CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Mosquito bites are caused by female mosquitoes feeding on your blood. Female mosquitoes have a mouthpart made to pierce skin and siphon off blood. Males lack this blood-sucking ability because they don't produce eggs and so have no need for protein in blood.
As a biting mosquito fills itself with blood, it injects saliva into your skin. Proteins in the saliva trigger a mild immune system reaction that results in the characteristic itching and bump.
- Whitehorn C. Mosquito vectors of infectious disease. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed March 3, 2012.
- Auerbach RS. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011.
- Simons E. Large local reactions to mosquito bites (skeeter syndrome). http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Sept. 21, 2012.
- Castells MC. Insect bites. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 3, 2012.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Sept. 24, 2012.
- Kulthanan K, et al. Mosquito allergy: Clinical features and natural course. Journal of Dermatology. 2010;37:1025.
- Questions and Answers: Insect repellent use and safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/insect_repellent.htm. Accessed Oct. 11, 2012.
- Repellents are an important tool to assist people in protecting themselves from mosquito-borne diseases. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/repellentupdates.htm. Accessed Oct. 11, 2012.
- New pesticide fact sheet: Picaridin. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/chem_search/reg_actions/registration/fs_PC-070705_01-May-05.pdf. Accessed Oct. 1, 2012.