Do Mosquitoes Bite?
When you think of mosquitoes, you likely think of their bites. Female mosquitoes bite in order to feed on blood, which they need to be able to reproduce. To bite, mosquitoes utilize their long, needle-like proboscis. Mosquitoes don’t only bite humans, but also small birds and mammals. These bites can cause marks and rashes on the skin.
While rare here in Vermont, mosquito bites are tied to some of the world’s most dangerous diseases, making it important to learn about recognizing the symptoms of these bites.
Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Me?
Female mosquitoes bite in order to retrieve the 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 inject saliva that contains a mix of chemicals to reduce pain, thin your blood, and prevent it from clotting. The other tube is used to suck up the blood.
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What Do Mosquito Bites Look Like?
Mosquito bites often show up on areas of your body that were not covered with clothing—your neck, arms, legs, ankles, and more. These bites can lead to a number of symptoms:
- Pinkish red bumps that are itchy will form just minutes after the mosquito pierces the skin.
- In one to two days, 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 Mosquitoes Bite My Dog or Cat?
Mosquitoes don’t only bite people! In fact, mosquito bites on dogs and cats can be quite common. Animals with thick fur are less likely to be bitten, but can still get bites on their nose or stomach. A mosquito bite on an animal can result in similar symptoms as they do on people. In any case, it’s crucial to take your pet to your veterinarian if they begin to exhibit any odd symptoms.
Do Mosquitoes Bite? in Vermont
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