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Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?

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Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?

If you’ve ever been on a hike or picnic outdoors close to a water source, you have likely been bit by a mosquito. You may find mosquito bites to be pesky but only slightly annoying, or you may be one of the unlucky few for whom mosquito bites become huge, swollen lumps. Similarly, you might be one of those people who can be outdoors near a stream and get one or two bites, or one of the unlucky ones who mosquitos seem to love and get bit dozens of times. 

Why are mosquito bites so itchy? What happens when a mosquito bites you that causes an itchy and painful reaction? And why do some people have severe reactions to mosquito bites while others seem to have little to no reaction at all?

What Happens When A Mosquito Bites You?

When mosquitos pierce your skin to feed off your blood, they are not just helping themselves to a nice meal, they are all leaving behind their own saliva as well. It is this saliva that causes the reaction we refer to when we talk about itchy mosquito bites. 

Only female mosquitos are capable of biting, and when they do, they pump as much saliva into your veins as they suck out blood. This saliva contains an anticoagulant which does the job of keeping your blood from clotting so the mosquito can get as much blood as quickly as possible into her system before she’s noticed. Her saliva also contains up to 19 other enzymes and proteins any of which can directly cause an allergic reaction. 

Why Does The Itchiness Of A Bite Last So Long?

The itchiness of a bite comes not from the piercing of the skin or from the anticoagulant or proteins and enzymes, but rather from your body’s immune system which responds to these proteins by releasing histamine, a naturally occurring chemical, into your body. Histamine then sends a signal to the nerves around the bite which is what we interpret as itching. Recent studies suggest that our bodies’ immune systems can react to these mosquito bites for up to a week, which is why some people can remain miserable and itchy for so long. Scratching the bite site can also make any itching sensation worse by increasing the inflammation of the skin. Additionally, excessive scratching can lead to infection if the skin becomes broken. 

If you are plagued by mosquitos and their bites near your home or in your garden, it is time to call in a professional to make sure you are protected from mosquitos. Because mosquitos can transmit serious diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus, any mosquito can be a cause for concern. Contact a knowledgeable pest control specialist today.

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If you are concerned about mosquito control for your home, please give us a call or fill out the form on this page. is a team of experts who are highly qualified to provide the best recommendations for you and your home, no matter which part of the United States you live in.

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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