What Happens When a Mosquito Bites You?

Ouch! You feel the pinprick of a mosquito bite and swat at your minuscule tormentor. Next comes itching, skin irritation, and usually a lovely little raised bump. Being covered in these aggravating bumps can leave you annoyed and perhaps also curious. What happens when a mosquito bites you? How is your body reacting to this unwelcomed mosquito intrusion? Let the bug pros at Mosquito Joe answer all this and more!

What Happens When You Get a Mosquito Bite?

Mosquito bites as we think of them, the itchy red bumps that bother us for days after an evening bonfire or hike, are caused by compounds in the mosquito’s saliva and a corresponding histamine reaction within our bodies.

Prior to worrying about what happens when they do, you may ask, “Why do mosquitoes bite in the first place?” While mosquitoes are able to feed on nectar, sap, and honeydew to subsist, the female mosquito needs the nourishment that blood provides in order to lay eggs. That makes you a prime target for her necessary blood meal.

Once she has you acquired for her target, the female mosquito extends her narrow proboscis (equipped with a needlelike point) and pierces the skin, hoping to strike a blood vessel to extract blood. Once through the skin, the mosquito injects the host with a vasodilator through their saliva. This substance is intended to facilitate blood flow while they’re feeding.

How Does the Body Respond to a Mosquito Bite?

In response to this foreign substance, the body’s immune system creates histamines, which results in an itching sensation around the infection site. Your body recognizes the saliva from the mosquito as an intrusion and rushes white blood cells to the area, which manifests as a swelled and itchy bump – AKA a mosquito bite!

The good news is that the itching and swelling will usually dissipate within a day or so. Consult our tips on home remedies for mosquito bites for some helpful tricks on dealing with the itch in the meantime.

How to Prevent Mosquito Bites

So now that you know what happens when you get a mosquito bite, the better question may be how to prevent mosquito bites altogether.

While traditional mosquito repellents and bug sprays are a good start, you may be looking for a more comprehensive mosquito control plan. Call Mosquito Joe today at 1-855-275-2563 or request a quote online and let the pros minimize mosquito bites and maximize your outside backyard time!


What Do Male Mosquitoes Eat?

Mosquitoes have the notorious (and well deserved) reputation of being blood-sucking fiends. Swatting away those voracious and nettlesome pests is an aggravating and ubiquitous experience. But what you may not know is that only the female mosquito is out for your blood.

Female mosquitoes seek out a blood meal to obtain the nourishment necessary to lay eggs. So that begs the question, what do male mosquitoes eat? Let the insect experts at Mosquito Joe delve into this quandary and more!

Male vs. Female Mosquitoes

While it may seem that the only good mosquito is a squashed one, it’s true that we may not need to worry about male mosquitoes so much. Male and female mosquitoes do have some significant differences, including their diet, size, and appearance.

What Do Male Mosquitoes Eat?

Like all living creatures, mosquitoes require some form of sustenance in order to survive. Both male and female adult mosquitoes actually feed on nectar, plant sap, or honeydew for nourishment. Only the female mosquitoes require a blood meal, as it provides the necessary protein required for egg laying. Blood meals aside, males and females have the same diet.

How Big Are Male Mosquitoes?

Tiny though still nettlesome, the average adult mosquitoes are around 0.4 inches in size. Although males and females are very close in relative size, female mosquitoes are generally slightly larger. A female’s size will also expand if she has recently consumed blood, but this is only a temporary increase.

What Do Male Mosquitoes Look Like?

Similar in size and behavior to females, male mosquitoes are largely able to be discerned by their antennae. While the female has plain antennae, the male mosquito has feather-like antennae that are better attuned to picking up the wing beats of a potential mate. Additionally, the mouthparts of the male and female differ slightly. While both male and female mosquitoes have proboscises to feed, only the female is equipped with one designed to extract blood.

What To Do About Mosquitoes in Your Yard

Both male and female mosquitoes have similar diets and behaviors, but only the female requires a blood donation to survive and lay eggs. Boasting a slightly smaller size and requiring only nectar, sap, or honeydew for nourishment, the male mosquito is unlikely to be that pest hovering around your ear.

If your backyard is being overrun by mosquitoes (male and female alike), it may be time to call in mosquito control services from Mosquito Joe. Give Mosquito Joe a call today at 1-855-275-2563 or request a quote online and send male and female mosquito packing.


