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Why Some People Get Bitten More By Mosquitoes Than Others & What are its Remedies and Treatment?

Of course you should be concerned about mosquito bites; especially if you are experiencing certain symptoms after getting bitten. Mosquitoes are nothing, but small flies belonging to a group of about 3600 species.(1) The female mosquitoes are the ones which bite you with their piercing, long mouthpiece to prick and stab the skin in order to suck your blood to replenish their appetite.(1) While a few mosquito bites do not cause harm; however, there are some which transmit diseases and can be fatal.

Female mosquitoes bite humans as they need the blood to produce eggs.(1) Mosquito bites are worrisome and pose a great health concern as they are causing millions of deaths in a year all over the world from mosquito-borne diseases. One of the common diseases occurring from mosquito bites is Malaria, which is responsible for killing about 438,000 patients in the year 2015.(2) However, if one takes preventive measures, then these diseases can be halted. In this article, we will discuss about why do some people get bitten ore by mosquitoes and how to avoid mosquito bites, and what are the risks, symptoms, treatment and remedies.

Why Some People Get Bitten More By Mosquitoes Than Others? (8)

It is strange but mosquitoes have a tendency to bite some people more than others. The exact reason for this selective process is not understood as of yet.

A study from 2013 showed that the sensors in the mosquitoes are attracted to the body odor and the released carbon dioxide.(6) This is how the mosquitoes can identify which individual is the most appropriate feeding for them.

Some of the other factors which play a role in attracting mosquitoes are body odors, movement and body heat. For example the lactic acid present in the sweat can also attract mosquitoes.(7)

What are the Symptoms of Mosquito Bite? (3, 4)

One cannot say that mosquito bites are completely harmless as some of them can cause acute infection. The symptoms of a mosquito bite develop a few minutes after getting bitten. After suffering from a mosquito bite you can experience the following:

  • There is development of a round shaped, red colored bump along with an itching sensation.
  • Instead of bumps, there can be development of small blisters also.
  • There can be redness or swelling too.
  • Presence of dark spots which look like bruising.

After a mosquito bite, one can also develop multiple bumps, which indicate either that the mosquito has jabbed your skin in multiple sites or more than one mosquito has bitten you.

People with weakened immunity and children will have more symptoms which can include low-grade fever, swollen glands and hives.(4) However, the severity of the symptoms decreases with more bites, as the human body gradually becomes used to the mosquito bites.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) says that in rare cases, there can be an anaphylactic reaction from a mosquito bite.(5) Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening condition leading to hives, throat swelling, wheezing and faintness and warrants immediate medical attention.

What are the Complications of a Mosquito Bite? (4)

Mosquitoes can carry and spread various harmful infections such as:

  • Malaria: This can be a life-threatening disease caused by a mosquito bite due to infection and destruction of red blood cells. Early diagnosis is important to treat and control malaria.
  • Zika Virus: This virus is also transmitted via a mosquito bite and is often a mild condition with initial symptoms of fever, rash and joint pain. These symptoms recede after a week however; it can cause congenital anomalies in the fetus if pregnancy occurs after getting a mosquito bite which transmits this infection.
  • West Nile Virus: This again gets transmitted mostly between the birds via mosquito bite, but nonetheless doesn’t spare humans who often do not exhibit many symptoms; however, some people can experience flu-like symptoms, such as fever. In rare cases, it can cause acute illness in the nervous system of the person who got bitten.
  • Dengue Fever: This can be quite a serious disease with symptoms like high fever, muscle soreness, rash, joint pain. In severe cases, the patient can experience extreme bleeding, shock and ultimately die. Tropical and sub-tropical regions are high in cases of Dengue fever.
  • Chikungunya: Common symptoms of chikungunya are rash, headache, fever and joint pain. Patients with chikungunya need lots of fluids and bed rest for speedy recovery.
  • Yellow Fever: This disease caused by the mosquito bite leads to inflammation in the spinal cord and brain with symptoms consisting of sore throat and fever.

What are the Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites? (4, 5)

It is always better to try and prevent mosquito bites rather than treating them, seeing the potential of contracting or developing serious diseases via bite.

