Home Health Bug bite: Is that a midge bite? What to look out for...

Bug bite: Is that a midge bite? What to look out for and how to protect yourself

Bug bites are common in warmer weather. Have you been exposed to a biting bug? Is it a midge bite? There may be a way to tell.

Midges, otherwise known as gnats, travel in swarms looking for their next prey.

The blood-sucking insects can home in on carbon dioxide sources from up to 200 metres away, according to insect repellant brand Mosi-guard.

And an average human breathes out around 500 litres of carbon dioxide every day, says Science Focus Magazine.

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They feed on your skin for up to four minutes – and you’re unlikely to feel a thing, at the time.

Afterwards, the small, itchy bumps that surface can be a tell-tale sign you’ve been bitten.

That, and you may be able to see a small hole within the lump.

For those particularly sensitive to insect bites, you may develop fluid-filled blisters or weals surrounding the bite.

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What causes these bodily reactions?

When midges bite you, they pump an anti-coagulant into the wound.

This thins the blood and prevents blood clots from forming.

The human immune system then responds to this anti-coagulant, which creates the itching and swelling.

As immune responses are individual, this explains how people react differently to being bitten by the same thing.

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