Mosquitoes and Mosquito Mysteries

[quote=“urodacus”][quote=“sulavaca”]
On a slightly related note. I once heard that mosquito coagulant cannot actually be eradicated and broken down by the body, so it stays within us forever. Is this true? If it is true, does that mean that it would make some sort of useful stroke inhibitor?[/quote]

probably not true.

also, in many people the immune system often becomes adapted to a regular insult, so you’re probably being bitten but don’t raise a reaction to the bite. I notice the same, and when i go to a new area the things itch a lot until I get used to them.[/quote]

Sorry. The above should have read [color=#FF0000]anticoagulant[/color]

Just found this. Its slightly interesting:

[quote]The reason behind why mosquito bites itch is that it takes away some blood from the body as well as leaves her saliva in the body. It is this saliva which enters the body and causes itching. Saliva of female mosquito prevents the blood to clot because it has the blood thinner or we can say anticoagulants, with this she also leaves a part of her proteins which cannot be avoided to enter along with the saliva. Type of chemicals called HISTAMINE attach with these outside proteins which further causes itching on the body part where the mosquito has bitten because the cells of that part get affected.
Itching remains till our body immunity does not throw these proteins out. We might have noticed that mosquito bite affects more in the kids than to the adults. This is because we become immune to the saliva as we grow older. Our body becomes habitual to these small doses of saliva. That is why adults sometimes do not notice about the mosquito bites. They notice only when a red bump is appeared on their skin.
If a person is not bitten by a mosquito for a long time then he loses this immunity for itching and feels itchy again whenever a mosquito bite.
It is better not to scratch the inflamed or bitten area because that damages the affected cells and mosquito saliva can affect the other nearby cells.
Here one thing is necessary to mention that only female mosquito bites cause itching .[/quote]

I don’t buy it that we become completely immune to mozzie bites, though perhaps they do itch less. On the other hand, I do think it’s possible to become allergic to them…

I’ve heard that Asians have slightly hotter blood than Caucasians, and mosquitos prefer the hotter blood. But wouldn’t be surprised if we emit some chemical which deters them, as Asians say we smell different. Certainly though, if I’m by myself, I get bitten, but if I’m with my wonderful, wonderful wife, I don’t. :slight_smile:

[quote=“RobinTaiwan”][quote=“headhonchoII”]

There’s a blackfly thing that’s brutal too, seems to be spreading around Asia, got bitten to hell in Malaysia a couple of years ago and I heard Taiwan has it in spots now. They are annoying because they like they actually like sunlight.[/quote]

Horseflies. Nasty creatures. The ones I’ve seen here are pretty big. I’ve seen them in the mountains around Sandimen and Maolin on a few occasions. They like the heat and the sunlight, indeed. These flies don’t actually bite. They numb you, they burn your skin with chemicals and they eat you alive through a straw-like mouth. I’m allergic to them so I really dislike them. I swell up like a balloon starting around the affected area followed with my hands and feet. Nasty. I have not been bitten by one in Taiwan yet, but I was under attack few times. :laughing:[/quote]

I know horseflies aswell from my home country, nasty alright.

But blackflies are a new phenomenon, they are tiny little black flies, possibly sandflies. They are spreading around Taiwan and many countries, especially annoying as they get into the soil in grassy areas, open spaces…hard to get rid of without spraying DTT or pesticides. They leave tiny specks of blood after feeding, very itchy.

[quote=“ice raven”]I don’t buy it that we become completely immune to mozzie bites, though perhaps they do itch less. On the other hand, I do think it’s possible to become allergic to them…

I’ve heard that Asians have slightly hotter blood than Caucasians, and mosquitos prefer the hotter blood. But wouldn’t be surprised if we emit some chemical which deters them, as Asians say we smell different. Certainly though, if I’m by myself, I get bitten, but if I’m with my wonderful, wonderful wife, I don’t. :slight_smile:[/quote]

It also depends on diet, perhaps alcohol or garlic or some such ingredient deters them!

There is an old trick Swedish farmers in the far North use (where the mozzies are incredibly thick in the summer), at the start of the summer they remove their clothes and lie in the field for a couple of hours and let the mozzies feast, this supposedly overprimes their immune system, then for the rest of the year they are not allergic to mozzie bites. They have to do it every year. Now I don’t know how authentic this story really is and if anybody actually still does this in the modern era…perhaps our Swedish contributors will know.

