Why are mosquitoes so bad in Sacramento? More treatment tips

With Sacramento’s hot weather, there are blood-hungry mosquitoes.

According to the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District, a significant number of service requests have been made over the past two days as people spend more time outdoors and notice mosquitoes around their property.

“These mosquitoes are the ones that have been hibernating for the past few months,” district manager Gary Goodman said in a Thursday morning newspaper. Release. “The warm temperatures have brought them out of rest and they are biting aggressively.”

According to the district, it’s important for residents to inspect their property and drain any standing water they might find in flower pots, buckets, birdbaths or small containers. Reducing mosquito breeding sites now will help later in the season.

What is a mosquito?

Mosquitoes are widespread, with more than 3,500 types worldwide, according to the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention. And while not all mosquitoes bite humans and animals, when they bite people⁠—the traditional reactions are itching and swelling.

Mosquitoes live both indoors and outdoors and can bite day and night. They can live for around two to four weeks depending on species, humidity, temperature and more, but female mosquitoes are the ones that bite because they need blood to produce eggs.

How can I protect myself?

Fortunately, the mosquitoes you see are not the species that can pose a threat to West Nile virus, according to the release. Instead, they’re just a seasonal nuisance that’s very common during the few days in February when Sacramento temperatures typically rise a few degrees.

District teams have inspected areas where mosquitoes can breed and are making appropriate treatments. But the best protection against these insects is simply to wear long sleeves and pants outside.

An effective insect repellent, depending on the control district, is one that contains DEET or picaridin. Lemon eucalyptus oil is also a good repellent.

You should also avoid being outside at dawn and dusk and make sure your doors and screens are in good repair to protect yourself against any of those itchy bumps.

To report mosquito breeding sources, request a home inspection or if you are bothered by them, call 1-800-429-1022 or visit Fight the bite to complete an online service request.

Why does the bite itch?

When a mosquito bites you, it pierces the skin using a special mouthpiece to suck blood, according to the CDC. And as the bloodthirsty insect feeds, it injects saliva into your skin.

In reaction to the saliva, your skin begins to itch and swell.

Some people have a mild reaction to a bite while others experience swelling, pain, and general redness of the skin. More serious reactions can occur in children, adults bitten by a species to which they have not yet been exposed, and people with immune system disorders.

Those experiencing harsher reactions may also have:

  • A little fever
  • Urticaria
  • Swollen lymph nodes

How to treat a bite?

To treat a common mosquito bite, wash the area with soap and water and apply an ice pack for 10 minutes to reduce symptoms. Next, apply a mixture of one tablespoon of baking soda and just enough water to create a paste.

Apply the mixture to the area, wait 10 minutes and rinse. Follow with an over-the-counter anti-itch cream or antihistamine.

Remember not to scratch (which is easier said than done) as the bite may become infected and turn red, feel hot or a red streak will spread from the bite, according to CDC.

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This story was originally published February 11, 2022 5:00 a.m.

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Brianna Taylor is a service desk reporter for The Sacramento Bee. A former Bee intern, Brianna has also reported from Missouri and Maryland. She graduated from Morgan State University.

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