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{Guest Post} A Lesson on Mosquito Bites

Posted Jul 28 2010 12:00am

Did you know that, throughout the world, there are more than two thousand different types of mosquitoes? In fact, there are over two hundred mosquito types in the United States alone!Many people make the mistake of thinking that a mosquito is a mosquito is a mosquito. However, this is not true, and various types of mosquitoes carry various levels of disease threat. In fact, different mosquito bites cause different levels of symptoms and side effects.

Consider this a primer of sorts to guide you on the types of mosquitoes you are most likely to find and how they will affect you and your family. While it would take a whole book to describe each of the more than two hundred species found in the United States, we will cover the most prolific types here.

The Aedes

This genus of mosquito tends to favor the tropical regions, including parts of the western United States. However, the seventy types of Aedes Mosquitoes that can be found in the United States include species that are extremely tolerant to cold, living for years in a dormant form. This fact coupled with the knowledge that the mosquitoes of this type spread quickly in large human populations mean that the little insect can be found as far north as Alaska.

Considered one of the more menacing genuses of mosquito, Aedes carries the worst of human diseases, including Malaria and Yellow Fever. Since these mosquitoes do carry many human diseases, they are considered to be one of the biggest problem types.

The Anopheles

A small, spotted type of mosquitoes, the one hundred types found in this genus are found in every state within the United States with one exception, Hawaii.These mosquitoes do not carry as many harmful types of disease and only a very few are known to transmit Malaria.

However, this is one of the types of Mosquito that are known to carry and transmit canine heartworms, a fatal parasite most prolific in the southeastern United States.

The Culex

There are twenty-nine types of Mosquito from this genus that occur in the United States. Because they can breed in any amount of stagnant water, including a rainwater filled plant pot, the mosquitoes continue to breed and grow within all states.

Culex Mosquitoes carry and transmit most mosquito born human and animal diseases, including West Nile Virus, Malaria, Yellow Fever, and equine Encephalitis.In addition, the mosquito can transmit canine heartworm disease .

While there are many, many more types of mosquitoes that affect people throughout the world, these will be the types that you are most likely to see in the United States. The next step in understanding the mosquito and its effects on you is to understand the mosquito bite.

The Mosquito Bite
The best way to prevent a mosquito bite is by repelling or killing off nearby populations. Without spraying harmful chemicals, there are some family-friendly options available for moms that want to keep their family bite-free. These include natural repellents like planting marigolds, rosemary or lemon grass. You could also purchase a more sophisticated contraption like the Mosquito Magnet that will mimic human breath to attract and then capture the little pests.

In the event that you did get bitten by a mosquito, keep in mind that it is not the actual bite that causes the problem. Instead, the toxins in the bug’s saliva cause reactions that lead to redness, swelling, and itching. In some cases, the bite can cause an allergic reaction with bigger repercussions.

Immediately after a mosquito bite, you may not even notice that you have been bitten, but you might feel a minor irritation. Within an hour or so, a mosquito bite will appear as minor swelling in a slightly ragged round pattern. The skin will appear pale and then will redden overtime. The skin will feel soft and itchiness will begin.


As time passes, the bite will redden and become itchier. The redness may radiate out from the bite during this phase. The bite usually takes several hours to a day to reach its peak of itchiness and redness. As long as the bite does not cause any complications, it will slowly shrink in size and disappear over three to five days.

It is important to remember that a mosquito bite is quite different for a child. Since their small body has not had time to build up any time of resistance to the toxins in mosquito saliva, a bite on a child is more intense in itchiness and inflammation. In addition, small children may have more sensitive skin than adults, leading to a more obvious bite mark. It is important to remember that a child’s bite can become infected if it is scratched or irritated too much.

Above all else, it is important to remember that a mosquito bite can look very different from one person to another. This depends upon the person’s skin sensitivity, skin tone, and resistance to mosquito saliva. All mosquito bites should be treated to lessen itch and avoid complications.

Mosquitoes can be found everywhere in the United States. While some areas are more prone to higher populations, everyone should take steps to avoid being bit. While the bites are treatable, the best choice is to find a way to prevent them. By limiting you and your family’s exposure to mosquitoes, you can avoid the pain, the itch and the aggravation of a bite.

Leslie Douglas is a freelance writer who is passionate about nature and the outdoors. She is an advocate for using safe and natural products for herself and her family.

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