Everything You Need to Know About Mosquito Bites
Mosquitoes are some of the most hated insects of the outdoors. Their bite leaves a nasty itch and plants a lingering worry in your mind about dangerous diseases like the Zika virus, West Nile virus, and more. Learn why mosquitoes bite, why they bite certain people more, and what you can do about it.
Why Mosquitoes Bite
Female mosquitoes need protein in the production of their eggs. Unfortunately for humans and animals, they get that protein from our blood.
Their method of blood removal is pretty ingenious, if not a little creepy. First, the mosquito uses her proboscis (like a needle) to pierce your skin, looking for a capillary for blood. As she does this, she injects saliva, which prevents your blood from coagulating but also temporarily numbs the area so you don’t feel the bite. That moment when you feel the mosquito and slap it away? That’s the moment when she’s actually pulling out after having a nice long drink of your blood.
Injecting her saliva means she may also inject deadly diseases into your bloodstream.
Why Do Some People Get Bitten More Often?
It’s not a myth. Mosquitoes really are attracted to some people more than others. What are those factors that make one person especially delicious to a mosquito?
- People with Type O blood
- People drinking beer
- People who are exercising (mosquitoes are drawn to sweat, heat, and movement)
- People who are emitting more carbon dioxide (pregnant women and those who are overweight)
- People who produce excess amounts of uric acid
- People with high concentrations of cholesterol or steroids on their skin
In addition, it is believed that dark clothing attracts mosquitoes because it makes you more visible.
How Can You Avoid Mosquitoes?
Because mosquitoes have some pretty predictable behaviors, you can minimize your exposure to the blood sucking insects in the following ways:
- Stay inside during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear light-colored clothing if you’re going to be outside during peak mosquito hours.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing so mosquitoes can’t bite through your clothes.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, and socks.
- Avoid spending time near standing water.
- Stay as cool and dry as possible when outdoors.
- Try these natural mosquito repellants – eat garlic regularly, use cinnamon leaf oil, wash with citronella soap, catnip oil or try DEET free bug spray.
Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Home
If you’re having a mosquito problem near your home, you can take several different measures to minimize the mosquitoes.
First, make sure there is no standing water on your property. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, and they can make quick work of it too. Even the pet’s water dish should not be left out. Give your pet a drink, and then pick up the dish and put it away until your pet is thirsty again.
Make sure your screens don’t have holes or gaps anywhere, and repair any tears as soon as they happen. You can also plant marigolds around your yard. Mosquitoes don’t like their scent, and will likely stay away.
Another solution is to install a bat house on your property. Since bats love to eat mosquitoes, they’ll be responsible for keeping the insect population down. Of course, then you’ll have bats on your property which isn’t real appealing to many people.
Run a house fan when you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time. Mosquitoes aren’t strong flyers and will struggle to come near if there is a steady breeze blowing.
Prevention is Paramount
Remember that mosquitoes are more than an annoyance. They actually cause more deaths than any other animal through the spread of malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and more. One mosquito can infect more than 100 people. You can’t go overboard in protecting your family from the effects of mosquito bites. Mosquito control should always be a high priority and for the best professional mosquito control in the Austin and Houston, TX area, contact Barefoot Mosquito today!
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