Why does a mosquito bite itch? When can the wound become infected easily? And what dangerous diseases can mosquitoes transmit? We’ll give it away. There are also tips on how to protect yourself from the pests.
Patients end up in the emergency room with a mosquito bite. Because with every bite, bacteria can also be transmitted. They are often the cause of severe swelling and severe inflammation.
In addition to the risk of infection from bites from native mosquitoes, there is also increasing disease from exotic mosquitoes such as the Asian tiger mosquito or the Asian bush mosquito. They are now widespread in southern Europe and the Mediterranean region and have also arrived in Germany.
Transmission of diseases possible
Exotic mosquitoes can transmit pathogens such as viruses, bacteria or parasites and thus trigger tropical diseases such as dengue fiber, West Nile fever, yellow fever, Zika fever or even malaria. Before traveling to Asia or Africa, however, you should definitely find out more. There are now effective vaccinations against many of these diseases.
Mosquitoes on the rise
In the last few years, tropical diseases have not only appeared in people who have previously been to the tropics. Mosquitoes introduced by global trade and biting here could be to blame for this.
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Local mosquitoes usually do not transmit any pathogens. They are more likely to be infected by germs and bacteria that are on the surface of our skin. They can get into the body through the mosquito bite.
If it is then scratched, the puncture site enlarges, creating a wound that can become infected. That is why it is important to combat the itching. There is a protein in the mosquito’s saliva that causes an allergic reaction.
The cause of swelling and itching is the hormone histamine, which our body produces to defend itself after the bite. Scratching causes the histamine to spread even further in the tissue, making it even more itchy. A stitch healer or a heat stick can help: a short heat shock of approx. 50 degrees destroys the substances that cause itching.
Ribwort plantain is a help from the natural pharmacy. If the leaf is crushed, a juice is formed. It has a decongestant effect and relieves itching. However, if you have a fever and the puncture site swells up, you should see a doctor immediately.
This protects against mosquito bites
Wear long clothes!
Mosquitoes look for places with bare skin or thin clothing to bite. Long, tightly woven clothing can therefore protect against stitches.
These contain fragrances that keep the mosquitoes away.
Ventilate rooms well!
Mosquitoes react to the carbon dioxide in the air we breathe. An open window can help, because well-ventilated rooms with more oxygen and less carbon dioxide are less likely to attract mosquitoes.
Take a shower before bed!
In addition to the air we breathe, mosquitoes are magically attracted by attractants in our body odor. You can smell us up to 50 meters away. To keep the mosquitoes away at night, it can therefore help to shower and rinse off the odor before going to bed.
A fan in the bedroom can also drive away mosquitoes. He whirls the air upside down. This makes it more difficult for the mosquito to orient itself and to track down its victims.
Incense sticks, plants, music
It is also known that the animals do not like the smell of incense sticks or that they run away in front of tomato and basil plants. But Asian researchers want to have now discovered that mosquitoes do not like certain musical sounds and are therefore less aggressive and also reproduce less.
You have probably even found out that a certain style of music has a deterrent effect on the animals: The most annoying thing for the mosquitoes is apparently the electronic dubstep music by the American musician Skrillex.
Wanted poster mosquito
It is tiny, but extremely bloodthirsty: the mosquito. There are 3,500 mosquito species worldwide, around 50 of which are native to Germany.
Their most common representative in Germany is the common mosquito. It grows up to 15 millimeters and lives a few weeks to months.
The female mosquitoes bite and suck blood after they mate. Male mosquitoes feed on flower nectar. The mating season is from March to October.
Mosquitoes can be found everywhere in bodies of water, in wetlands or swamps.
The mosquito atlas – anyone can become a researcher
Dr. Doreen Werner from the Center for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) in Müncheberg, Brandenburg. Anyone can send in mosquitoes; their type is then determined and their location entered in a “mosquito atlas”.
However, hitting on it is prohibited! If a mosquito is discovered, it should be caught in a container and then placed in the freezer. The frozen mosquitoes can then be sent to ZALF by post, for example in a matchbox.
Good to know
August 20th is World Mosquito Day. Every year on this date it is remembered that the British doctor Sir Ronald Ross found out on 08/20/1897 that female mosquitoes can transmit the malaria pathogen from person to person.