Mosquitoes live in a hot and moist environment. They bite humans and animals to feed on their blood. They utilize proteins found in the blood to produce eggs. They are more active at the time of dawn, dusk or night. Female mosquitoes feed on humans and animals whereas male mosquitoes feed on plant nectars. A mosquito bite is characterized by a small bump at the site of bite with redness and itching. Mosquitoes are carriers of parasites of diseases like dengue, malaria, encephalitis, or yellow fever. These diseases are called mosquito-borne diseases.
Can Mosquitoes Bite Through Clothes?
Mosquitoes can even bite through clothes. However, they cannot reach their targeted skin if clothes are thick. They are able to enter the skin through thin clothes. Human skin is full of capillaries and mosquitoes can feed on them anywhere on the body to fetch blood. They can penetrate the skin through thin clothes. They use their proboscis to penetrate the skin through clothes. They can even get into woven clothes.
Mosquitoes can reach out the skin more easily if the clothes worn are tightly fitted to the body. Tight clothes help them to get direct access to the skin. In thick and loose clothes, mosquitoes find it difficult to find the skin to bite. However, mosquitoes like to bite bare skin more for easy penetration.
Mosquitoes are dependent on human blood for reproduction. Male mosquitoes do not feed on human as their requirements are fulfilled by plant nectars or other sweets present in the plants. Female mosquitoes bite and feed human blood. They use blood proteins for egg production.
Different species of mosquitoes have different cycles of their feeding in day or night, activity and resting. Some species are active in the daylight, particularly in the afternoon. Their bites are often not noticeable. But those mosquitoes that are active in the night (nocturnal blood seekers) are at more benefit than those active in the daytime.
Female mosquitoes only bite and feed on human blood. The mouth of mosquito is similar to straw named as a proboscis. It is sharp and poisonous part of the insect. When proboscis pierces the skin, it breaks the blood vessels and nerves located in the epidermis of the skin. It releases a liquid into the skin that acts as an anticoagulant. This liquid prevents the clotting of blood and its leakage in the wound created by mosquito bite. This helps the mosquito suck more blood from this wound. The breaking of the blood vessels and nerves cause irritation in the skin causing itching and burning sensation in this area. These symptoms usually settle on their own in 24 hours.
Typically, human skin has five thin layers of epidermis and dermis. A network of blood vessels is located under these layers inside the dermis. Mosquitoes have sensors in them that can locate these blood vessels and feed on them. It is possible that they may not be successful in their first attempt. So, they keep on trying until they achieve in this. They are persistent for this until they get blood.
Prevention Of Mosquito Bites
There are a number of ways by which mosquito bites can be prevented and these are-
- Wear full sleeves and full-length trousers.
- Mosquitoes are more attracted to feet, wear closed shoes or boots when you are outdoors.
- They attack more around ears and neck, use scarf or drape around this area to prevent exposure of skin to them.
- Wear thick and loose clothes.
- Clothes should be light colored.
- Use mosquito repelants especially during dusk or dawn or night.
Mosquito bites are small bumps on the skin that causes itching and bleeding on scratching. Mosquitoes use their straw-like mouth to extract blood from the skin. They usually bite on the bare skin. However, they can also bite through clothes that are tightly attached to the skin and are made up of thin fabric.