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Blood-sucking fiends
September 21, 2012 9:29 PM   Subscribe

How many mosquitoes would one have to get bitten by before becoming dizzy from blood loss?
posted by Aiwen to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
 
I suspect you'd be long dead from the venom they inject to thin the blood. The itchiness is an allergic reaction, and you'd have a huge problem if hundreds of mosquitoes injected that stuff into your system.
posted by Yavsy at 9:32 PM on September 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


A mosquito takes between 0.01 and 0.001mL blood each meal (source).

Rapid loss of as little as a quart of blood can cause dizziness. (On this point, it is not entirely clear, since there are a lot of variables and no one's standing around, measuring your blood after shooting you, to see when you get dizzy, then doing it again with someone with lower/higher blood pressure...).

Each quart is 954.353mL. Using the larger number for how much blood a mosquito takes, you would require 95 435.3 mosquitoes. Using the smaller number, 954 353 mosquitoes.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:36 PM on September 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Definitely dead from the venom before the blood loss. I'm stupidly allergic to mosquitoes, and all it takes is one or two bites before my arm is massively swollen and sad. It wouldn't take that many bites to leave me utterly incapacitated/dead, but I'd have only lost a miniscule amount of blood.
posted by Diagonalize at 9:38 PM on September 21, 2012


Divide those numbers roughly in half if you want the borderline here to be 'one pint' instead of 'one quart': 47 300 or 473 176 mosquitoes.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:40 PM on September 21, 2012


In Guatemala, I ran into a guy who went hiking in the jungle wearing shorts on no bug spray. He came back with so many mosquito bites that he had blood running down his legs. I'd guess maybe a few hundred bites or more. He seemed fairly unaffected by it. I'd think that you'd have to be bitten so many times that you'd run into problems with shock and allergic reactions before you got dizzy from blood loss.
posted by empath at 7:31 AM on September 22, 2012


Here's a report of cattle killed by mosquito exsanguination. Salt marshes added to my list of places to never visit.
posted by theora55 at 8:57 AM on September 22, 2012


I'm with flibbertigibbet...if only because their largest number is very close to a million...and a Million Mosquitoes has a nice ring to it. (Although, yes, the venom would be MUCH more of an issue than any blood-loss-related dizziness)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:25 AM on September 22, 2012


Here's a report of cattle killed by mosquito exsanguination. Salt marshes added to my list of places to never visit.

That actually reminds me, since this story pertains to Floridian salt marshes: it is possible to be killed by mosquitoes stuffing up your nose and mouth, effectively suffocating you through sheer numbers. A Floridian friend of mine knows quite a few farmers, including one who raises cows in the marshier parts of the state. In short, this farmer is forced to wear a a simple facemask out during certain parts of the year.

No, I'm not kidding, mosquitoes have suffocated cows before.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:28 AM on September 22, 2012


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