Mosquito Bites

Mosquitoes are one of the smallest insects which people can spot with their naked eye. There are more than 3,000 species available worldwide, and they all feature a relatively short lifespan. They are flower pollinators, and one would think they are just a slight annoyance because of their buzzing sound.

But these creatures can also transmit deadly viruses and diseases, and they do so by eventually biting people and sucking their blood in. In order to recognize if you have been bitten by a mosquito and if there should be any reason for concerns, here is all you need to know about mosquito bites.

What do Mosquito Bites Look Like?

In order to understand how a mosquito bite look like, let us first describe the entire such process.

Female mosquitos are equipped with a long, sharp proboscis, which is able of easily penetrating through both human and animal skin. They require blood protein in order to healthily lay their eggs once they are ready, so this is an extremely important activity for mosquitoes. Therefore, in order for being able of collecting your blood without you even noticing and stopping them before they are done, they are naturally gifted with special saliva. Such saliva has an almost anesthetic effect onto people, meaning that you will often not even notice the first penetration through your skin.

Apart from numbing your skin, their saliva also helps in making your blood thinner once they find the right blood vessel, simply for an easier drawing. This is actually a quite remarkable activity which would probably be admired, if not leading to such negative health effects.

Now that we have explained how mosquitoes manage to bite us in the first place, it is much easier to understand how their bites look like. The penetration mark is, just as the mosquito’s proboscis, extremely thin and almost undetectable. However, the area around the bite may often become slightly swollen and reddish. This happens because of the proteins in their saliva, which causes at least a mild allergic reaction among most people.

mosquito bites on arm
Source: Seney Natural History Association, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Most importantly, you will certainly be able to feel the bite, even if you do not see it at first. And this happens for a simple reason: the bite can become overly itchy very soon. And scratching it may even lead to an increased itchy feel. The best is, therefore, not to touch the area for a while. Or, if you have to, simply rinse it in cold water or place a cool clean cloth on it.

mosquito bites on leg
Mosquito Bite Scars, source: Renzoy16, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If the redness and itchiness persist for longer than a couple of days, or if you feel there is anything out of the ordinary, do not hesitate to contact your doctor for guidance. Depending on the area where you live in, mosquito bites can be more or less dangerous, but they are certainly not something to disregard.

What do Mosquito Bites Look Like on Babies?

Mosquito bites look exactly the same on babies as they do on humans. They should present a small reddish or pinkish bump, slightly swollen and hard. Babies may show signs of smaller distress or discomfort, and they may even try to touch the area as the mosquito’s saliva starts causing itchiness. This is, indeed, the largest issue with babies and mosquito bites. It is impossible to explain to babies that they should not scratch the bite marks, so try applying a cold compress instead.

Mosquito Bites on baby, source: César Rincón

If the bite area develops a more serious rash, extremely dry skin, or anything else unusual, please do contact your doctor. This also includes other signs such as vomiting and diarrhea.

What do Mosquito Bites Look Like on Dogs?

If you happen to own a dog, you may notice over time that it too will be attacked by mosquitoes. No exceptions are made with these flying bloodsuckers. Once that happens, your dog will probably feel it quite similarly to yourself: a brief sting followed by an annoying itchiness.

The bite is not that dangerous to dogs, and it looks the same as on people, red with a swollen area. However, what can be really hazardous is the possibility of mosquitos transmitting a heartworm disease to your best friend. If a mosquito bites your dog while carrying heartworm larvae, this may become quite a bad situation. Therefore, it is good to protect your pets from mosquito bites with appositely designed products. 

What do Mosquito Bites Look Like when Allergic?

Most people are slightly allergic to mosquito’s saliva, and this is why they get the reddish bump immediately after getting bitten. However, some people are severely allergic, and they should certainly learn to recognize their allergy symptoms.

Skeeter Syndrome (allergic reaction to mosquito saliva)
Skeeter Syndrome (allergic reaction to mosquito saliva), source: Cinder2020, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In most cases, the itchy area will become much wider. Additionally, it can develop bruises, hives, lesions, and an inflammation of the lymph system. Severe reactions may cause numerous symptoms, with the ultimate being an anaphylactic shock.

What do Bedbug Bites Look Like compared to Mosquito Bites?

Several small insects may cause quite similar bites to people which can be sometimes hard to distinguish. One of the most common cases of confusion is between mosquitos and bed bugs. Bed bugs, as their name suggests itself, are mostly seen in our beds, so do expect to find some proof of life there, such as feces or larvae. Also, they mostly bite people among their legs, and they bite in clusters.

bed bug bites
bed bug bites

Mosquitoes, on the other hand, are mostly flying around at dusk and dawn, and their bites are isolated from each other. On top of that, mosquito bites tend to become itchy immediately after, while bed bug bites may be not noticed for a while. And finally, if bed bugs bite you, you will probably have a rash around the affected area, as well as having to live with the bites for a much longer time.  

Wrapping Up

We hope that our dedicated article on mosquito bites has helped with reassuring those who were most concerned, but also to embed a sense of importance to those who were taking them as a joke.



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