Am I Allergic to Mosquitoes?

Posted by Mosquito Squad
Am I Allergic to Mosquitoes?

May 24, 2024

Author: Emma Grace Crumbley, Entomologist 

No one likes the feeling of a mosquito bite. But for some people, that irritating itch can turn into a severe allergic reaction.

Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?

Mosquitoes don’t bite people and pets for fun. In order to lay her eggs, female mosquitoes must bite living organisms and take a bloodmeal. This is much easier said than done. First, the mosquito has to locate a host. Once she finds a host she likes, she then has to land undetected and begin to probe the skin for blood vessels. A mosquito’s mouthpart, called a proboscis, has six separate parts that assist in the biting process. Once a blood vessel is penetrated, the mosquito will spit as she takes in blood. This isn’t her being rude, but instead her ensuring her bloodmeal goes uninterrupted. Mosquito saliva contains proteins that prevent blood from clotting.

That is where the itch comes in: mosquito saliva. When our body is invaded by foreign substances, such as viruses, bacteria, or even skeeter spit, our body’s immune system interprets it as an allergen invasion and kicks into action. The body will produce histamine to allow white blood cells to get to the source of the allergen. Histamine, while helpful in our body’s immune defense, is what causes you to itch.

Mosquito Bite Symptoms

So, when histamine is produced by the body, we experience an allergic reaction. For most people, this reaction is localized at the bite and is relieved in minutes to hours.

A Typical Reaction may have the following symptoms:

  • Tiny, puffy, red bumps
  • Bite spot area becomes warm
  • Bump hardens and becomes slightly swollen
  • Itchiness only at bite spot

Worst case scenario, a mosquito bite can lead to intense symptoms and life-threatening conditions. Anaphylaxis, similar to the allergic reaction from stinging insects, can cause the body’s airways to close up in response to allergens.

An Allergic Reaction may have the following symptoms:

  • Blistering lesions or body-wide hives
  • Fever
  • Joint Swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Anaphylaxis

Talk To a Medical Professional

To know for certain if you are allergic to mosquitoes, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) advises consulting with an allergy specialist or immunologist. If you experience any severe symptoms after being bitten, seek emergency medical assistance immediately.

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