Imagine yourself sitting or playing outdoors on a pleasant summer day. You hear a humming noise. Soon you feel a sting on your leg or arm. You slap hard. You look down and see a tiny speck of blood. You have just been engaged in a battle with one of the great enemies of mankind. To most of us, the mosquito is just an annoying pest. The humming noise about our heads (especially when we try to sleep) irritates us. The mosquito bite and the itching feeling afterward is a nuisance.
But this little insect is much more than a pest. The mosquito, by spreading such diseases as malaria and yellow fever, played a part in the fall of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. It killed many of our pioneer ancestors when they opened up our Empire. It prevented countries alOng tropical coasts and in hot climates from being settled and developing as they should. Fortunately, we have learned how to deal with the diseases that this “pest” used to spread throughout the world.
The male mosquito feeds only on plant juices, but the female prefers blood! So the female is the one that bites you. And what equipment she has for doing an expert job! The “beak” of the female mosquito holds daggers with sawlike tips, plus a tube for injecting and a tube for sucking. As soon as she settles on your skin, she starts sawing. Into the tiny hole, she injects a chemical so that your blood will not coagulate, or form a dry clot. Then she sucks up the blood she has prepared and flies off. The itching you feel is not caused by the “bite”. It is caused by the liquid she has injected. So if you kill her before she can suck back that irritating liquid, your itching will be worse!
Do Mosquitoes Feel Pain?
They don’t feel ‘pain,’ but may feel irritation and probably can sense if they are damaged. Even so, they certainly cannot suffer because they don’t have emotion.