Like most Charleston residents, you’re probably looking forward to a long, fun-filled summer. Unfortunately, local mosquito populations have other things in mind. Mosquito bites are no fun to deal with under normal circumstances. Sometimes, however, they can be downright hazardous to your health. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the normal symptoms of mosquito bites as well as the more serious symptoms. Mosquitoes often harbor diseases that can be passed on to humans, and some people are more sensitive to such bites.
What Happens when a Mosquito Bites You?
To understand why mosquito bites are no laughing matter, it helps to understand how they happen. First, female mosquitoes are the only ones that bite. After finding a suitable target, they puncture their skin and draw out blood, which contains the protein that they need. At the same time, they inject minute amounts of saliva into the skin. This saliva contains proteins that trigger immune system responses, which usually manifest themselves as small, itchy bumps.
Mosquito Bite Symptoms
Most people know mosquito bites when they see–or feel–them. Normal bites, which develop minutes after being bitten, are usually puffy and reddish-white in color. Sometimes, they are hard, itchy, reddish-brown bumps that develop a few days later. On some people, dark spots that look like bruises and small blisters may also develop. These symptoms are typically no cause for concern and usually subside on their own. Applying calamine lotion, hydrocortisone and other creams and lotions usually helps a lot.
Skeeter Syndrome and Mosquito-Borne Diseases
In the United States, mosquitoes are often infected with the West Nile virus, which they can then transmit to people. In many southern states, mosquitoes are also likely to carry and transmit dengue fever.
Some people have what is known as “skeeter syndrome,” which basically means that they are more susceptible to developing more serious symptoms after being bitten by mosquitoes. Young children, people with suppressed immune systems and adults who haven’t been exposed to particular species of mosquitoes are the likeliest to have skeeter syndrome. Symptoms include:
- swollen lymph nodes
- large areas of swelling and redness
- low-grade fever
If these symptoms appear, keep an eye on them and seek medical attention if they persist or worsen.
In extreme cases, mosquito bites may trigger high fever, body aches, signs of infection and even anaphylactic shock. Seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms occur.
Reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes by applying repellent with DEET or icaridin. Wear protective clothing, and treat it with permethrin for optimal results. Eliminate areas of standing water around the yard to reduce mosquito populations. For more effective mosquito control, contact Mosquitonix Charleston today.