. one-hundred and forty-six (MOSQUITOS!! UGHH!)8/17/2009 10:21:00 PM
Mosquitoes are a bit like flying syringes. Their large needle nose, called a proboscis, is ideal for quickly landing on a victim, withdrawing a bit of blood and then taking off for the next target. You may not notice a mosquito bite initially, but within an hour or two after a bite, you may have raised red bumps from mosquito bites that itch like crazy.
When a mosquito bites, she leaves behind saliva. In fact, the saliva present in mosquito bites serves the mosquitowell, since it works as an anti-coagulant. These means the mosquito can quickly draw blood without catching your attention.
The saliva injected when a mosquito bites causes our bodies to produce a histamine response. We have a slightallergy response, and thus our skin around the bite area gets itchy. This can actually be a good thing, even if it’s an annoying one, because mosquito bites can transfer disease. In the US, risk of West Nile Virus is the main concern. In other countries, mosquito bites may transfer malaria and other quite nasty germs. If our bodies didn’t respond with the itch factor to mosquito bites, we might not realize we’d been bitten. Though knowing you’ve been bitten may not prevent the spread of disease, you can tell your doctor about it if you develop severe flu symptoms a few days or weeks later.
Over 40 Mosquito Bite Itch Relief Tips
It’s mosquito season and I have buffalo sized ones zipping around the backyard as I type this.
Thanks to their first feast on my ankles tonight and an earliercomment from Kim, I was inspired to dig through every tip I had regarding mosquito bites and relief from the itching. Scritch Scratch.
I haven’t tried most of the suggestions below, but I’ll note which ones have worked for me.
Here are more than 40 mosquito bite itch relief tips organized in one neat file, each bullet tip is a single method:
Household Items To Relieve Itching
- Rub a bar of soap over the itch. I just tried this (Ivory soap) and the relief was near instant. I used a dry bar of soap directly on the skin, but I also have notes that you can spritz bite with water and then run bar of soap over area–or use a wet bar of soap.
- Place a piece of scotch tape on the bite; or dab rubbing alcohol or ammonia on the bite first then stick on a piece of tape.
- Hot water: Take a hot shower, or a hot bath, or apply a hot compress. As hot as you can stand it without burning you.
- Ice cube, ice pack or very cold water
Dabbers For Itch Relief
The quicker you can apply one of the remedies below, the faster the relief. These are topical suggestions, apply directly to the bite area.
- Nail Polish
- Strong tea mixed with rubbing alcohol
- Toothpaste (works for me)
- Vinegar (apply directly to bite or take a hot bath with 2 cups of vinegar in the water)
- Underarm deodorant (solid or roll-on) – apply directly to bite area
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Tea: Use a hot tea bag or a cotton ball soaked in hot tea to dab on bite area
Mix these fresh then apply to bite as soon as possible. The consistency should be nice and thick so it won’t run, yet will still stay in place on the affected area. You could also spritz bite with water then apply grains/powders directly (generously) and rub them in.
- Baking Soda & Water (works for me)
- Meat Tenderizer & Water
- Salt & Water (works for me)
- Epsom Salt & Water (could also do this as a foot soak if it’s the ankle/foot area affected)
- Tums Tablets: crush and add a few drops of water
- Aspirin: crush then add a few drops of water
- Aspirin – crush then apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol
Commercial Product Lotions, Creams & Applications
*Apply directly to mosquito bite area.
- Calamine Lotion
- Benadryl Cream
- Vicks VapoRub (works for me)
- Preparation H (works for me)
- Lucas Papaw Ointment
- Tiger Balm
- Bag Balm
- Gold Bond Medicated Cream (or the Gold Bond Medicated Powder)
- Mylanta (heartburn relief product)
- After Bite
Essential Oils For Itch Relief
Apply full strength directly to bite area. Edit: There are concerns about using essential oils on children and pre-teens, especially repeated use.
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Witch Hazel (astringent)
- Cedar Oil
*Crush the fresh leaves roughly then apply to bite area
- Plantains (Plantago)
*Use fresh fruit & apply directly to bite
- Lemon Juice
- Lemon Slice
- Lime Juice
- Lime Slice
- Banana Peel (rub inside of peel on bite)
Whew! Big List! If I’ve missed your favorite remedy for mosquito bites, please add them below.
- If a remedy doesn’t provide fast relief, don’t despair. Give it another try, sometimes it will take 2 or 3 applications before it kicks in.
- The itch from mosquito bites comes from the saliva of the mosquito that it injects into you as it feasts on your blood. There are several dozen different species of mosquitoes and you may react to some species bites more than others.
- If large swelling occurs (like welts), contact a doctor or pharmacist for suggestions (especially if it’s a child with a strong reaction). It could be an allergy to the bite. It’s important to watch the throat for swelling and get treatment asap.
Update: You’ll find tips on preventing mosquito bites here.
Hope this helped a bit! Stay itch free emancipators!
PCE, LVE & FRSH AIR!