N.I. could see mosquito invasion as temperatures set to soar into the 20s

"Try not to swat at them  it may turn them into defensive mode and make them more likely to sting," said Prof. Hart.
"Try not to swat at them it may turn them into defensive mode and make them more likely to sting," said Prof. Hart.
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Northern Ireland sun worshippers are being warned by experts to keep their eyes peeled for mosquitoes and other biting insects as temperatures look set to soar into the 20s this weekend.

Science Professor and Entomologist, Adam Hart, explained why some of us might fall foul of mosquitoes in the next few days.

“An Indian Summer and a bout of warm weather means that insects become much more active," said Prof. Hart.

"This combined with wanting to spend time outdoors before the cold weather and winter comes, means we are much more likely to get bitten by mosquitoes and other insects around.

"This is something we are not used to for this time of year and we seemingly forget to take the necessary precautions, such as wearing insect repellent."

There are at least 18 different species of mosquito in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The temperature will start to increase tomorrow and last into the weekend.

Cities such as Londonderry, Belfast, Lisburn and Armagh will see temperatures soar into the 20s on Thursday and Friday.

How to keep mosquitoes away

“Insect repellent like DEET and covering up bare skin, go a very long way to avoiding mosquito bites," added Prof Hart.

"To avoid stings from any bees and wasps that may be around, try to avoid attracting them to your location; keep food and drink covered and if they do appear in numbers consider moving somewhere else.

"Try not to swat at them – it may turn them into defensive mode and make them more likely to sting.”

How to treat a mosquito bite

“For bites the best thing to do is to try and not get bitten in the first place and wear insect repellent but that is easier said than done," said Prof. Hart.

"Don’t scratch it! Take an antihistamine as recommended by your pharmacist. Tropical and oral remedies are usually looking to chemically reduce the effects of histamine that your body is producing in response to the bite or sting.

"It is the histamine response that cause the swelling and itching and this is why such treatments are called 'anti'-histamines.

"Heat therapy treatment, such as bite away can work very quickly to relieve symptoms, especially itching.

"The heat causes a signal in the nerves around the site that interferes with the nerve signals that cause itching.”

Are some people more susceptible to bites than others and why?

“For bites - definitely," confirmed Prof. Hart.

"Research confirms that your blood type for example can make you more likely to be bitten, as can having a warmer body temperature or producing more CO2.

"The science very much backs up people’s sense that some people are mossie-magnets."