I’ll ask them.

[quote=“headhonchoII”][quote=“ice raven”]I don’t buy it that we become completely immune to mozzie bites, though perhaps they do itch less. On the other hand, I do think it’s possible to become allergic to them…

I’ve heard that Asians have slightly hotter blood than Caucasians, and mosquitos prefer the hotter blood. But wouldn’t be surprised if we emit some chemical which deters them, as Asians say we smell different. Certainly though, if I’m by myself, I get bitten, but if I’m with my wonderful, wonderful wife, I don’t. :slight_smile:[/quote]

It also depends on diet, perhaps alcohol or garlic or some such ingredient deters them!

There is an old trick Swedish farmers in the far North use (where the mozzies are incredibly thick in the summer), at the start of the summer they remove their clothes and lie in the field for a couple of hours and let the mozzies feast, this supposedly overprimes their immune system, then for the rest of the year they are not allergic to mozzie bites. They have to do it every year. Now I don’t know how authentic this story really is and if anybody actually still does this in the modern era…perhaps our Swedish contributors will know.[/quote]

there may be more than a grain or two of truth in that, as in many other ‘folk remedies’ .

I also don’t think that one ever gets completely ‘immune’ to them, just that you has less of a reaction. On the other hand, some people do get bigger and bigger reactions, eventually having a completely disproportionate and often life threatening reaction, which is what is known as an allergy The life-threatening reaction part can manifest as “anaphylactic shock”, with a dramatic reduction in blood pressure from the massive amounts of histamine released by a class of white blood cells leading to vasodilation (a phenomenon that in small amounts is creating the redness in the skin). Merely having a slightly larger than normal reaction is not ‘being allergic’.

As for Asians having “hotter blood” in general, I doubt it. They may have blood vessels closer to the skin as they often have thinner skin with less subcutaneous fat in some areas, so the blood vessels are closer to the skin and thus appear warmer when measured at the surface (by the mosquito’s feet and other sensors). But it’s more likely a difference in skin smell, from different genetics and different diet.

I am in Taiwan about two years, and I realised a few weeks ago that I can’t ever remember being bitten by a mosquito.

I felt like Bruce Willis in that movie… Un… Unacceptable. Or whatever.

Am I getting paranoid, or does there seem to be a sudden increase in the Mosquito population recently?

Nope. Had no mosquitoes all summer. Suddenly, as soon as my head hits the pullow, it’s bzzzzz all around.

So much for winter killing all bugs.

I used to live in a home in Taipei with a mosquito problem (nets around each bed) and had the exact same experience: the invaders were entering my home through the exhaust fan above the kitchen stove. I purchased some wire mesh from the local hardware store and carefully installed it in the exhaust tubing above the fan. After that, my mosquito problem went away.

Last year I encountered a new kind of monsters.
The usual mosquito bites are manageable. The bump itches and goes away after a few days.
Then there are those tiny invisible black dot insects which are quite painful when they bite. Only active from morning until lunchtime.

First time in 5 years I encountered this unusual bites in a park near a public indoor swimming pool (Nantou). I had shorts and did not feel the two bites in my left leg, but it started itching right away. Small bump but a big red area around the bite, getting bigger with time to about 5 cm in diameter. The tissue under the skin hardens up a bit over time. I was unfamiliar with that kind of reaction, so I only went to a doctor a three days later. By then I could feel the pain standing up as my muscles in my leg were tightening up.
Doctor prescribed antibiotics! After a week the infection was gone. The healing of tissue took about a month. I took it as a freak accident as this never happened before.

Two months later… first time back to the same park! f@&k! They got me in my right leg twice. Went to doctor right away and got antibiotics again.
This time it took longer to stop the infection. I had a much bigger hole in my leg after the infection was stopped. Top layer of skin in 1 cm diameter completely died off. And I had a hole ca. 5mm deep and wide. The healing is still not completely finished two months later.

Doctor did not have a particular clue what it was.
Suffice to say I avoid this park from now on.
What the actual f@*k is this?