What Actually Happens When A Mosquito Bites

Our Texas insect expert answers common questions about bugs.

By Laura RiceJune 23, 2015 8:15 am

Wizzie Brown is a program specialist with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office.

Why so many more mosquitos this year? 

“Standing water that we have is going to bring out lots and lots of mosquitos. And not just the regular mosquitos that we typical have in a regular Texas year, but we’re also getting a lot of the floodwater species of mosquito that lay their eggs in places where it floods.”

Why don’t you notice them until they are already biting you? 

“The females have piercing sucking mouthparts so it’s like this long tube thing that they stab into you, they inject saliva, and the saliva has an anesthetizing agent in it so it numbs the area, you can’t feel them biting you, and it also has anticoagulants that way the blood keeps on flowing.”

Why are some people bothered by them, and others hardly notice? 

“Some people may itch a little bit, and other people actually swell up really bad. It’s gonna be how your personal body chemistry works with whatever they are injecting. Research shows that there’s stuff in people’s genetic code that makes some things more attractive to mosquitoes than others.”