A few days I wrote saying 2013 was the year of the mosquito and with this unbelievable rain surplus we now have (remember how upset we all were with a drought?), no signs of it dying down anytime soon!
We chatted about how to rid your yard of the buggers, now what exactly can we make the itch go away? and why are we itching to begin with?
Did you know that both male and female mosquito enjoy meals of plant nectar and other sugar sources?
Only female mosquitoes are biting you. But why? They need don’t need the blood for their own nourishment -they need it to produce eggs. After this “blood meal”, she will rest for a few days while her body develops the eggs from digesting the proteins and iron in the blood. Next amino acids are formed which are used as the building blocks for the synthesis of the egg yolk proteins. More than you wanted to know?
Have you ever sat outside and while you feel as if you are being bitten alive (me!) the person next to you isn’t getting one single bite? People can become immune to the bites if they are bit enough. Apparently I’ve done a wonderful job of staying indoors at sunrise/sunset when the buggers are out in droves because they simply love me! if you go years without being bit, the immunity will wear off.
Why exactly are those of us being bit itching? When the female mosquitoes poke their proboscis (stinger) through your skin, they leave behind some saliva. Your body triggers antibodies to heal itself and this makes histamines-a nitrogen compound. The inflammatory response of your body-the red swollen bump-is from the blood vessels swelling up.
Top tips for making the itch go away?
In Vietnam soldiers were told to lick themselves just as a wild animal would. The power of self healing is still thought to be the best itch preventive.
Making an X into the bite with your finger nails, applying vinegar, scotch tape and nail polish rank high in tales that seem to work too.
Applying the hottest water you can stand on the bite or applying an antihistamine is the official doctor prescribed cure for mosquito bites.