We’ve all been there. You wake up in the morning, hoping to feel well rested from a thorough night of restorative sleep, only to realize that your entire body is a minefield of itchiness.
Maybe you briefly scratched one spot, then realized it was a swollen bug bite. As adults, most of us are able to quickly identify which bug caused this irritation: a mosquito.
Of all the bugs we run into, mosquitoes might just bug us the most. Other bloodsucking creatures at least seem to serve other purposes, whereas mosquitoes seem like exist solely to feed on us and spread diseases.
Even without the threat of illnesses like Zika virus, West Nile virus, dengue, and malaria, those of us who are regularly treated like mosquito juice boxes are likely to stay inside during the summer. It’s such a shame when we feel like we have to skip an opportunity for fun in the sun because we’re afraid of the itchy consequences.
There’s another reason to hate mosquitoes, and it has to do with how many times they can bite us. When our legs become more mosquito bite than limbs, it’s reasonable to wonder if one insect could have caused all of these bumps.
Did a group of mosquitoes gang up on you in the night, resolved to make your next few days an itchy nightmare? Or was it one rogue mosquito that had a vendetta against you?
This article will cover why mosquitoes do what they do and how many times a mosquito can bite us.
How Do Mosquitoes Bite Us?
It can be gross to think about the process of getting bitten by a mosquito but understanding the reasoning behind the itchy reaction that forms is helpful if we want to combat it.
When a mosquito decides to make you its next meal, it quickly gets to work. After landing on you, it uses its proboscis (a straw-like appendage) to begin sucking up blood. At the same time, it administers its saliva back into the skin.
Mosquito saliva has anticoagulant properties, meaning that it stops the blood from clotting. This explains why mosquito bites typically do not bleed very much. This is actually a very clever mechanism of evolution, but it does lead to some downsides… like itching.
Why Are Mosquito Bites Itchy?
Our bodies perceive the mosquito’s saliva as a foreign body and produce histamines to try to fight off the supposed threat as a result. The histamines then cause swelling and itchiness at the site of the bite.
Is There a Limit on How Many Times a Mosquito Can Bite?
There is essentially no limit to how many times an adult female mosquito can bite you in a session. They will just keep on going until they are full and have enough blood to lay their eggs.
However, unlike a trained nurse, mosquitoes aren’t the best at finding a vein. These bugs may bite us up to 20 times before finding a vein. They drink for roughly 90 seconds before filling up. After they are done dining and dashing, they are smart enough to fly off so that we don’t give them a swatting.
While the histamines are what causes the itch, those 20 bites aren’t exactly welcome. Though we might respect the mosquitoes’ persistence, we’re not thrilled with them for absolutely everything else.
Rather than waiting for the mosquito to drink its fill and leave you with countless itchy bites, it’s best to repel them in the first place.
Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Us?
It can be easy to think of mosquitoes as nothing more than bloodsucking, obnoxious pests. This is understandable since the bites that they leave us with are uncomfortable, and the swelling can last for a week.
It’s much simpler for us to think they do this for fun or to make our lives more difficult. After all, why would we want to sympathize with a creature that regularly causes us discomfort?
We certainly aren’t about to forgive mosquitoes anytime soon, especially when they bite our kids. That being said, it can be helpful to understand exactly why it is that mosquitoes bite us. When armed with that knowledge, mosquitoes become less of a terribly annoying enigma and more of a manageable (but still annoying) pest.
Simply put, mosquitoes bite us because they need blood for nutrients. However, they need our blood for a specific purpose, so it’s only certain kinds of mosquitoes who bite us. That’s right, it isn’t the entire species that we need to be mad at, but actually a subsection of a subsection of mosquitoes.
What Kinds of Mosquitoes Bite Us?
Contrary to popular belief, there are a few species of mosquitoes that do not bite at all. Those mosquitoes (who get a pass from us, at least for now) will subsist off of nectar and plant materials, like many other bugs.
Other than those select few, many kinds of mosquitoes generally prefer to bite mammals or birds, and humans would be lower on their list of favorite foods. In fact, of the thousands of total species of mosquitoes, it’s a very small percentage of them that prefers human blood.
