If someone asked you what the most dangerous animal on earth was, what would you say? It may come to a surprise to know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the mosquito to be “one of the world’s most deadly animals”.

Mosquitoes may look like your average, annoying pest, but they are not. In fact, they can be quite dangerous at times. Let’s take a closer look at mosquitoes and the dangers they pose.

Male vs Female Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are different from other insects because males and females go after different feeds. They both require water and will feed on nectar. However, when females go through the reproductive cycle, they seek out blood to supplement their diet with more protein.

Female mosquitoes require animal blood to reproduce. They will feed on reptiles, birds, squirrels, other small mammals and unfortunately, people. Their mouthpart, known as the proboscis, is needle-like and allows them to pierce through animal skin to access its blood.

The Dangers of Mosquitoes

Although the insects themselves are not deadly, their bites can lead to unwanted, dangerous and sometimes deadly results.

Symptoms

When a mosquito bites you, it is injecting saliva and anticoagulants, or blood thinners, into your body. The initial bite may go unnoticed, but it will become apparent when your immune system reacts to it.

Some common symptoms include a puffy bump, small blisters, dark spots or itchiness. There are also symptoms that could possibly be dangerous. Those symptoms may include a large area of swelling, hives, swollen lymph nodes or low fever. More serious warning signs could include body aches, high fever, headaches or signs of infection.

Complications

While an itchy mosquito bite can be quite an annoyance, it could turn into something more if you aren’t careful. Scratching a bite can cause your skin to become more inflamed. That in turn causes your skin to itch more and it becomes a cycle. Breaking the skin or reopening a bite can also result in infection.

Diseases

Mosquitoes are effective transmitters of multiple diseases caused by viruses, parasites or bacteria. In San Diego County, California there are 27 types of mosquitoes. At least nine of those mosquitoes are known to carry diseases that are transferable to humans. Some examples of the diseases they can spread are malaria, yellow fever, West Nile virus and Zika.

What Can You Do?

Nobody wants to get bitten by a mosquito. The effects of their bites can be bothersome and sometimes even dangerous. To stay safe, use insect repellent, fully cover arms and legs, and install screens on your windows. For more information on pests and how you can stay safe, contact Pinpoint Pest Control today.