For me, every bite by mosquito results in heavy itching and the blister, which size is dependent on how long the mosquito was sucking the blood, in worst cases even 1 cm in diameter. If I would stay naked outdoors the whole nights, the blisters would probably cover my whole body with painful red crust. It could be very dangerous for the whole body, I think.

But our ancestors have to stay naked the whole day and night outdoors. There are still tribes in Amazon and South Africa, that sleep naked in the open air. How to they deal with mosquito bites? It is possible for body to get used to bites and not react to the bites with blisters? Or the skin can get thicker so that to make it hard for mosquito to get through?

  • I don't know about "get used to," but I really don't get any reaction from mosquito bites. Maybe a bit of itching for a few minutes, nothing more. Possibly because I grew up in a highly mosquito-infested area, which would imply acclimatization is possible.
    – Kevin
    Jul 12, 2013 at 2:01
  • 3
    Just because humanity has survived through something for thousands of years doesn't mean our ancestors had some sort of immunity we've lost. Good examples are polio and malaria (and malaria still kills hundreds of thousands per year). Jul 17, 2013 at 21:48
  • Some of the answers here remind me of hyposensitization therapy. Given it can work for other allergens, I see no reason why it shouldn´t for mosquitos. Jul 23, 2014 at 8:10
  • 1
    Strictly speaking, you want what an immunologist calls 'tolerance'. The itching and inflammation comes from our abundant immunity (that is, most of us have antibodies in our blood ready to react to whatever the mosquito leaves in the bite). My experience is that the first bite in the spring is the worst, and severity of the reaction decreases after that.
    – Pepi
    Feb 26, 2015 at 1:40
  • I'm immune, not as immune as my sister though, we've conducted experiments on her even, we've watched mosquitos suck their fill out of her and fly away, she doesn't so much as get a mark.
    – ShemSeger
    Aug 21, 2015 at 4:10

4 Answers 4


Anecdotally - yes.

I've heard it is possible, read it is possible, and have successfully done so myself while working in Wyoming's Wind River Range (on par with Alaska for its mosquitoes).


  • Although you might stop itching and swelling, you won't build up an immunity to West Nile, Dengue, Malaria, etc if they occur in your area.
  • In my experience, I developed a tolerance of one type of mosquito in the area I was working. When I traveled to the south end of the range and encountered a smaller mosquito, I was itching like crazy.
  • There are over 3,000 species of mosquito with different allergens in their saliva. Everyone's immune system is different. When in doubt, protection is a smarter course of action.

Interesting reading:

Neither of which says much about developing immunity, but I'll keep looking.


Yes, increased exposure can reduce the ellergic reaction that results in the itching and swelling. The very first time we are bitten by a mosquito, nothing happens. That triggers the immune system in a way that subsequent bytes cause a allergic response.

There are roughly two levels of "immunity" to mosquitos that in most people can be brought on by high exposure. The first level will itch for a some minutes, but then after about 20 minutes or so the itch is gone and so is the redness and swelling. In fact, it's hard to remember where exactly the moquito bite was. I know because my body now responds this way.

From what I've read, the second level works the same way but symptoms are gone in about 2 minutes instead of 20 minutes. I can't comment on this from personal experience.

Mosquitos used to bother me and cause itching, redness, and swelling of a small area around the bite for days, like they do for most people. About 25 years ago I was doing a 2 night bike trip with a friend from Wellfleet on Cape Cod back to home in north-central Massachusetts. It was summer and quite warm and we didn't have tents, just a sleeping bag each and a platic sheet in case it rained (fortunately it didn't). The first night the mosquitos were really annoying. I sortof tried to cover myself with the plastic, but that got really hot and sweaty, and I still had to breath of course. Eventually I fell asleep anyway.

The next morning I got up and all was fine, then I remembered the mosquitos the night before and noticed to my great surprise that I couldn't find a single mosquito bite anywhere on my face, which was exposed all night. Ever since then, I've had the 20 minute reaction instead of the usual several day reaction.

However, while this makes the mosquito bites themselves more tolerable, it does nothing against the pathogens the mosquitos might carry. Around here we have West Nile and Easter Equine Encephalitis. Those can be pretty serious, but Malaria, Yellow Fever, and Dengue Fever effect many more people around the world. So don't go around thinking it's OK to be bitten by mosquitos just because your body has a tolerable reaction to the mosquito bite itself.


In the three years since I first wrote this, I have been outside a lot and of course got exposed to mosquitos on numerous occasions. Apparently heavy exposure really does give you more immunity. I noticed this summer when I was trying to set up a tent where there were lots of mosquitos that I didn't get a noticeable reaction at all. I know I got bitten a bunch of times since some of the mosquitos I squashed on my skin made red blood splats. There were so many that I would get several at a time just by wiping my hand down my leg.

Again, I don't recommend going out and deliberately exposing yourself to mosquitos since they can carry disease.

  • This is quite anecdotal, but for what it's worth: I also have the 20 minute reaction since spending some vacations in northern Scandinavia.
    – fgysin
    Sep 1, 2015 at 6:04

I have been living in Wales for 20 years, the mosquitoes here don't bother me at all. Over the other side of the UK, they do. Not half as bad as North Carolina mosquitoes though, they leave red angry marks nearly an inch in diameter that take weeks to go. I'm emigrating to NC soon, so I'm really hoping I develop tolerance to the indigenous mosquitoes.


I have an immunity to mosquito bites. Always have. Never had any bump or noticeable mark from a mosquito bite. Never needed to develop it. They even bite me less often than other people, I've noticed (when concentration of mosquitos is low, but when they are out in droves they go HAAM even on me, but still no effect on me).

As a microbiology student it does seem to me that mine is more a genetic trait. Maybe one day someone will offer me $ for mah blood so they can give people a vaccine. It's definitely something that could be developed into a topical treatment or into a capsulated form for temporary durations and not at great cost. Kind of like anti-venom, but the synthesis would be the difficult and costly part (but not extremely costly) cause I only gots so much blood. I'm envisioning a Mad Max Fury Road type scenario here lol.

Certainly there is value in never feeling itchy after a bite. My kids didn't pick up the trait from me and my parentage does not have it either, so it's likely to be recessive.

  • one day we will simply eradicate mosquitoes. hopefully this decade. Jun 25, 2018 at 18:56

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