The mosquito is proof of Kipling’s famous statement that “the female of the species is more deadly than the male.” The male mosquito does not bite. The female mosquito is out for blood. The mosquito does not really bite, but saws through the skin.
Investigators have found that mosquitoes prefer to bite some people rather than others. They have found, moreover, that some people react severely to mosquito bites, whereas others do not react at all. The attractiveness of an individual for mosquitoes varies from time to time. Mosquitoes that bite prefer places with lots of people, rather than those with just a few people or places that are empty. Mosquitoes are more attracted by numerous or unwashed sleepers than by a few people who are sleeping and who are well washed. Thorough cleansing with soap and water decreases the attractiveness of any individual for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted by warm objects, by lights at night and by dark objects during the day. Dark clothing is more attractive than light clothing for mosquitoes, and rough clothing is more attractive than smooth clothing. Mosquitoes prefer damp weather to dry weather, but in the cold seasons they prefer dry weather to damp weather. Mosquitoes prefer adults to children and men to women.
If you watch a mosquito as it alights on the skin you will find that it begins to move back and forth, causing the saw to penetrate the skin. If it feeds rapidly it swells up, and if you smack the mosquito a spot of blood will appear on the skin, indicating the amount of blood that has been taken. When the mosquito first inserts the proboscis into your skin it injects some saliva which keeps the blood from clotting.
Mosquitoes carry malaria, yellow fever, and a number of other diseases. The mosquito can be eliminated by getting rid of pools of stagnant water in the surroundings, by spraying surfaces of water with oil and by other well-established health-engineering techniques. The itching of the mosquito bite can be controlled by the use of one per cent menthol or phenol in calamine lotion or by the application of the ointments of antihistamines such as neohetramine, neoantergan, thephorin, pyrabenzamine, benadryl, diatrin, and others.