Blood-Thirsty Pests

No image because mosquitoes are gross.

So we take the cats out every night after dinner to wind down for the night. Almost every single night, we get mobbed by mosquitoes. My mother-in-law has tried a few things to get rid of them, but I still get bitten pretty often and thanks to my sensitive skin, the bites end up looking like bruises later.

I just learned that mosquito bites itch because the darn bug leaves behind saliva (aka spit) which makes sense since it’s a bite. Anyway, the immune system attacks protiens in the left-behind spit and it’s that reaction that makes the bumps itch.

Once you notice a mosquito bite, you should wash the spot with water and antiseptic soap. Then, pat dry, don’t scrub, that’s the same as scratching.

Secondly, DON’T SCRATCH! I’m one of the biggest offenders for this, but doing so can damage the skin and lead to scarring and/or infections. An ice pack can help reduce the annoyance of itchiness. Calamine lotion and topical anesthetics are also acceptable.

The best thing to do, however, is avoid being bitten in the first place. Mosquitoes are one of the biggest causes of spreading diseases. If you develop a rash or any flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, headaches, join/muscle pain, fatigue, depression, generally unwell), contact your doctor immediately.

Now the advice to avoid bites. Cover up—less skin less exposure to mosquitoes. Mostquitoes prefer to bother people early in the morning and at dusk (but this does not mean they won’t botther you at other times). There are plenty of commercial and home-made mosquito repellents—some plug into outlets, some you burn, some you spray on, etc. If you like to have a breeze through the house, install screens on your doors and windows.

For the most part, mosquito bites are annoying but generally not dangerous. It’s still best to avoid them and keep an eye out for serious symptoms if you happen to fall prey to these pests.

Info: Symptoms and Treatment: https://symptomstreatment.org/mosquito-bites/

Health Direct: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/insect-bites-and-stings

Queensland Government: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/all/prevention/mosquito-borne/bites

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