Do Mosquitoes Bite?
Mosquitoes are notorious for their bites. Female mosquitoes use their proboscis to pierce the skin and draw our blood. Mosquitoes also like to bite small mammals and birds in addition to humans. These bites usually cause bumps and rashes on the skin.
More infamously, mosquito bites are known to transmit a number of diseases. Malaria, a common disease spread by mosquitoes, contributes to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide every year. Luckily for us, mosquito-borne diseases in Illinois and Indiana are rare. Nonetheless, a mosquito bite is something that everyone would rather avoid.
Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Us?
Female mosquitoes bite in order to siphon essential nutrients from our blood. These nutrients are needed to begin the development of eggs. On the other hand, male mosquitoes do not bite humans. While we refer to these marks as “bites”, what the female is actually doing is piercing your skin with her proboscis, much like a needle. The proboscis contains two tubes. One of these tubes injects saliva into the bloodstream 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.
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Mosquito Bite Symptoms in Illinois and Indiana
Mosquitoes will most often bite areas of exposed skin. Here’s what the most usual mosquito bite symptoms look like:
- Itchy, pinkish-red bumps will form just minutes after the mosquito pierces the skin.
- These bumps can become redder and darken over the next few days.
- A bump from a mosquito bite is less than ½ inch across.
- The most common mosquito bite symptom is itchiness. Scratching a bite usually worsens the symptoms, causing bruising or rashes.
- In drastic cases, fever, severe headaches, nausea, and fatigue can be indicators of a more serious problem. Always consult a medical professional when experiencing these symptoms.
Will Mosquitoes Bite Your Pets?
Yes, mosquitoes can and will bite your pets, including cats, dogs, and more. Cats are less likely to be targeted due to their thick coat of hair. However, they can be bitten on their nose and ears. Dogs, on the other hand, are much more susceptible to mosquito bites. In addition to giving your pets irritating bite marks, mosquitoes can transmit diseases to animals just as they do to humans.