  • Mosquito Repellent: Using a mosquito repellent is very effective in preventing mosquito bites.
  • Eliminating Standing Water: As the mosquitoes thrive on stagnant water, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends eliminating any sources of standing water around the garden and home area to prevent the number of mosquitoes breeding where you live.

Other Simple and Effective Ways To Prevent Mosquito Bites Are:

  • Always cover up your skin by wearing full sleeves tops and pants when outdoors.
  • Make use of netting and screens to prevent mosquito bites.
  • It is recommended to avoid going into grassy and wooded areas.
  • If you have to go to a place which is populated with mosquitoes, then avoid using scented beauty items, bright clothing and perfumes to avoid attracting mosquitoes.

Types of Mosquito Repellents

When doing any type of activities (sports, exercising) which increase the production of sweat, body odor and carbon dioxide, the use of insect repellent becomes mandatory. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the following options for repelling mosquitoes effectively:

DEET (9): DEET or N,N-Diethyl-meta-Toluamide is a commonly used mosquito repellent, which is chemical-based and is one most effective ones available according to research.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that depending on the percentage of DEET in the product, DEET helps in protecting against mosquito bites for around 2 to 12 hours.

DEET acts in preventing mosquito bites by interrupting the receptors present in the mosquito, which are responsible for detecting body odor and carbon dioxide and thus not being able to identify the person wearing DEET as a source of food for the mosquito.

DEET is available in different forms such as wristbands, lotions, sprays and liquids.

Picaridin (10, 11): This is the latest insect repellent and works in the same manner as DEET by preventing the mosquito from identifying its victim. A meta-analysis from 2018 reveals that the duration of the preventive effect of picaridin is almost the same as DEET.(12) Picaridin is also a safe choice for infants aged below 6 months because it has lesser toxic elements when compared to DEET.(13)

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil (14, 15): Lemon eucalyptus oil can be a good choice for people who wish to use chemical-free and natural mosquito repellent.

What to Do When Traveling

  • When planning on a vacation, always enquire about the risk of illnesses from mosquitoes in that particular area where one wants to go.
  • Always speak to your healthcare provider before embarking on any vacation or travel. Before going on a travel there can be mandatory or optional medications and vaccinations to be taken for protection against specific mosquito-borne diseases like malaria or yellow fever.
  • Also always pack an effective insect repellent when planning to travel.

It is also advised to choose accommodation that has door and window screen and air conditioning. If this is not possible, then it is advised to sleep within a mosquito bed net.

Remedies and Treatment for Mosquito Bites

Mosquito bites do heal on their own with time; however, the accompanied swelling and itching can become unbearable also. To combat this, the following can help:

  • Using an ice pack on the area of mosquito bite helps in reducing the irritation and swelling.
  • If there is development of blisters, then wash them gently with mild soap and water and try not to rupture them.
  • Try to resist the urge to scratch your mosquito bites as it can cause infection.
  • The application of OTC calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream also helps a lot for soothing the itchiness and swelling.
  • Taking a cool bath or soaking in cool bath water without using soap also helps.
  • The application of a baking soda paste is a natural remedy to soothe the symptoms of mosquito bite.
  • If the itching persists then one can take oral antihistamines for relief.

When Should You Consult A Doctor Regarding The Mosquito Bite?

After getting bitten by a mosquito, if one experiences the following symptoms: fever, headache, rashes, aches and pains; then seek immediate medical attention. If one has gone into anaphylactic shock after a mosquito bite, then seek medical attention immediately.


Female mosquitoes are the one which bite humans to suck blood for their food. When they bite into the skin there can be swelling in that area, but more worrisome is the transmission of diseases through mosquito bites. Other than this, some people can also experience allergic reaction to a mosquito bite.

Preventing mosquito bites is important, more so in regions where diseases, such as yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria are prevalent.

The use of repellent sprays, such as picaridin and DEET and natural repellants like lemon eucalyptus oil is important to prevent mosquito bites. Hydrocortisone creams and antihistamine help soothe the itching and swelling resulting from mosquito bites.

When planning to travel, get the appropriate vaccinations and medications. In case of symptoms such as fever, headache and rash after a mosquito bite, seek emergent medical attention.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 25, 2022

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