Why Do We Need Mosquitos?

Why Do We Need Mosquitos?

Every Summer from the time my daughter was born, she has always gotten mosquito bites all over her. We have tried everything from sprays with the highest Deet to natural stuff and she still gets them. I have noticed that she gets less of them with the natural stuff.  People are always asking her when we are out in public, does your daughter have chicken pox? She’s embarrassed an so am I. I feel sorry for her.
Mosquito’s are considered to be the most deadliest insect on Earth.  Millions of people each year die from diseases caught from mosquito biting. Diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever. Mosquito’s also pose a threat to livestock and pets.
Believe it of not mosquito’s were here long before us. The oldest mosquito fossil dates back as far as 200 millions years, to the Cretaceous period. So you we know the mosquito has a ecological purpose.


So, why do we need them?


Mosquito’s are aquatic insects, they play an important role in the aquatic food chain. According to Dr. Gilbert Waldbauer, author of the kids book The Handy Bug Answer Book, “mosquito larvae are filter feeders that strain tiny organic particles such as unicellular algae from the water and convert them to the tissues of their own bodies, which are, in turn, eaten by fish.” Mosquito larvae are, in essence, nutrient-packed snacks for fish and other aquatic animals.
Why Mosquito’s “Bite”


Matter of fact, they don’t “BITE.” They suck blood from their prey using their proboscis. They primarily don’t suck on blood alone from humans and animals. They also feed on nectar. They need the blood for added nutrients, especially for reproduction.
Mosquito’s are mostly on the prowl at dawn and dusk. During these times, they hunt and then strike. Landing on the skin of the victim, they initially apply its saliva to act as a painkiller, to mask its bloodsucking activity.
After the application of the painkiller the mosquito will then put out its proboscis, a hollow needle-like structure in its head, and stick it into the skin of the victim to suck blood. As it sucks blood, its abdomen will noticeably bulge as it fills with blood. It will continue to do so until it is  filled.
If you are bitten by a mosquito, you will only feel the itch and pain a few minutes after the bite took place. Pain and itch is then followed by swelling.




How to Stop Mosquito Bites from Itching


The itch itself is caused by the mosquito’s saliva – an anticoagulant. It causes our bodies to produce a histamine response and this creates a slight itchiness around the bite area from a slightly allergic response. For people who are more sensitive to mosquito bites, the healing time can take longer than for  those less susceptible, so it’s a case of knowing your limits and treating yourself regularly and effectively.
  • Do your best not to scratch that itch. Doing so will aggravate the irritation, making it itchier and more prone to infection.

Take care of the bite immediately by using rubbing alcohol, or plain water.



  • For those who have a severe reaction to the bites and look as if they’ve caught chicken pox, apply an antihistamine cream or lotion. Especially effective are ointments containing a combination of an antihistamine, analgesic, and corticosteroid as this can relieve pain and itching as well.
  • If an infection develops from the bites, or from scratching them, see your physician immediately.
Here are a few natural and common household remedies.
Baking Soda: 
A strong alkaline solution will often ease the insect itching.
  • Make a paste of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) mixed with warm water. One tablespoon to one pint of water is a good ratio to use.
  • Gently apply to the affected area. Use your clean fingers, or a cotton swab, or a Popsicle stick to apply.
  • Leave on a few minutes, then wash off with warm water.
Vinegar treatment:


  • Make a thick paste of cornflour and apple cider vinegar.
  • Gently apply the paste to the affected area.
  • Allow to dry. It will alleviate the itching by the time it has dried.
  • Wash off using warm water.
Witch hazel treatment
  • Try adding distilled Witch hazel to Calamine lotion as an effective pain relief and itch soother for mosquito bites.
Aspirin
  • Rub a wet aspirin over the affected area. Naturally, do not use this method if the person is allergic to aspirin.
Toothpaste
  • Rub some toothpaste over the the bite area. This can work like a charm to relieve itching.

Lemons/Limes

  • Cut lemon or lime into pieces and rub gently  on the affected area, or just squirt a bit of juice on it. Citric acid has some itch-relieving properties.


