You may be relieved to know that mosquitoes do not have teeth! But unfortunately, this doesn’t prevent those pesky mosquitoes from biting you. Mosquitoes have a long tube attached to their mouth, which is designed like a hollow needle called a proboscis. Using their proboscis, mosquitoes are able to pierce your skin and extract your blood, like they were sipping it out of a straw. Consider yourself one, big, mosquito soda fountain! A mosquito’s proboscis has 47 sharp edges on its tip to help it cut through skin and even protective layers of clothing. Perhaps this is where the rumor of “mosquito teeth” comes from. Unlike human teeth, however, these sharp edges are not used to chew food since blood is already in a liquid form. These sharp edges are simply used to cut through skin. The pain you feel the moment a mosquito “bites” you is therefore not from the mosquito taking an actual bite out of your skin, but instead the pain from the initial stab of sticking its proboscis into you. Ouch! The typical knee-jerk reaction to this bite (or stab!) is to smack the mosquito away, and reach for the nearest Mosquitno Band or Spotz!
Top 5 facts you should know about mosquitoes Mosquitoes have a nasty habit of biting us when we are trying to enjoy the great outdoors. But it's not just annoying, mosquitoes can actually be dangerous. Here are the Top 5 facts you should know about mosquitoes before you head out for your next hike and plan for a way to keep them at bay. 1. There are more mosquitoes on this planet than humans. It's probably not surprising that mosquitos outnumber humans. There are 100 trillion tiny buzzing vampires from 3,450 different species ready to suck your blood. To give you an idea of what exactly that number looks like, if 100 trillion mosquitoes were stacked together on a football field, the pile would reach more than three miles high. 2. Your blood helps create MORE mosquitoes. Only female mosquitoes bite, because blood provides the protein that mosquito eggs need for development. Consider yourself a walking bottle of mosquito baby formula. Yuck. 3. Mosquitoes think you smell nice. It's true! And it's not just your fancy perfume. Mosquitos are attracted to the scents emitted by humans including carbon dioxide, lactic acid and natural skin oils. Mosquitoes even change their flight pattern depending on what they smell, like a heat-seeking missile. 4. Mosquitoes inject you with their saliva. Before sucking your blood, the female mosquito injects you with her saliva, which contains an anticoagulant, allowing your blood to flow freely into her. If you're wondering how mosquitoes transmit diseases - this is how. The little red bump you get from a mosquito bite is actually your body’s reaction to a protein contained in mosquito saliva. 5. Mosquitoes transmit deadly diseases. You could say that giving people diseases is a mosquito's favorite hobby. Mosquitoes are solely to blame for the propagation of Malaria, which affects 300 million people every year. The only way to get Malaria is from a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes also transmit West Nile Virus, commonly seen in the US. The Center for Disease Control claims that since 1999 more than 30,000 people in the United States have become sick with the West Nile Virus from mosquito bites. Both Malaria and West Nile Virus can be fatal. For more on keeping mosquitoes away, read our blog posts on 8 Simple and Natural Steps to Avoid West Nile Virus and How Does Citronella Keep Bugs Away? And Why do mosquitoes like me more than anyone else?