How to Clean a Birdbath to Prevent Mosquitoes

A birdbath can be a pleasant, aesthetic addition to your front yard or garden, but it can also invite unwanted guests. While it draws all sorts of aviary visitors, birdbaths can be a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes.
So, is there a way to keep the birds but “lose” the mosquitoes?
Let the insect experts at Mosquito Joe offer some helpful tips for how to clean a birdbath and keep mosquito numbers to a minimum …

How to Clean a Birdbath

A birdbath with stagnant water is an attractive home for mosquitoes to lay eggs. But a proper scrubbing reinvigorates your yard accent and also keeps mosquitoes at bay.
But before starting your cleanup, you’ll need a few supplies …
What to Use to Clean a Birdbath

  1. Garden hose
  2. Wire scrub brush
  3. Rubber gloves
  4. Cleaner (bleach or non-bleach mixture)

Bleach is the most common cleaner, but you may wish to use a less harsh chemical. Here’s how to make a cleaning solution either with or without bleach.
How to Clean a Birdbath with Bleach
Mix one-part chlorine bleach with nine-parts water in the basin. Take care not to spill solution onto the surrounding grass or plants. Then follow the steps below.
How to Clean Bird Bath without Bleach
Mix one-part white vinegar with nine-parts water in the basin. Use to scrub and clean all surfaces of the basin using the instructions below.
Once your materials are assembled, here’s the step-by-step process to get that birdbath sparkling clean:

  1. Remove the basin and dump out any stagnant water.
  2. Remove any debris or deposits such as seeds, sticks, leaves, etc.
  3. Use the garden hose to give the bath a quick rinse.
  4. Employ a cleaning solution (either your bleach or non-bleach mixture) to scrub and sanitize the surface. Wash the basin away from any plants or grass.
  5. Scrub the bath with the cleaning solution and the wire brush, making sure to clean all nooks and crevices. If the bath is deeply soiled, allow the cleaning solution to soak for several minutes.
  6. Pour out the solution and rinse thoroughly with the garden hose.
  7. Allow time for the birdbath to dry out completely. Pat dry with a towel and then leave in direct sunlight to allow all residual cleaning solution to evaporate.
  8. Replace the basin on the pedestal and refill with water!

Your freshly scrubbed and sanitized birdbath will entertain avian neighbors once again and also deter mosquitoes looking for a convenient breeding ground.
While regularly cleaning your birdbath will lower the number of mosquitoes near your home, it’s not the only strategy for maintaining a mosquito-free yard.
If you’re looking to implement a thorough a mosquito control plan, give the insect experts at Mosquito Joe a call today at 1-855-275-2563 or request a quote online and get serious about reclaiming your backyard!


What Percentage of Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

A stroll through the tall grass or a hike in the woods can inadvertently attract some unwanted stowaways – ticks! These pesky parasitic insects latch onto a host and feed on blood for sustenance. As known carriers of Lyme disease, ticks can pose significant health hazards to their nonconsenting hosts.

But do all ticks carry Lyme disease? And if not, what percentage of ticks carry Lyme disease?  Let the insect experts at Mosquito Joe answer all you want to know about ticks and Lyme disease.

Do All Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

It is often confused that ticks are the originators of Lyme disease when in fact they are just carriers of the disease. The disease itself is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, and following the bite of an infected tick, this bacterium disseminates into the skin surrounding the bite. If left unnoticed or untreated, the bacterium can infect the blood stream and infect the body further from there. Fortunately, not all species of ticks are vectors for Lyme disease.

What Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

Only two species of ticks serve as vectors for Lyme disease. Both belonging to the genus Ixodes, the blacklegged tick (usually referred to as the deer tick) and the Western blacklegged tick (found west of the Rockies) are transmitters of Lyme disease. Adults of both species are approximately the size of a sesame seed and have reddish-black bodies.

What Percentage of Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

Your geographic location is an important distinction in determining what percentage of ticks carry Lyme disease. According to a recent study, 50 percent of blacklegged ticks in the Upper Midwest and Northeast carried the disease, whereas in the South and West, only 10 percent were carriers.

Your probability of contracting the disease also depends on the length of feeding. Approximately 24 hours of feeding is required for Lyme disease to transmit, making it important to check for ticks daily and remove any found as soon as possible.

While not all ticks are carriers of Lyme disease, they can be vectors of other diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Mitigate your exposure to ticks by using bug repellent containing DEET, wearing tall socks and pants when outside, and thoroughly checking yourself and pets for unwanted hitchhikers after time outdoors.

For those looking to keep ticks out of your backyard space for good, a pest prevention plan is your best bet. Call Mosquito Joe today at 1-855-275-2563 or request a quote online to protect your backyard space and give both ticks and Lyme disease the boot tick control services!