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Fast Fact: Mosquitoes

Would it surprise you to learn that mosquitoes are the most deadly animal on Earth? They are, because they can transmit illnesses like malaria and West Nile virus that kill hundreds of thousands of people a year. Only female mosquitoes bite. They bite humans and other animals because they need protein from blood to produce eggs. Of the more than 200 kinds of mosquitoes that live in the United States, only about 12 spread germs that can cause illness in humans.

(Photo via Shutterstock)

Mosquito bites itch because you are allergic to their saliva. When they bite, they inject saliva, which triggers an immune response in our bodies. That response is what causes the itchy, red bumps. Want to avoid mosquito bites? Make sure to wear insect repellent when you are outdoors, and wear long-sleeved shorts and pants when you’ll be out in areas where mosquitoes can be bad.


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