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Natural Mosquito Bite Remedies and Repellants

mosquito bite
Flickr user 416style

It seems like everyone is getting bit up like crazy when they head outside this summer!

I too have fallen victim to a few blood-thirsty mosquitoes, but luckily a few tricks have kept me mostly itch-free!

First let’s talk prevention!

Mosquitoes love dark clothes, carbon dioxide, perspiration, and lactic acid. So if you’re wearing black, running around, breathing heavily and sweating, you might as well have a bulls-eye on you.

The biting bastids always tend to come out in droves at dusk, but they will always seek out standing water, so make sure you get rid of any little puddles that could serve as breeding grounds.

coconut oil
Wegmans

I’ve been using coconut oil as a moisturizer lately, and I’ve found that if I apply it often, it seems to keep the bugs away (plus it smells awesome.)

You can also try making your own anti-mosquito concoction with essential oils like lavender, peppermint, citronella, or clove, but some of them smell pretty funky!

I’ve also heard that eating fresh, raw garlic will keep the bugs away, but…it’s gonna keep the people away too, so…eater beware.

garlic
Wegmans

Downing a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar is also said to work to keep bugs away from the inside out, but drinking a tablespoon of vinegar also sounds gross.

On to the remedies!

So you’ve been bit. It’s itchy, red, and driving you crazy. The first rule of mosquito bites is you don’t scratch the bite.

The second rule of mosquito bites is, YOU DON’T SCRATCH THE BITE.

It will make it itch more, it can lead to infection, AND it could possibly make the mosquito spit (yep, when you get bit, the mosquito injects its saliva into your skin, and your body reacts to the spit. Gross!) spread and turn into a bigger ‘bite.’

Your best bet is to act quickly to get as much of the irritant (bug spit) out of your skin as you can. Calamine lotion does a good job, but covers you in terrible pink dots. I prefer straight up rubbing alcohol. Put it on a cotton ball, and apply it to the bite. It may take a few applications, but it helps to dry out the bite!

rubbing alcohol
Wegmans

You can also apply ice to the bite, which will numb you, reducing the pain (itch), and constrict the blood vessels to reduce the anti-histamine reaction that’s happening.

Speaking of which, you can take an anti-histamine (like Benadryl) to reduce the itch, but it will also make you incredibly tired. Boo.

Then there’s the most old school remedy of them all. Use your nail to make an ‘X’ centered on the bite. It’s supposed to dissipate the saliva, and the slight pain of pressing your nail into the skin should stop the itchy feeling. Along the same lines you can slap or pinch the bite, which should have similar effects.

I’ve also seen that soda bottle idea floating around on Facebook, and I have NO idea if it works, but it can’t hurt to try!

  • Boil 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, then when the sugar dissolves, add the mixture to 2 cups of cool water.
  • When it gets to room temperature, stir in a tsp of active dry yeast.
  • Cut the top half off an empty 2-liter clear plastic bottle, flip the top half over so it acts like a funnel into the bottom half and tape the edges together to seal it.
  • Add the water/sugar/yeast mixture to the bottle, then wrap the whole thing in black paper, and put it in a corner within 10 feet of where you are outside.

Know of other bite remedies or repellant ideas? Share them in the comment section below!

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