This Is How A Mosquito Saws Through Your Skin

Here to suck your blood

These are the bug days of summer. Mosquitos are just beginning their reign of terror and it might interest you to know how they get under your skin.

A new video from KQED describes the process by which an adult female mosquito sucks your blood, from when she draws back the sheath on the six needle-like proboscises and saws into the skin, holding open the wound while she drools into it, sucking up our blood in the process. (Female mosquitoes are the bloodsuckers of their kind — males feed on fruit nectar.)

A mosquito 'sawing' into the skin

A mosquito 'sawing' into the skin

A mosquito 'sawing' into the skinKQED

And it gets better (or worse). As she sucks out our blood, she wants to fill up as much as possible at the all you can eat buffet that is our blood vessels. So she extracts all extra liquid from our blood, and excretes it back onto our skin. Lovely.

Water droplets

Water Droplets

Close-up of a mosquito.KQED

Researchers are trying to get an even better accounting of how mosquitos bite people because their bites, in addition to carrying off blood can also carry dangerous diseases like West Nile Virus and Zika. Watch the video for more details.