Mosquito Bites: What Happens and How to Protect Yourself
20 Sept 2023
MOSQUITOS AND BITING INSECTS
Mosquitoes, those tiny but persistent insects, are a common nuisance that can quickly turn a pleasant outdoor experience into an itchy ordeal. Beyond the annoyance, mosquito bites can also pose health risks, as they are known to transmit various diseases. In this article, we will delve into what happens when a mosquito bites you and provide practical tips on how to protect yourself from these buzzing critters.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A MOSQUITO BITES?
When a mosquito bites, you'll likely notice a swollen, red-ringed white bump on your skin. This characteristic appearance is a result of your body's response to the mosquito's intrusion.
ITCHING AND INFECTION
Mosquito bites can itch intensely and persist for days. Scratching can further exacerbate the irritation and may lead to breaks in the skin. These open wounds can become susceptible to bacterial infections, resulting in a secondary infection that complicates the healing process.
SALIVA AND PATHOGENS
During a mosquito bite, the mosquito isn't just taking your blood; she's also introducing her saliva into your bloodstream. This saliva contains chemicals that prevent your blood from clotting, allowing the mosquito to feed more easily. Unfortunately, this is also how potentially dangerous pathogens, such as viruses, can enter your bloodstream and lead to illnesses.
DIGESTING AND REPRODUCTION
After sipping on your blood, the mosquito will seek a resting place to digest her meal and develop her eggs. Once her mission is complete, she'll fly off in search of a suitable pool of water to deposit her eggs, continuing the cycle of mosquito life.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM MOSQUITO BITES AND DISEASE TRANSMISSION
Now that we've explored what happens when a mosquito bites, let's dive into effective ways to protect yourself from these tiny but troublesome creatures and the diseases they may carry:
When spending time outdoors, especially in mosquito-prone areas, consider wearing loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants. This physical barrier can help prevent mosquito bites.
USE DEET-BASED REPELLENTS
DEET, short for Diethyltoluamide, remains the gold standard among insect repellents. It is effective not only against mosquitoes but also against ticks, fleas, leeches, and many other biting insects. Apply mosquito repellent containing DEET to exposed skin, but avoid applying it near your eyes, mouth, open wounds, broken skin, or abrasions. Always follow the product label instructions for safe and effective use.