It’s hard to resist going outdoors during these summer months with so many picnics, bbqs, beaches, parks and concerts to attend! But along with the hot and humid season come the mosquitoes. Mosquitoes bite because they’re attracted to CO2 and lactic acid, so you’re a walking target if you’re living and breathing. It’s impossible to escape them all summer long, eventually you’ll get bitten. There are steps you can take to prevent the number of bites from increasing, as well as some simple things you can do to lessen the redness, swelling and often unbearable itching that can last for days.So go out and enjoy the rest of your summer armed with these tips to avoid those annoying little buggers!
How to prevent mosquito bites:
- Wear loose fitting light (white) -colored clothes. mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors and can easily bite through tight clothing.
- Check around your home/apt for standing water in places such as gutters, buckets, and flower pots. mosquitoes lay their eggs there
- Use citronella products such as soaps, oils, candles, and incense. You can also use some of the melted citronella candle wax and mix it in with some lotion or sunscreen to create a DIY mosquito repelling lotion.
- Natural repellants: you don’t have to smell like nasty chemicals to keep the mosquitoes away. Roesemary, lavender, basil, catnip, lemon balm, verbena, pine, cinnamon, thyme, peppermint and rose geraniums all help ward off the little buggers. You can crush the leaves of any of the plants to release their scents, or use the essential oils and rub them on your skin on dab onto pulse points. Researchers at Iowa State University found the essential oil in catnip to be about 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.
- DIY insect repellant: Mix 1 oz of eucalyptus oil with 6 oz of water, shake well and pour it in a spritzer bottle. Spray directly onto skin. Or mix 2 oz of lemon balm with 2 oz of water, pour into a spritzer bottle.
DIET – What you eat plays an important role too!
- Garlic. Vampires aren’t the only blood-suckers that hate garlic. You can use this to your advantage by rubbing a little onto your exposed skin, or eat it and it will permeate through your pores. Unfortunately, you may end up repelling humans too.
- Vitamin B-1. Supplement your diet daily with 50-100mg of Vitamin B-1. It is known to give off an obnoxious scent through the skin that repels mosquitos. Vitamin B1 has a unique ability to create an obnoxious scent that stops mosquitoes in their tracks**
- Avoid Bananas. Don’t eat bananas – the way your body processes the oil attracts mosquitoes.
How to treat mosquito bites and tame the itching
- Wash the area with soap and water and try to keep it dry and clean until the irritation subsides.
- Never scratch a bite! I know it’s easier said than done, but the scratching will make the itch worse. The itching is due to a localized allergic reaction and histamine response caused by the mosquito’s saliva. Scratching the bite may cause more histamine to be released which will increase the itching and may also cause the site to become infected. It could even leave a scar.
- Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil can also help relieve some of the itching. In fact, tea tree oil also has anti-bacterial properies.
- Aloe Vera can help soothe the redness as well.
- Rubbing soap directly onto the bite, like a dampened bar of ivory soap, may help reduce the itching.
- Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the bites.
- Apply cold compresses on the bite such as a cool towel or a wrapped ice pack.