Mosquito bites can be quite annoying. With the right treatment methods, you can get rid of the itchiness and have the wound heal quickly. Learn how in our guide on how to get rid of mosquito bites.
Why do Mosquitoes Bite Humans?
Female mosquitoes require blood for reproduction. The protein and iron found in blood are required to provide nourishment to the eggs before they can be laid.
The insect sucks blood by first locating a capillary that is closest to the surface of the skin and injecting its needle-like mouth into it.
It does all this without you noticing by inoculating an anti-clotting enzyme that allows it to drink blood easily and also temporarily dull the area so that you never feel any sting from the bites and drive the bug away.
Tiger Mosquito Asian: A type common in South East Asia which in the past decades has spread to other countries as well.
Why do Mosquito Bites Leave Itchy Red Bumps?
It is only after a few moments that your body starts to react to the foreign enzymes and causes the area to become itchy and swollen. When you get the urge to itch, don’t!
If you stop yourself from itching you can prevent the inflammation from increasing and this can help you get rid of the bites faster.
Are these Bites Harmless?
The mosquito’s mouth (or proboscis) is a medium for spreading disease. While injecting its saliva, the bug injects any virus or bacteria it may have picked up from its last victim to its new victim.
The type of disease being carried varies according to region. In the United States, the Zika virus is the most common type of disease spread through mosquito bites. This is a milder version of the dengue fever that is deadly in other regions of the world.
If you are traveling to countries with warmer climates you may need to be extra careful with prevention.
As long as you do not develop any severe allergic reaction or feverish symptoms the information below would suffice to help you treat the bite yourself.
How Can I Prevent Mosquito Bites?
Prevention is better than cure. In the case of mosquito bites, there are several different ways you can protect yourself from being a victim of this annoying insect.
The easiest is to leave little to no skin exposed. This can be done by wearing long-sleeved tops rather than short-sleeved ones and by switching those summertime shorts with pants.
Wearing light colored and full sleeved clothing lower your chances of getting bit.
Include light-colored clothes in your choice of clothing for the summer since you can be detected more easily if you are dressed in darker colors.
Mosquitoes have thermal sensors which allow them to identify if a human is close by through body heat. Dark colors tend to absorb heat more readily making you a probable target if you choose to wear them.
- Mosquito repellent
If you still want to flaunt your summer dress and not get bit, you can use repellents that contain DEET.
Liquid DEET-based repellents can be spread over the exposed parts of the skin. When using a spray based product avoid spraying directly on your face. Spray the product into your palms and then spread it to your face, avoiding areas surrounding your eyes and nostrils.
The repellent works by blocking the tiny insects’ sense of smell which it relies upon apart from its thermal sense to detect potential victims.
If a repellent spray is not your preferred choice of prevention from mosquitoes learn about companion planting to repel these bugs away through The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Companion Planting.
- Get rid of stagnant water
Avoid going to places with standing water since these are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
If there is a bucket of standing water in your house get rid of it to discourage growth.
- Avoid going out during hours where mosquitoes are at their strongest
The two times of the day when this insect is most active are during sunrise and sunset. The wind speed is the slowest during these hours allowing it to hunt for prey more effectively.
Mosquitoes Mosquito Swarm: Large clusters of these pesky insects can be found at dusk and dawn. You should limit yourself from going out at these times.
Close all windows and doors during these hours to prevent any mosquitoes from entering your premises unless your doors and windows are lined with insect nets.
- Enable air-circulation
Mosquitoes aren’t very strong flyers, keeping air circulated using a pedestal or ceiling fan can be an effective way to get rid of the insect.
Use a standing fan to encourage air circulation.
- Stay Cool
One way to block the bug from detecting you is by staying cool through ample hydration as this will limit the heat your body emits ensuring you go undetected by the thermal sensors used by the insect.
Icy cold drinks will help you get your temperature down.
You may even use an ice-pack on your body to get your body-temperature down. Another unconventional way is to wear slightly damp clothing, this will not only help your body stay cool but also prevent you from sweating.
How can I get rid of mosquito bites through natural remedies?
If the above preventive techniques did not work for you here are ways you can stop the red bumps from itching, heal the area around the bite and get rid of the bump that follows.
- Aloe vera
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, when rubbed on the bite this will help reduce the redness and get rid of the bump faster. The gel-like texture will also keep the urge to itch away.
The aloe vera plant can be easily found in most stores and can even be grown at home. Want to learn how? Here is How To Grow Aloe Vera at home.
Icing the area will help get rid of the swelling and have a soothing effect. Wrap a cube of ice with a piece of cloth and then spread it on the affected area.
Make sure to stock up on ice-cubes this summer.
Slather mild moisturizer, preferably after a shower, on damp skin until the affected area is completely healed.
It is important to lock moisture in as dry skin increases your temptation to itch. Moisturizer also helps to reduce the redness around the bite.
Moisturize your skin using calamine lotion over bites as this is reported to have a soothing effect and can help get rid of the redness.
Due to its sticky property, slathering honey over itchy skin will stop you from scratching and save you from worsening the area.
Additionally, it has antibacterial properties that can prevent the area from getting infected.
Use small amounts of honey on the affected area to stop yourself from scratching and infecting the area.
- Baking Soda
Use 1 tablespoon of this powder with enough water to make a paste. Apply it on the affected area and leave it on for about 5 minutes before you wash it off.
Alkaline in nature, the baking soda paste gets rid of the itchiness through neutralizing the acidic pH of the protein-enzyme injected through the bugs saliva.
Baking soda paste reduces inflammation around the area of the bites.
Do not continue this procedure in case skin irritation occurs.
Baking soda can be used to treat various skin problems. Here are 8 Ways to Use Baking Soda For The Most Common Skin Problems.
This method does not help with the bump but heating a spoon over your stove-top and then placing the hot-spoon over the bite will get rid of your itch.
Please ensure the heat is bearable and not so high that it burns your skin.
This method works because the protein injected through the bite that makes you itch can not survive at high-temperatures.
Make sure to use a metallic spoon for this technique.
What are some over-the-counter methods of treating mosquito bites?
Hydrocortisone cream is formulated to get rid of red bumps that may emerge after bites and even helps to reduce itching.
Antihistamines reduce itchiness and swelling around the bite. These can be consumed orally and applied topically as well.
Any ointments containing benzocaine or lidocaine will act as a numbing agent instantly providing relief from the itching.
Peppermint and menthol containing ointments work in the same way as benzocaine.
Watch this short video to learn how you can soothe and get rid of the itch from mosquito bites.
If the prevention and cure techniques mentioned above do not work for you be sure to consult your local doctor especially if you experience any severe allergic reaction to bites.