When summer comes, most people wear shorts and vests and spend more time outdoors. But that’s when most insects, such as mosquitoes, come in large numbers. These pests know how to spoil a good evening with their constant biting. You might be familiar with the itching that follows a mosquito bite. It’s quite an uncomfortable experience. But why do insect bites itch, and what can you do to alleviate the discomfort?
Only female mosquitoes bite, as they need blood to lay their eggs. These mosquitoes have a mouthpart called a proboscis that can pierce the skin to draw blood. The act of breaking into the skin can cause some pain and irritation. However, most irritation comes from mosquito saliva, which they inject into the body to prevent the blood from clotting while they feed.
After the mosquito secretes saliva into the blood system, the body’s immune system recognizes it as a foreign substance and releases histamine. Histamine works by binding to specific receptors in the body called histamine receptors.
When histamine binds to its receptors, it causes the blood vessels to widen, increasing blood flow to the affected area. It also makes the walls of blood vessels more permeable, allowing fluid and white blood cells to move from the blood vessels into the surrounding tissues. As more fluid flows to the affected area, the skin swells and becomes itchy.
When you feel itchy, you may start scratching a mosquito bite. But that can lead to more problems, like increased swelling and tearing of the skin.
As a result, you may get an infection or even feel itchier. That’s why scratching a mosquito bite isn’t recommended. So, how should you handle a mosquito bite?
Instead of scratching a mosquito bite, apply a topical anti-itch cream to the affected area. Anti-itch creams and ointments come in different types and contain ingredients like hydrocortisone, calamine, and menthol. You can buy the creams over the counter.
Other treatment options you can try at home include cleaning the affected area with soap and water to remove dirt and bacteria. Also, you can apply ice for a few minutes to reduce itching and swelling. Ice can numb the area, reducing any feelings of itchiness. If you have no ice, soak a piece of cloth in cold water, then use it to compress the affected area.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) can also help reduce itchiness and inflammation. So, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with water to create a paste. Then apply the paste to the area and let it stay for about ten minutes before rinsing it.
It’s essential to know that not everyone reacts the same way to mosquito bites. Some may not have any symptoms, while others may develop severe symptoms. Also, the remedies for mosquito bites may not yield the same results for everyone. If you develop severe symptoms after a mosquito bite, seek medical advice.
Mosquito bites can itch for several days. That can cause significant discomfort, especially for people with a severe reaction to mosquito bites. Fortunately, for most people, these bites don’t cause more harm than itching, swelling, and redness.
But sometimes, a simple bite can lead to diseases like the West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever, and the Zika virus. Therefore, preventing mosquito bites is essential to remaining safe. But how can you do that?
One of the most effective ways is by using insect repellent. A mosquito repellent helps mask our body odor and the carbon dioxide we exhale because those two things attract mosquitoes. If you have to be out in the evening, wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt to avoid exposing your skin. Also, remove any standing water around your home to discourage mosquito breeding.
Mosquitoes are resilient pests that can be challenging to eliminate. They can easily spread from one place to another and develop insecticide resistance. Therefore, the best way to get rid of mosquitoes is to work with a pest control company. McDonald Pest Control has expert technicians who use highly effective methods to eliminate mosquitoes.
Don’t let these pests ruin your outdoor activities or put your family at risk of mosquito-borne illnesses. Take the first step towards a mosquito-free environment.
Call our pest control services to schedule your mosquito treatment and start enjoying the great outdoors again.