Health Risks from Mosquito Bites
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Health Risks from Mosquito Bites

What diseases do mosquitoes carry? What diseases do mosquitoes cause? What are the risks of getting bit by a mosquito? What do mosquitoes eat? Information on mosquito bites. How dangerous are mosquitoes? Can a mosquito bite make me sick? Do all mosquitoes carry malaria? Do mosquitoes carry AIDS and HIV? What type of mosquito carries malaria.

Perhaps you are wondering; can mosquito bites be a health concern? What diseases do mosquitoes cause? 

There are over 2,500 species of mosquito, none are a direct threat to humans, unless you happen to be severely allergic to them. The health risks related to mosquitoes are because some species of mosquito can carry micro-organisms that are dangerous to humans, and other animals.

What Happens when Mosquitoes Bite?

To note it is only the female mosquitoes that bite, the male mosquitoes are harmless and simply eat nectar from plants. Not all species of mosquito bite humans.  Females mosquitoes also get nectar from plants, but need blood to produce eggs.

When the mosquito bites, she injects some saliva which has an anticoagulant to keep the blood flowing. It is their saliva that causes some people (with mild allergies to it) to become itchy.  Not every one is allergic to this which is why some people do not get bumps from mosquito bites.

What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Spread?

Dengue fever is a virus known in the tropics. Many people have no symptoms while others have a rash, headache, or mild fever.

Some mosquitoes prefer only mammal blood, while others, such as the culex mosquito collect both human blood and blood from birds, as such they can transmit some avian diseases, such as St. Louis encephalitis, to humans.

Filariasis is a parasite spread by mosquitoes. It is basically a worm, which can cause the condition known as elephantiasis if it gets into the lymphatic system.  In elephantiasis parts of lower body often swell and distort.

Heartworm is a life threatening condition spread to cats and dogs via mosquitoes. It is very rare in humans but is still a small threat.

Not every mosquito is capable of transmitting malaria, the disease most feared from mosquitoes, only the anopheles mosquito is known for doing that. Malaria is the most feared disease spread by mosquitoes, and is characterized by a fever, shivering, convulsions, vomiting, and even death.

The West Nile virus is one that is getting a lot of attention recently, and affects other animals too; such as our pets, and horses. The West Nile virus is carried in birds, the mosquito acts as a host to transmit the disease to humans, other birds, or mammals. Symptoms include sweating, chills, fever and fatigue.

Yellow fever which is caused by a virus, is spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms include headache, fever, pain, nausea, and some progress to develop jaundice.

Other Points Regarding Mosquito Bites and Diseases

HIV cannot be spread by mosquitoes.

Many of the above diseases can be prevented by being vaccinated before going into areas where the diseases are common.

Preventing mosquitoes bites is also important, this can be done by wearing mosquito repellent, wearing protective clothing, using netting around beds when sleeping in the tropics. Keeping screens on windows and doors.

Encourage bats and dragonflies in your yard as both eat mosquitoes.

Do not have sitting water in your yard as this is where mosquitoes are likely to lay their eggs.

Remember that mosquitoes are not the problem, they are simply a host for the real problem causers, but we have more control over the mosquito itself.  Otherwise mosquitoes are fairly important insects they are a food source to many other animals, including fish and birds.

There is a product called the Mosquito Magnet that should help eliminate mosquitoes from your yard.

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Comments (4)

Dragonflies I can live with but bats may be a different story. Interesting article.

Dengue fever is outrageous here in my country.

Interesting article, Brenda. Mosquitos can still be a problem in the rural areas here south of the border, but they are pretty much under control in the urban and suburban areas. I went the whole mosquito season last year without seeing or hearing more thana half-dozen mosquitos.

Very informative.Malaria is the most common disease spread by the Indian mosquitoes, our future national birds.We are even thinking of conferring citizenship to them for their numerical superiority and for their power of resilience.Thanks.