Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Me?
Female mosquitoes are the only mosquitoes to bite, and they do so in order to retrieve nutrients within our blood. These nutrients are necessary for the development of eggs. So, once a female mosquito bites, she is able to breed and lay eggs. Male mosquitoes do not bite. While we refer to this activity as “biting”, in reality, the female mosquito is piercing your skin with her proboscis, almost like a needle. The proboscis contains two tubes, unlike just the one in a hypodermic syringe. One of these tubes injects saliva that contains a mix of chemicals to reduce pain, thin your blood and prevent it from clotting. The other is used to suck up the blood.
Signs of a Mosquito Bite
Mosquito bites most frequently occur on exposed parts of the body. The most common symptoms that result from a mosquito bite are:
- Pinkish red bumps that are itchy will form just minutes after the mosquito pierces the skin.
- Over the next day or two, these bumps can become redder and darken.
- The bump from a mosquito bite is less than ½ inch across.
- The most common mosquito bite symptom is itching. Scratching at the bites can worsen the symptoms and cause bruising or rashes.
- In severe cases, fever, severe headaches, nausea, and fatigue can be a sign of a serious problem. Always consult a medical professional when experiencing these symptoms.
Will a Mosquito Bite My Dog or Cat?
Although mosquitoes prefer to bite humans, they can also bite your pets. Short-haired cats and dogs are more likely to be bitten, as mosquitoes have easier access to the skin. That said, mosquitoes can bite any pet easily on their nose, ears, or belly. In addition to giving your pets irritating bite marks, mosquitoes can transmit diseases to animals just like they can to humans. Always take your pet to your veterinarian if you notice any odd symptoms from a mosquito bite.