Have you ever wondered how a mosquito, while being so incredibly small, can do so much damage to a human?
How does this minuscule pest leave you with such an annoying itchy mosquito bite? How did this tiny creature become the most deadly animal on earth? With perfectly functioning anatomy, a mosquito is extremely affluent at getting the nutrition it needs to create more mosquitoes, which is an important feature for a species that has survived on this earth for almost 100 million years.
We recommend that you check out this amazing video from the Deep Look YouTube channel, where you’ll get to see just how the mosquito bite works through a microscopic lens.
The Anatomy of a Mosquito Bite
Contrary to what you might have been told, only the female mosquito bites humans. These pests need our blood -and the blood of other animals- in order to create eggs (larvae) for procreation.
To efficiently get an adequate blood meal, the female mosquito has a sophisticated and incredible set of needle-like appendages – 6 to be exact!
Inside a protective sheath by the mosquito’s mouth lies the six needles, each of these needle-like appendages is responsible for a vital function of both biting and obtaining the much-needed blood meal.
Two of these appendages contain tiny teeth so sharp you can barely feel them as the mosquito saws through your skin, while the other two needles are responsible for holding the skin apart while the mosquito works, much like tiny little forceps.
One of the mosquito’s needles probes through your skin searching for blood and contains sophisticated receptors that can seek out the blood vessel, guiding the mosquito to it. She uses this same appendage similar to a straw to extract the blood.
The last of these six appendages secretes chemicals into the host’s skin to get the blood flowing easily, which is what is responsible for those notorious itchy welts.
This is how mosquito-borne parasites and viruses — like Zika and West Nile — are spread so effectively. An infected female mosquito makes for the ideal vector for disease and illness.
Human Response to Mosquito Bites
Numerous studies have shown that mosquito saliva has profound effects on the human immune system. The results of these experiments determined that the number of human immune cell types affected is much larger than previously believed. In fact, some immune responses to mosquito bites can even be detected up to 7 days post-bite.
While science is still sorting out the larger potential significance of this impact, there’s one thing we know for sure: getting bit by a mosquito is a pain! According to the CDC, mosquito bite symptoms typically include a puffy, reddish bump or even a small blister that itches for a day or so after the bite.
However, experts note that more severe reactions have been known to occur in children, adults bitten by foreign mosquito species, and those with immune system disorders. People with more severe reactions may experience low-grade fever, hives, and swollen lymph nodes. Not to mention the symptoms of potentially fatal diseases that mosquitoes can carry!
The Risk of Mosquito Bites
Mosquitoes have been responsible for more frequent disease epidemics than ever before. This includes recent dengue outbreaks worldwide, the Zika epidemic (2015-2017), and the chikungunya epidemic (2013-2014).
Additionally, the West Nile virus is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes across the continental United States. And here in the U.S. people can also get sick from less common mosquito-borne viruses such as Eastern equine encephalitis or St. Louis encephalitis. If bitten by an infected mosquito, the chance of a person developing the illness is roughly one in 300. But that doesn’t mean it’s a risk worth taking!
Atlanta Mosquito Control
At Mr. Mister Mosquito Control, we are dedicated to providing our customers with the best information to stay up-to-date on the threat of mosquito-borne diseases in Atlanta and the surrounding areas.
Stay tuned for the latest local mosquito news. Don’t forget, to focus on controlling the population of mosquitoes on your property by installing one of our innovative mosquito control methods for your home, including our automatic mosquito misting systems and ClearZone mosquito misting service. Both are effective ways of making your yard a complete mosquito-free zone so you can enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family without the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses.
We hope you’re finding our Atlanta Mosquito Control blog helpful and informative! For more information on what makes Mr. Mister Atlanta’s premier provider of innovative Atlanta mosquito control solutions and techniques click here. Or, visit our Testimonials page to see what some of our satisfied customers are saying.