Posted on 17th Nov 2017
Mozzies are attracted to humans by the carbon dioxide in our breath, our body odour and body temperature. Repellents such as citronella prevent mosquito bites by blocking their ability to sense these attractants.
It’s the females that sting, looking for the protein hit they need to breed. They probe the skin for a blood capillary and inject saliva to prevent their victim’s blood from clotting. After digesting her meal and developing eggs, she will then deposit them in a near-by water habitat – and so the cycle continues!
Sensitivity to mosquito bites varies depending on the person. Most people have the common, mild reaction of swelling, redness, itchy skin and irritation at the puncture site. However, some people will have severe allergic symptoms from the saliva of mosquitoes and if bites are scratched they may become infected with bacteria. Mosquitoes also transmit dangerous viruses including Dengue Fever, Australian Encephalitis, Ross River Fever and Malaria.
Generally mosquitoes are most active at dusk, however in areas where mosquito populations are high they may bite at all times of the day.
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