What Happens to Your Body When a Mosquito Bites You

What Happens to Your Body When a Mosquito Bites You

Mosquitos – those brazen little buggers
that buzz off with a bellyful of your blood. Bah-humbug! They can ruin a nice picnic in the park, camping
out with your friends, even your own humble abode! Ugh, mosquitos are the single worst thing
about summer! Why do they have to bite, and why does it
itch like crazy? It’s high time we got some answers! Nature is a strange thing indeed. Australia’s got platypuses – mammals that
lay eggs and have beaks like ducks. There are jellyfish that can potentially live
forever. There are so many exotic and extremely rare
creatures that can be called true oddities or even miracles of nature. But mosquitos? Come on, they’re nothing like that! They’re innumerable, and they come in swarms
just about anywhere you go. Still, and I really don’t want to accept
it myself, they appear to be a miracle of nature as well! First of all, mosquitos are ancient critters
thought to have evolved between 50 and 100 million years ago. That means even the dinosaurs weren’t free
of their irritating presence. (Imagine a T-Rex trying to swat one away! With his tail — Poor thing…) And, of course, they spread everywhere. Chances are the first human being on this
planet was bitten by a mosquito probably more than once in their life! Mosquitos proved to be a highly adaptable
species. Except for Antarctica, they live on all continents
in a variety of climates – from tropical Sub-Saharan Africa to the cold forests of
Siberia Russia. There are about 3,000 different species of
mosquitos all around the world. All they need for survival is some water and
a warm meal. No, not your Granny’s home-cooking – they
only want what’s pumping through your veins! So, how did they become adapted to feed on
the blood of animals? Just to get things straight right from the
start, not all mosquitos suck blood. I’m not talking about different species
of this insect but about severe differences between female and male mosquitos. Only females drink blood, while male specimen
feed solely on nectar. It’s as if all the men on Earth were exclusively
vegetarian by nature! Such a critical difference in feeding behavior
between males and females is extremely rare. The good news is, you can tell the difference
between the two! Male mosquitos are a bit smaller than females. And if you see one nearby with fancy-looking
feathered antennae, don’t rush to smack it just yet – it’s a male and it won’t
bite you no matter what. You see, the wings of female mosquitos move
so swiftly that they resonate on a very high frequency from 300 to 500 beats per second. This makes that annoying high-pitched buzzing
sound that can have you scouring your house, slipper in hand. The males’ feathered headpieces are specifically
attuned to locate this sound so that they can find a mate. As for the antennae of female mosquitos, they’re
smooth. A mosquito’s lifespan is only about a month
or two. Well, that’s for the females. The guys live a lot shorter: around 2 weeks. All this time, they must keep busy, especially
females since their job is a lot harder. They need to find a source of blood meal to
be able to produce eggs. But I’ll go into that more a bit later. Once their eggs are ready, it’s time to
find a nice place with standing water to release them. Since they’re in a race against time, they
look for a source of blood usually within 1 or 2 miles of the breeding ground. And that’s exactly why you shouldn’t have
any standing water near your house if you don’t want a mosquito invasion! Ok, but what about that bug zapper you have
on your front porch? Sorry, not much use here. Contrary to popular belief, mosquitos don’t
search for their prey looking for lights. To be fair, there aren’t many species that
prefer human blood at all. Most of them would rather feed off mammals
that, ya know, don’t grab a shoe or newspaper and squish them! But there are even more that like to feed
only on birds or even reptiles and amphibians. Well, if they don’t use light, then how
do they find you? They have a variety of methods, but they mostly
use scent. More specifically, they’re sniffing for
your body heat and the one thing every living breathing thing produces constantly: carbon
dioxide, or CO2. Every time you exhale, you allure loads of
flying pests. A mosquito can sense a tiny concentration
of pure CO2 in the air from more than 75ft away! Hey, just hold your breath! Well no. At closer distances, they’ll go towards
the heat and anything that moves. They have a couple things to help them with
that latter bit: 1) compound eyes with hundreds of lenses that give them a wide field of vision
and 2) tiny hairs all over their body that guide them towards the movement of big animals. So when you’re out mowing the lawn, your
body is moving the air around you, and the tiny hairs on a mosquito’s body can sense
this! Still, the true mystery of mosquitos is in
their feeding habits. What you perceive only as a short stinging
feeling is, in fact, a long and ingenious process. When a mosquito finds its prey, it approaches
it carefully. The buzzing kinda gives them away, but I guess
they can’t do much about that since the sound comes from their flapping wings. The task is even more difficult since they
need 3 minutes to fill their belly. That’s 3 minutes of the constant threat
of being smashed by their prey! Has anyone ever told you that waving your
hands or swatting at mosquitos to scare them away is pointless? Next time, you can answer back with this:
a 2018 study led by biologist Dr. Jeff Riffell proved that mosquitos can remember the scent
of a particularly aggressive prey and avoid it completely for 24 hours. That means, if a mosquito tries to bite you
and you decide to brush it off or swat at it, it’ll probably choose someone else to
bite next! And that’s wise of it because even if it
manages to land undetected, it won’t be able to sting immediately. A mosquito’s mouthpiece, or proboscis, is
far more complex than just a sharp straw to suck blood through. It consists of 6 separated long and thin parts
called stylets protected by an outer lip of sorts. Yes, they stick not 1 but 6 needles in you! Some of those have razor-sharp teeth that
cut through the skin. Fun fact: medical scientists were inspired
by the form of a mosquito’s stylet to make needles less painful! Well that’s good. Other parts of a mosquito’s feeding equipment
serve different purposes. Some find blood vessels in the skin, and others
inject the mosquito’s saliva. The saliva itself is crucial in the whole
process. Remember, they need around 3 minutes to get
enough blood. But the most dangerous part is the moment
they pierce the skin because that’s when the prey can feel the bite. So, the mosquito injects its saliva immediately
after it bites you. The saliva consists of more than 100 different
components, most of which are these organic substances called enzymes. They serve one purpose: to stop blood from
clotting and improve its flow. There are also other components used like
a local anesthesia. From the moment they’re in, the prey won’t
feel anything. That is, until the mosquito leaves and the
bite mark starts itching. The reason for that reaction is simple – most
people are allergic to those enzymes. And I say ‘most’ because there are those
rare individuals who won’t itch at all if a mosquito bites them! Hah! Must be nice! But the last and most important question remains:
why do they need blood? Especially if the males can just live off
nectar. Like I touched on earlier, females need blood
to develop eggs. More specifically, she needs loads of protein
and iron, which blood happens to be rich in. After a good meal and a belly bloated full
of the red stuff, a mosquito will need a day or two off just to digest it. Then, she lays her eggs, and the whole cycle
starts again. Good thing we don’t take first place on
her menu of preferred meals! And we humans are well prepared for their
invasion no matter how many of them come. My only advice is to use methods that mask
your scent, like candles, herbs, and sprays. The best traps are probably the ones that
properly use science to lure mosquitos to their demise in masses by producing the carbon
dioxide they seek. Still, any repellent will do the trick so
that you’re not left itchin’ like the dickens! Alright, how about you? What do you do to keep mosquitos at bay? Leave your tips down in the comments! If you learned something new today, then give
this video a like and share it with a friend. But – hey now! – don’t go buggin’
out just yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you to
check out. Just click on that video to the left or right,
and enjoy! Stay on the Bright Side of life!

