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Curiosities about mosquitoes. How to protect children from their bites

Curiosities about mosquitoes. How to protect children from their bites



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Summer is the time of year when mosquitoes are most present. High temperatures cause a proliferation of these very annoying insects due to the bites they cause.

But do you know why mosquitoes bite? How do they lay the eggs? How do they see us? We tell you some curiosities about mosquitoes that will help you protect children from their bites.

1. Humans are the tiger mosquito's preferred prey, not for the common mosquito, which also bites animals.

2. Only females bite, to procreate. The proteins of the blood allow them to carry out the synthesis and maturation of the eggs. But they need places with water to lay their eggs.

3. The tiger mosquito is active during the day. The common mosquito only bites during twilight and night hours.

4. When the mosquito bites, it inoculates saliva and anticoagulant proteins that cause our immune system to release histamine and cause inflammation, redness, heat and itching.

5. The tiger mosquito frequently moves along the ground, so the legs are usually the most attacked areas.

6. Females have a biting-sucking mouthpart adapted to feed on blood and can chop as many times as needed to fill your abdomen.

7. Mosquitoes flap their wings between 400 and 600 times per second, but they are one of the slowest flying insects around.

8. Body odor, carbon dioxide from breathing, heat, humidity, and human movement attract mosquitoes. But when the mosquitoes are far away, about 50 meters, they locate us by our breath.

9. When the mosquitoes are closer, about 10 meters, they are able to see us. In proximity, mosquitoes are guided by body heat.

10. Mosquitoes like heat with the cold they remain at rest and their life cycle stops. But during the winter, the tiger mosquito's eggs are capable of withstanding up to six months of low temperatures and low humidity, in this way the survival of the species is ensured.

- Eliminate stagnant water spots being the natural habitat for mosquito breeding.

- Put mosquito nets, respect insectivorous animals and use repellants of proven efficacy when necessary. The chemical IR3535 is one of the most effective according to scientific studies (present in some mosquito repellants).

- Long sleeves can help to be bitten less but can get bitten through some type of tissue.

- Insect repellants, mainly containing DEET, can reduce the photoprotective efficacy of sun creams by up to a third. In any case, it is appropriate to choose a high protection index or another type of repellent.

- Apply the sunscreen and half an hour later apply the mosquito repellent. The effect of the repellent can last from 4 to 6 hours, but the protector should be applied every 2 hours.

Source: Ferrer and Research Center in Animal Health, CReSA-IRTA, Autonomous University of Barcelona.

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