Top 10 Natural Remedies For Mosquito Bites

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Top 10 Natural Remedies For Mosquito BitesPhotos – © blueringmedia.com, lucato, abet, Alexander Zhiltsov – fotolia.com

Mosquito bites itch because of a mild allergic reaction to the saliva that they inject into the body – this stops the blood from clotting while they feed. However, mosquitoes are not just a nuisance, they can be deadly. There is the risk of blood poisoning or other potentially deadly diseases in some parts of the world. Some people can experience a severe allergic reaction to the bites, causing dangerous swelling, especially when bitten on the throat or face. If you’re unlucky enough to have a strong allergic reaction or infection, the following remedies will not be adequate and you will need expert medical advice and quick treatment. [1]

Mosquito larvae provide food for aquatic predators and the adult mosquitos help to feed spiders, small birds and many other creatures. Attempts to eradicate them have failed as they can develop resistance to chemical pesticides – even DDT! [2]

Prevention Tips

First of all, let’s look at ways to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your garden – prevention is better than cure! Number one is to make sure that water does not collect anywhere that mosquitoes can lay their eggs – it takes less than 2 weeks for them to grow from eggs to adult mosquitoes! If you have a rainwater collection barrel or other systems, it’s important to keep it covered. Fill in any ground where puddles form and if you have a garden pond, consider a small fountain or water feature that keeps the water moving – this will stop the larvae from taking hold.

Another tip is to make sure mesh screens around doors and windows are in good order and able to keep the little critters out. I am also a believer in mosquito nets draped over a sleeping area – which I also find has the additional benefit of making it feel more cosy, safe and cocoon-like. Does anyone else feel that way? 🙂

Ok, here is our list of home remedies for mosquito bites. Before applying them, it’s a good idea to wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water: [3]

1. Used Green Tea Bag

A cold, damp tea bag, preferably of green tea, will cool and reduce the inflammation due to its astringent properties. [4]

2. Basil Leaf

Basil can not only repel mosquitoes but work as an anti-inflammatory – simply rub the leaf on a bite or chew it a little first and spread on the affected area. The leaves of Plantain (Plantago Major or P. Lanceolata) can also be used in the same way although plantain will not have a repellant effect. Both of these plants contain anti-bacterial properties that will help to prevent infection. [5][6]

3. Aloe Vera

The gel from Aloe Vera leaves, either as a pure extract from a bottle or directly squeezed from a freshly cut leaf, will soothe itching and reduce the swelling. [7]

4. Witch Hazel

Distilled Witch Hazel is an excellent astringent remedy and provides an instant cooling sensation. [8]

5. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Strong antiseptic properties will disinfect the bite area, a small amount of tea tree essential oil can be applied to the skin directly with a Q tip or diluted in an ointment if you have sensitive skin – it also reduces inflammation, helping the itch to subside more quickly. [9]

6. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil will have a similar effect to tea tree, but may be preferable on account of its more pleasing scent. Eucalyptus and Anise oils have been shown to repel the common mosquito. [10]

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

The acidic property of cider vinegar is known to help break down the insect saliva that causes itching. Simply dab on to the affected area with a cotton wool ball, clean cloth or tissue. [3]

8. Baking Soda

This can be applied either as a paste mixed with a little water or as a solution of baking soda applied with a cloth. The water will evaporate, cooling the area and baking soda is strongly alkaline, also breaking down the insect saliva. [3]

9. Banana Peel

Banana peel is considered beneficial for several skin conditions. Rub the inside of the peel on the affected area. Note that the aroma may possibly attract other bugs – however, it is the carbon dioxide in our breath that mosquitos are attracted to in the first place.

10. Rubbing alcohol

I have had positive results with this. A small amount on a cotton cloth or better still one of those one-inch square medical alcohol pads will clean and disinfect the area and may help prevent infection. It will also have a cooling effect from the evaporation of the alcohol.

Other notes – Simply wetting the bite with clean water or saliva will help to cool it down if nothing else is available. Applying an ice cube wrapped in cloth will alleviate itching fast! Nail varnish has also been suggested – this is not to be recommended as it is quite likely to cause further skin sensitivity!

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