As soon as the weather warms up in spring, mosquitoes and mosquito bites appear seemingly out of nowhere. Bothering people with their buzzing and biting, mosquitoes are an ever-present nuisance during the summer months. What causes those itchy welts they leave behind?
Mosquitoes start life in pools of standing water as small, wriggling larvae. Their larvae provide food to numerous species of aquatic life such a fish, turtles, and frogs. Of the larvae that survive to adulthood only the female mosquitoes bite, causing the itchy and scratchy immune system response you’re used to all summer long.
When a mosquito hones in on a blood vessel or vein (if they’re lucky) it will settle on you to begin feeding on your blood. As it feeds it injects its saliva into the vessel which acts as an anticoagulant, allowing blood to flow more freely. It is your body’s reaction to the saliva that makes mosquito bites itch. The allergic reactions to mosquito bites don’t always happen on the first bite of the season; our allergic reactions can get worse with more exposure, so the second or third bite may be what it takes to kick off your immune system response.
Don’t Give In To Mosquito Bites!
Scratching may make the itching of a mosquito bite worse due to an increase in the immune response to the affected area. Lucky for you, there are a few things you can do to help with the itch.
Some home remedies that work include applying heat, aloe, or honey to the affected area. The heat has been shown to reduce itching and inflammation, and both aloe and honey have anti-inflammatory properties. These treatments can be used on other insect bites and stings as well for pain and relief of itching.
In addition to being just plain annoying, mosquitoes can carry a number of dangerous and sometimes life-threatening diseases. In the United States, these include Yellow Fever, Encephalitis, and the West Nile Virus; so wearing insect repellant when outdoors is key. To ensure you’ll have a bug-free time, you can call a professional such as Organically Green Horticultural Services to treat your property. They offer treatments that are safe for your pets and your family and help ensure that you have a bite-free summer (at least in your own backyard).