Most often benign, mosquito bites are nonetheless unpleasant, because of the itching they cause. But in summer, it is quite rare to escape it. However, there are a few tricks to protect yourself from these little beasts and prevent them from coming to feed on your blood. Medisite lists them for you in pictures.
Why do mosquitoes bite?
First of all, it should be remembered that only females mosquitoes bite. A necessary step to ensure their descendants – and not for food, since they draw their energy from the nectar of plants. “The sting occurs after mating, once the female has been fertilized. The blood thus collected constitutes a source of protein to complete the maturation of its eggs”, details the Rhône-Alpes Interdepartmental Agreement for mosquito control, on its website.
It is with the help of a trunk that the insect pierces the skin and sucks the blood as with a straw. At the same time, it releases a salivary substancewhich prevents the blood from clotting and acts as a local anesthetic… but it is also this saliva which causes the famous itching.
Are mosquito bites dangerous?
In France, mosquito bites are more bothersome than dangerous, most of the time – except in cases of allergy. Nevertheless, these little beasts can be vectors of serious diseases. If this is mainly the case in the tropical zones of Africa, America and Asia (hence the importance of protecting yourself well when traveling), France is not completely safe.
Indeed, the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is well established in our territory: it is present in 67 departments out of the 96 metropolitan departments. However, this species can transmit arboviruses such as those of dengue fever or chikungunya. “Individual protective measures against mosquito bites are therefore essential to fight against the development of an epidemic”, specifies the EID Rhône-Alpes.
Mosquitoes: at what time of the day are they rife?
Are mosquitoes more likely to bite during the day or at night? Morning or evening? In reality, it all depends on the species in question. “Genus mosquitoes Anopheles and Culex rather sting at night. These mosquitoes are cosmopolitan but vectors of diseases mainly in the tropical zones of Africa, America and Asia and to a lesser degree in the more temperate zones”, explains the High Council of Public Health, in its document “Recommendations sanitary 2022 for travellers”.
Conversely, “mosquitoes of the genus Aedes usually bite during the day, with a peak of activity at the beginning and end of the day. They can transmit arboviruses (such as those of dengue, chikungunya, Zika…) and lymphatic filariae”.
Discover the best ways to protect you from stings mosquitoes throughout the summer.