Why should mosquito bites be so itchy?

Evolutionaly speaking, wouldn’t a mosquito whose anit-coagulant saliver is less itch-inducing more likely to survive and procreate?

If so, why are mosquito bites still so itchy after all the constant slaughter?

Is it because all anit-coagulants’ simply are itch-inducing? What abt leeches?

Some people say its because the “itchy” is to cause blood to flow through the swelling area in greater amounts. But the bites that i’ve known so far simply just itch and only swell if i scratch them.

so…? Is it just me and my family?

When a mosquito bites you, she injects saliva into the bite, and there are anticoagulants and enzymes in the saliva, to make blood easier to drink.

The itching is a reaction to these.


After reading the thread in a little more detail…

The majority of evolution mosquitoes have gone through pre-dated primates. Most other animals, after they feel the bite, will twitch or swat with a tail to shoo the mosquito away, without killing it. There would be no evolutionary impetus to breed an anti-itch mosquito.

Ok…but since most mosquitos especially those living in urban areas rely exclusively on humans…and since mosquitos have a fast reproduction rate hence more likey to, for lack of a better word, evolve…whats stopping the presence of an anti-itch mosquito?

I doubt that the mosquito would connect the fact that their bites itch with a cloud of chemicals destroying their breeding grounds or any other manor of death that is so justly given to them. They may evolve to me more resitant to pesticides or less likly to fly into a bug zapper long befor they develope a non-itchy bite.

Probably the fact that, relative to the total population, the number of deaths-by-smacking-during-feeding represents but a small percentage of total deaths. One might, in fact, argue that the high reproduction rate of mosqitoes is their response to high casualty rates; the selective pressure to maintain existing traits (high reproductive rates) is probably significantly higher than the pressure to “evolve” new traits (non-itchy anti-coagulants).

The lack of non-itchy anti-coagulants could also be the simple result of a mutation that hasn’t yet occurred, or that simply can’t occur, for whatever reason.

Plus, I notice that it doesn’t itch until AFTER they bite, so it’s probably too late.

Not to mention, when I’ve gotten bit, sometimes it will sting at first.

Here’s a Straight Dope staff report about it.

What I don’t get is why mosquito bites itch for so long afterwards. Weeks in my case. I scratch them until they are raw and bleeding and they still itch.

They itch for at least two weeks after the bite.

The itch is so bad that I wake up in the night scratching, I actually lose sleep from them.

I don’t think I’m getting a hypersensitivity reaction (like people do with beestings and peanuts) because I don’t get any massive swelling or other effects). Just itch, itch, itch.

When you first itch the bite, it is so intense, when your fingers find it, that it is almost like discovering a small sexual organ on your body, such is the pleasure at “getting to it.” But the pleasure does not last long when the area is red and sore yet still itchy.

If anyone knows of any proper cures (and believe me I have tried every repellent under the sun - non assuage the itch or ward off the mosquitos in the first place, except for coils, which choke me to death and do nothing for the itch) please please suggest some. Old Wives’ Cures, herbal cures, snake oil, whatever.