PHOENIX — People are celebrating after the Valley finally saw some monsoon activity. However, it also means an increase in mosquitoes.
Tiny, quick and always annoying these blood-sucking pests are never a welcomed sight.
"Some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others," said Dr. Silvie Huijben. "If you have a mosquito bite there's not much you can do."
Dr. Huijben is an Assistant Professor at ASU's School of Life Sciences. She said mosquitoes while obnoxious can be interesting.
"The female mosquitoes bite," she said. "That's because they need proteins in our blood. Males don't have the mouth parts that would help them to bite a person. So she's going to bite, develop her eggs, lay them and then bite another person."
Typically, living between two weeks to around a month, there are two main things mosquitoes look for when finding their next victim.
"So, we all breathe out CO2," Dr. Huijben said. "So, she's going to look for CO2 and heat. Then when she comes closer, she'll pick who do I want to bite. Everyone has a unique composition of bacteria on their skins, and they all have different odors they exert. Some people just smell better to a mosquito than others."
Bites are irritating but usually harmless. They can sometimes though be dangerous since mosquitoes transmit diseases like Malaria and Zika. In Arizona, the most common is West Nile Virus but in most cases, it's not the human they're after.
"Mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus here in Arizona actually prefer to bite birds and that's where the cycle happens mostly in the bird population," she said. "Then mosquitoes accidentally bite humans and then you can get infected."
There are things you can do to help protect yourself from being bitten but the best way to protect yourself is to clear your property of all standing water and make sure if you have a pool, the water is treated appropriately.
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