Here’s a list of 9 things about Mosquito bites that you didn’t know before.
1. Not every mosquito bites
With 3,500 breeds of mosquito across the world, it seems clear that not all of them will bite. Only the female ones suck blood and not always human blood. The Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the dangerous ones in the USA, and are clearly identifiable due to their markings.
2. Is blood type special?
There are disputes regarding which blood type is favoured and while it is said to be O, there is no proof it is more wanted than A and B.
3. They like CO2
It is likely that someone who drinks beer, or a woman who is pregnant will be more tempting for a mosquito. As they look for heat and are attracted to chemicals, they target those who exhale more carbon dioxide than others. This helps the mosquito identify if a human is nearby.
4. Some people are affected more than others
Not everyone has a bad reaction but for most there will be some itching felt when there has been a bite. This itch is created by the histamine that the body produces to fight the saliva that has been put in by the mosquito.
5. Scratching makes it worse
This is true and where possible the bites should be left, although this can be difficult to do. It is a vicious circle, the scratch increases the histamine level meaning the itch gets worse so there is more scratching. There is also the risk of infection if the skin gets broken.
6. Use OTC medication
Mild soap and water is still the best thing to use as soon as there has been a bite. This cools the itch and will wash away some of the saliva that is not yet in the body. If there is the need to use something medical then anti-inflammatories or cortisone creams will work.
7. They spread a scary virus
Chikungunya has no vaccine and there have been a number of cases across the Caribbean and the United States. This has led to concerns that there will be an additional number of cases in the near future. It takes about a week for the symptoms to show and these symptoms are headaches, joint pain and fever. There is little chance that anyone will die as a result of this, but they may wish they had.
8. Threat from West Nile
In the USA there is still a risk of the West Nile virus and while the numbers are down over the years, there are still cases being reported. It tends not to be an aggressive virus, but if there are underlying health issues such as diabetes, then there can be quite severe infections. Medical attention will be needed if symptoms are found.
9. All repellants are equal
DEET will keep a mosquito at bay but as there are different levels of DEET in the different products, some will be more effective. The range is an amazing 96 %, as some will be all DEET, others just 4%. Citronella candles may work, but there is nothing scientific to say that this is the case. Even the apps that are meant to keep them away are untested and there is nothing to say mosquitoes are affected by ultrasonic frequencies.