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Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch and How To Make Them Stop

Backyard barbecues, pool parties, beach days, and bonfires… ah, it must be summer!

If you're anything like us, the warm sunny season is something you look forward to the moment it ends. Long summer days, cool nights, and endless activities with the family: there's nothing about the summertime that we don't like. 

Well, except for mosquitoes — more specifically, mosquito bites.

The hallmark of warmer weather, a bite from a thirsty mosquito, is enough to put a damper on anyone's day, especially our little ones. 

For us parents, we know firsthand what mosquito bites mean for kids. Our poor tiny tots simply can't handle the itch, day or night. 

What's more, some kids get it way worse than others, developing an uncomfortable allergic reaction that causes the area to swell up like a balloon. For that reason, many kiddos can even develop a fear of going outside just to avoid getting bitten.

While no place in the world is safe from at least one variety of these buzzing winged monsters (except for Iceland and Antarctica), fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent them from nibbling all over your body as you attempt to play and relax outdoors.

If this sounds like you need a bug-free summer, read on as we explore mosquitoes to discover why bites itch and how to make them stop.

Are you ready? 

Let's dive in!

Everything You Need To Know About Why Mosquitoes SUCK 

No one really loves mosquitos at all, even if they do technically serve a purpose

If you ask us (and probably every other human being on the planet), the best mosquito is a dead mosquito. From the relentless buzzing to their creepy little bodies, mosquitoes suck — literally

When one of the pesky insects bite you, it doesn't just help itself to some of your blood, sucking it up through their straw-like tongue, but it also kindly gives you some of its saliva in return. And believe it or not, it's this saliva that's solely responsible for the irritating itch of a mosquito bite — thanks to a lovely concoction of compounds found in it that people are slightly allergic to. 

Hold Up: Why Does It Itch? 

You see, your immune system interprets the compounds found in the bug's saliva as a foreign substance. This immediately triggers your immune system to produce histamine in order to confront the intruders.

Histamine sends white blood cells (these cells fight off infections) and increased blood flow directly to the site of the bite, which results in inflammation. This increases swelling and the nerves in the surrounding area that causes a bite from a mosquito to itch. 

Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch More After Scratching Them? 

Simply put, scratching can cause your body to release much more local histamine —the chemical in the skin that causes swelling and itching. Plus, when you scratch, you may also be spreading the allergen under your skin, ultimately resulting in even more uncomfortable itchiness. 

Other than causing extra inflammation, scratching a mosquito bite can open the skin. This can make the bite much more painful and can even put you at risk for bacterial infections, like impetigo or pyoderma, even cellulitis. 

Bottom line — resist the itch! Scratching a bug bite will just lead to further irritation and prolong the symptoms… or worse.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Itching? Try MagicPatch 

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, not scratching an itchy mosquito bite is nearly impossible. As for kids, however, not scratching is seemingly impossible. 

Our tiny tots simply can't resist the urge not to scratch. They don't understand the consequences associated with scratching, which is why healing an itchy bite is often easier said than done. That's why we created MagicPatch.

A revolutionary itch relief patch infused with kid-friendly essential oils, MagicPatch is chemical-free (there is no DEET here!) and stops the itching instantly. 

Using our one-of-a-kind Grid-Relief Technology, our Itch Relief patches mechanically adjust the skin (no chemicals) to help the lymphatic system gently drain the saliva injected by those awful mosquitoes. Simply tear off a relief patch, place it over the itchy site, and your littlest family member should feel relief from the itch within 30 to 60 seconds.  

Why Do Mosquitoes Bite In the First Place? 

There are hundreds of mosquito species, and they all have different preferences when it comes to who or what they bite. But did you know that only female skeeters bite? 

Yep, it's true: and they don't do it for self-defense like bees. It's also not their only food source since both females and males enjoy a nice sip of sweet sugary plant nectar. So, what gives — why do female mosquitoes bite? 

The reason why a female mosquito will bite you is that she needs the proteins found in your blood to reproduce. That's why males don't bite: they don't lay eggs. 

The Hunger Games: Mosquito Edition 

The icky bloodsucking pests are stimulated by many different factors when hunting their victims. 

When we breathe, we exhale a gas called carbon dioxide, and the little insects have sensors that can detect this scent, like an apple pie cooling on a windowsill. 

Once a female is hot on your trail, she will use her eyes as well as thermal sensory information to detect your body heat before buzzing in for the bite once you're in close range. 

Why Do Some People Get Bitten By Mosquitoes More Than Others? 

Just like how you might prefer fish over chicken, mosquitoes have preferences.

And what do the thirsty bloodsuckers prefer? Well, to be honest, scientists aren't totally sure. You see, there are more than 400 chemical compounds on human bodies that play a role in attraction to mosquitoes. And each species of mosquito that can bite is attracted (or not) to these chemicals.

You see, there isn't just one chemical that makes you desirable to the buzzing insects. In reality, it's a combination that is determined by your genetic makeup. Chemicals are naturally released as you sweat, and they interact with many different kinds of bacteria and other compounds that live on your skin to create your unique fragrance. 

Lactic acid and ammonia are two compounds that mosquitos go crazy for. These compounds are commonly found on human skin. Some individuals exude body odors that are more attractive than others, which may lead to them getting more mosquito bites.   

Other than your all-natural body aroma, other factors that may contribute to more bug bites include:

  • Sweat
  • Perfume
  • Clothing color
  • Time of day
  • Location
  • Blood type

Research shows that mosquitoes also love pregnant ladies — a pretty fitting prey since only female mosquitoes bite out of the need to develop fertile eggs!   

What’s the Best Way To Combat Mosquito Bites? 

At the end of the day, the best way to combat mosquito bites is by implementing effective prevention methods.

Here are a few tips to combat the annoying buzz-kills:

  • Remove standing water where mosquitoes make more mosquitoes.  
  • Throw herbs on the grill or in the bonfire. Essential oils are natural insecticides.
  • Turn on a fan and strategically place it around your patio or deck to get a good bug-free breeze going on. 
  • Avoid peak mosquito hours when you can. 
  • Add plants that repel mosquitoes to your property, like lavender, lemongrass, and basil. 
  • Use BuzzPatch — an all-natural and DEET-free mosquito repellent patch.

Say Goodbye To Mosquitoes The Natural Way 

Mosquito bites can be a real pain, especially for our little ones. That's why we made BuzzPatch.

Masterfully made using non-woven fabric patches and infused with a powerful combo of kid-friendly essential oils like citronella and lavender, BuzzPatch is designed to confuse hungry mosquitos and hide your kids from these troublesome bugs. And unlike sticky topical sprays, which contain icky harsh chemicals like Picaridin and DEET, our mosquito repellent patches are not only extremely easy to apply but environment-friendly.

Made for kids, by kids (at heart!), BuzzPatch is a revolutionary and natural way to keep pesky mosquitoes at bay — without the toxic chemicals. 

Keep your kiddos protected from mosquito-borne illnesses, itchy bug bites, and harsh chemicals commonly found in insect repellent.

 

Sources:

Identification of Human-Derived Volatile Chemicals that Interfere with Attraction of Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes | Link Springer

Visual-Olfactory Integration in the Human Disease Vector Mosquito Aedes aegypti | Cell

Definition: Histamine (for Parents) - Nemours Kidshealth | Kids Health

Mosquitoes prefer pregnant women | NCBI

Europe's Mosquito-Free Island Paradise: Iceland | NY Times

Why Do Mosquitoes Exist? | Smithsonian 

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