Mosquito Bite

Disponible En Espanol


Definition:

  • Bites from a mosquito
  • Cause itchy, red bumps
  • Often they look like a hive
  • West Nile Virus (WNV) questions are also covered

Types of Reactions

  • In North America, mosquito bites are mainly an annoyance. They cause itchy red skin bumps. Often, the bite looks like hives (either one large one or several small ones).
  • When a mosquito bites, its secretions are injected into the skin. The red bumps are the body's reaction to this process.
  • Suspect mosquito bites if there are bites on other parts of the body. Most bites occur on exposed parts such as face and arms. Bites of the upper face can cause severe swelling around the eye. This can last for several days. With bites, the swelling can be pink as well as large (especially age 1-5 years).
  • Rarely, the mosquito can carry a serious blood-borne disease. In the US and Canada, this is mainly West Nile Virus (WNV). In Africa and South America, they also carry malaria and yellow fever.
  • Prevention. Insect repellents can prevent mosquito bites. Use DEET (applied to skin) and permethrin (applied to clothing).

Mosquito Life Cycle

  • Only female mosquitoes bite. They need a blood meal to produce eggs. The female may bite 20 times before she finds a small blood vessel. She then sips blood for 90 seconds.
  • Males eat flower nectar and plant juices.
  • 170 species of mosquito are in North America.
  • At a far distance, they are attracted by smell (breath odors, sweat and perfumes). They can smell up to 120 feet (36 meters). At a close distance, they are attracted by body heat and movement.

Risk Factors for Increased Mosquito Bites

  • Warmer body temperature
  • Male more than female
  • Children more than adults
  • Breath odors
  • Sweating
  • Perfumed soaps and shampoos

 

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
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