Among the most dangerous of these human-preferring mosquito species is the Aedes aegypti. This type has been known to commonly carry and transmit dengue, Zika virus, yellow fever, and more. These diseases are spread when a carrier mosquito bites someone, thus transferring the virus through the blood.
This information isn’t meant to scare you, but it should definitely spur us into action to protect both our kids and us from these pesky bites.
The species in question is not the only factor that determines whether or not a mosquito will bite, though.
Only Female Mosquitoes Bite
If there’s one thing humans moms can relate to with mosquitoes — the knowledge that we would do anything and everything for our kids.
Mosquitoes are quite similar to us in that way. But instead of caring for their kids or reading a bedtime story like we might do, mosquitoes convey their motherly instincts a bit differently.
Mature female mosquitoes need blood to lay their eggs, so they are the only ones who will bite us. Male mosquitoes will feed on plant juices instead of our blood, which is a much nicer thought.
So, basically, mosquitoes make a feast of us so that they can give birth to their little mosquito children.
What Happens After a Mosquito Bites You?
So, you woke up in the morning as a sentient pile of itchiness. At this point, you’re probably wondering what to do next. Is this discomfort going to get in the way of your day?
Your first thought is likely to scratch in order to ease the itchiness, but this is one of the worst things to do. Scratching a mosquito bite causes the swelling to increase and the itchiness to increase, and it can even open the door to infection down the line.
This whole situation is ten times worse when it’s our kids who were bitten rather than us. We don’t want to see our kids being uncomfortable, and it’s nearly impossible to explain to them why they should resist the urge to scratch. Whether it’s you, your kids, or any other family member who is afflicted with a plethora of mosquito bites, you’ll want to act fast.
How To Treat an Itchy Mosquito Bite
Before the bites can increase in severity and discomfort, it is time to do something that will make them feel a bit better. Rather than opting for a solution that is high in chemicals and potentially irritating, many of us prefer to go the natural route.
Not to one-up anyone, but we here at The Natural Patch Co. prefer natural solutions so much that we literally put “natural” in our name.
Our MagicPatch Itch Relief Patches use Grid-Relief Technology to promote lymphatic drainage. Rather than applying potentially harmful chemicals to the skin (or ingesting them), these easy-to-use patches don’t contain harsh ingredients.
Simply apply a sticker onto the skin at the site of the mosquito bite. From there, a microlift will be formed that will lessen persistent feelings of itchiness.
These adorable stickers are not only for our kids. They can work equally as well on us adults, too. So, if getting a bunch of mosquito bites was, unfortunately, a family affair, you can rest assured that there is a chemical-free way for all of you to feel better.
Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others?
You’ve probably noticed that some people seem more prone to getting mosquito bites than others. Are they unlucky, or are there other factors at play here? The answer might be a mix of both.
Mosquitoes prefer certain blood types over others, possibly because they are easier to suck up. Other than that, mosquitoes are also more attracted to certain colors of clothing, an increase in body heat, and the emission of carbon dioxide.
Are There Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes?
The single best way to treat the inevitable itchiness of a mosquito bite is to never get one in the first place. While treating the symptoms as they arise is a worthy strategy, it is so much better to prevent the bites from ever happening at all.
Rather than using chemicals and sprays to accomplish this goal, it’s a comfort to many parents to know that there are natural, wearable options too.
BuzzPatch Mosquito Repellent Patches
Our BuzzPatch Mosquito Repellent Patches use a combination of essential oils to keep mosquitoes at bay. Simply apply the stickers, and let them get to work. They use a citronella oil blend to repel mosquitoes au naturel. Both kids and adults can sport these patches for some extra mosquito repellent action.
Depending on the child’s age, they might need one or more stickers to be fully protected. Anyone over the age of six will likely need two to four stickers.
An Itch That Can’t Be Scratched
Although it can seem discouraging that mosquitoes can bite us a nearly endless amount of times, we still shouldn’t give up hope. As long as we take the necessary precautions to keep mosquito exposure to a minimum and apply repellent to keep them away, we should be good to go.