100 Replies to “What Happens to Your Body When a Mosquito Bites You”

  1. I found a way to stop a mosquito bite on your arms or legs from itching – fill your sink with scalding hot water and place your bitten limb into it for as long as you can stand it. Most of the time, the bite will never itch again. Something about the heat of the water destroying the enzymes that make you itch.

  2. Currently, I have almost 10 mosquito bites. Mosquitos absolutely love me. If you're someone who isn't loved by mosquitoes be glad.

  3. When I was 2 years old I got bit from a mosquito and I needed to go to the doctors but now I'm 8 years old,

  4. Once i had a bunch of ants in my room and i took a knife and chopped it into thirds. I left it there for 4 days. Nothing yet

  5. I'm afraid you haven't got all your facts straight because the first human was born 7 billion years ago so it would be impossible for the mosquitoes to have bitten the first human

  6. I grab a towel and start a fight by fight I mean me swinging the towel furiously at the mosquito looking crazy 😂

  7. What would I do first off mosquitoes are lucky they're not a form of spider cuz if it was I would launch a atomic bomb on them but since there not a form of spider I'll probably just get a flamethrower

  8. Me and my mom would sneak up to the mosquito with a chancla and we would try to scare it away but if it isn't scared we smack it

  9. I think I got bit by a mosquito earlier.. I didn’t treat it and I kinda got sick but I thought it wasn’t a misquito and I didn’t know if it was or not.

  10. whenever mosquito bites me….i just watch and pretends like i am not seen her …
    my single drop of blood gives hundreds of tiny lives .. i am proud to be a human..

  11. I am one of the lucky ones who never gets mosquito bites. The doctor took some swopes to collect what is so special about me.

  12. I was bitten by moquitoz 19 times dude and i still survive dud3 why do they like my blood bc why did they bite me heh ik why they bit me dude

    Me: ahhhhhhhhhhhh i hear a mosqito

    Mosquito: hehehehehehehehehe imma gonna bite u

  13. How did they died😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😨😰😰😰😰😰😰😰😰

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