Banana


One of the most effective home remedies you can use is a banana peel. This can help you immediately ease the pain and itch. Get the peelings of a banana and rub the inside part to the affected area for a few seconds up to a minute. Swelling and itching almost always immediately disappears.
  • Wiping the slime from your skin too early will alter or stop the treatment.
Onions


  • Rub the sap of an onion over the bite.
      Camping foods






Egg


  • Crack an egg and cook the egg for your camp meal. Inside the shell of the egg you will find a flexible membrane. Cover the bite with the membrane and let dry. As it contracts it will draw out some of the toxins.
Oatmeal


  • Use your breakfast oatmeal. Oatmeal is renowned for its anti-itching properties, so make a small paste of it and apply to the bite area. Allow to dry, then waste off.
Don’t Itch!!!

Comments

  1. cjpwisdomandlife.com says:

    Landing on the skin of the victim, they initially apply its saliva to act as a painkiller, to mask its bloodsucking activity. The itch itself is caused by the mosquito’s saliva – an anticoagulant.

    Wow! Didn’t know this! I like all the info you provided for relief of the itch. You’d think that someone who is camping would have at LEAST one of these products. You continue to educate everyone w/these blogs, Cathy.

    Good stuff!

    Chris

  2. Sea Green Natural says:

    I easily get annoyed by the buzzing of my attacker, and I thought it would be fitting to write about her. Especially because of my daughter under attack all the time.

    Thanks!!

  3. Sea Green Natural says:

    Her meaning MOSQUITO!!! HEE, HEE!!!

  4. Motifs says:

    This was needed,I live in a place which has mosquitoes all around,this will help me a lot..u have a nice and a very informative place..
    Alpana

  5. Sea Green Natural says:

    My passion is to be helpful! Glad this will be helpful for you.

  6. JIM says:

    Have you noticed how some people don’t get bit?? I seem to be one of them, we can be out photographing something and Phyllis and others will be getting bit but not me???? Hmm does that mean my blood doesn’t taste good???? lol I never knew that they have been around for so long , really amazing!!!

    http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/07/taking-pictures-or-making-images-pro-or.html

  7. Jessica M says:

    Some great tips! The hard part is getting the kids not to itch them! Even my husband has a hard time at that.

  8. Debra says:

    You have such an amazing knack for household remedies girl! Passing this along to others, since we’re in mosquito season

  9. Sea Green Natural says:

    Thanks, Deb! Hope it is useful, it not I have many more remedies to rid of her!!! LOL. Jim, wonder why you don’t get attacked and Phyllis does? Do you have any blood? LOL!

  10. Oh, Cathy, these remedy recommendations are fantastic! I am a mosquito magnet – they seek me out and plunder my skin every summer if I’m outdoors at the wrong time. I am so relieved to know of all these ways I can stop the irritating itch and will share with my daughter so she can be prepared to treat my granddaughter if she gets “poked by a proboscis” this summer.

    Blessings!

    • cathy says:

      Dear Martha,

      You are welcome! We use them all the time. I am in the beginning stages of developing a natural bug spray. We always have water in the wooded area past our fenced in yard and my daughter can’t be on our deck more then a few minutes before getting attacked.

      – Cathy

  11. Jenni says:

    It’s rather funny that just at the moment I was about to go outside to cool off I clicked your link. My daughter than reminds me of the citronella candle, I had bought to try and keep mosquitoes out of the house while we suffer through this heatwave with no AC.

    I like your suggestions and I may have to try several of them. The kids don’t seem to be affected as badly by the bites as me. I will itch myself to death. For some reason bloodsuckers, be it mosquitoes or fleas, just love my blood. Must be all the garlic lol.

    • cathy says:

      Dear Jenni,

      Sorry you don’t have AC during a heatwave. Your daughter is right about suggesting to use the citronella candle. We use these remedies because of having water ran off behind our house this brings a lot of mosquitos.

      – Cathy

  12. Debra says:

    Thanks Cathy! How interesting is this, when I’ve AWAYS wondered why God made mosquitoes!

    Like everything else, they serve a purpose. But I’d have never thunk!

    • cathy says:

      Dear Debra,

      Believe me mosquitos aren’t my favorites either. We get eaten alive, ever summer. I am developing a natural bug spray to sell to the general public. I came up with this idea because my daughter gets attacked badly!

      – Cathy

  13. Jessica says:

    Great post with some great info. Btw..I don’t think there’s anything baking soda can’t do!

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In 1986, I started my cleaning business. I put one ad in the local newspaper and, within one day, I had received over twenty calls. I have always been passionate about using safe natural cleaning products and finding useful ways of creating a sustainable environment. I do my part by using natural cleaning products to clean my clients' homes. But don’t take my word for it. Read my testimonials and then give me a call at 203-710-3188.