And the itch begins
Mosquito “bites” are itchy because those swelling blood vessels create irritation with your nerves, and your body feels this as itchiness. And that’s when the real fun begins and you have to spend the next several days doing a lot of scratching.
Whatever you want to call what a mosquito does to you, it’s still unpleasant and potentially dangerous with diseases like Zika making an appearance. This is why it is important to stay protected at all times. Sprays and citronella candles may work for a little while, but they’re only a temporary fix. For a better solution, Platinum Mosquito Protection will install a home misting system that will keep mosquitos out of your yard and away from your family.
Get in touch now for a free consultation – and start living a life without mosquitos.