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What Is A Mosquito Bite? How Can You Avoid Mosquito Bites?

What Is A Mosquito Bite? How Can You Avoid Mosquito Bites?

Mosquitos are visible in naked eyes. The male ones with their light antennae can sense the nearness of female mosquitoes that have hairy antennae. Male mosquitoes don’t bite humans but the females do as they need the blood meal for reproduction. With their cylindrical mouth, they prick the skin of mammals and suck blood.

While extracting blood from mammals they also inject an allergic protein content to their bloodstream that cause lumps with an itchy sensation on the skins. They trace the hosts by the carbon dioxide released from their bodies. Mosquito bites are irksome and on this page, you will get to how to avoid mosquito bites and stay away from these pesky pests.

The Guidelines in this Page:

  • What is a Mosquito Bite?
  • Preventing Mosquito Bites
  • Treating Mosquito Bites
  • 23 Methods to Get Rid of Mosquito Bites Naturally
  • Finally

What is a Mosquito Bite?

When mosquitoes suck blood from our skin they inject anticoagulants through their saliva to our bloodstream. These anticoagulants prevent clotting of the blood so that they can extract blood easily. This particular phenomenon is called a mosquito bite. The bites cause itchy sensations on the skin.

The parts around the bites become red and swelled. When attacked by any allergic elements, naturally our body releases an inflammatory protein called histamine which increases the blood flow in the blood vessels. The increase in blood flow also increases the count of white blood cells (WBC) at the affected places and the itchy sensations (signals sent to nerves around the area) and the swellings happen due to that.

The whole process is perfectly explained by The Smithsonian Science Education Center. Sometimes mosquito bites can be fatal if the female mosquito is carrying a germ already. Mosquito bites are irritating and you can take precautions not to get them in the first place or you can treat them when you have mosquito bites. In this section, we will let you know about both the prevention and cure of mosquito bites.

Preventing Mosquito Bites

There are various ways to prevent mosquito bites. There are traditional methods as well as modern ones. We will discuss the popular methods of preventing mosquito bites.

Using mosquito repellents:

There are various mosquito repelling products available in the market. Some products have natural ingredients (plant extracts, minerals, and bacteria) while some have chemicals in them. The purpose is the same. The majority of the products for repelling mosquitoes have one of the 5 ingredients in them that are listed below.

The productDescription
DEET (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide or diethyltoluamide)It is a colorless insecticide invented for the US Army during 1946. Basically, mosquitoes don’t have good eyesight and they sense their hosts by the smell of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released from their bodies. DEET has a quality of hiding the smell from the insects. It may cause skin itchiness if used extensively but has a general reputation of being safe to use.
Picaridin (Originally known as Icaridin)It is an insecticide similar to DEET. It also does not allow insects to sense or see you. In the 80s it was developed as a synthetic compound but later in 2005, it was approved as an insecticide to be used in the US.
IR3535 (Ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate)It is a bio-pesticide (made from biological elements). It is not capable of killing mosquitoes but can only repel them. But IR3535, when compared to synthetic ingredients like DEET or Picardin, has scored better as a mosquito repellent.
Lemon Eucalyptus OilIt is also a bio-pesticide derived from the leaves and barks of eucalyptus plants. Lemon Eucalyptus Oil can deter mosquitoes for six to seven hours.
Citronella OilAnother bio-pesticide which is extracted from stems, leaves and other green parts of lemongrass plants. It has a soothing smell and is the common ingredient in scented candles.

Most of the repellents available in the market have any 1 of the 5 ingredients mentioned above but don’t be assured that all the ingredients are 100% mosquito-proof. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed the effectiveness of the mosquito repellents. You can get detailed information on their website.

We have made a gist which is:

The ingredientType of the ingredientWorks forOverall rating
PicaridinChemical14 hours5 stars
DEETChemical12 hours4.5 stars
IR3535Biological10 hours4 stars
Lemon Eucalyptus OilBiological6 hours3.5 stars
Citronella OilBiological2 to 3 hours2.5 stars

* The effects of the mosquito repellents depends on how much (%) of the ingredients exist in them.

Using bats:

The idea may sound weird but it is helpful. Bat houses are required to get rid of bats from your home (particularly if you live in woody areas). Bats though being unpopular as friendly animals add qualities in and around us. Bats help in pollinating plants and spreading seeds. Bat poops are good fertilizers for plants.

But the most important advantage of having bats around your household is because of their capabilities of eating insects and that includes mosquitoes too. A medium bat house can accommodate around 25 bats and 1 individual bat can kill up to 1000 mosquitoes in a night.

See this video to learn how a bat house can deter mosquitoes:

Using other natural ways:

Fans can be the finest natural ways to get rid of mosquitoes apart from bat houses and mosquito repellents. You need an oil lamp, speedy fans, some strings, and mesh.

See this video to learn how fans are capable to remove mosquitoes:

Other supplementary measures include wearing tops with long sleeves, long trousers, covered shoes, socks, and hats.

Treating Mosquito Bites

Numerous ways are there by which you can treat mosquito bites. Applying calamine lotions, OTC hydrocortisone creams or even applying ice packs can reduce the prickliness caused by mosquito bites. But to cut it short, there are 2 main ways to treat mosquito bites, one is the application of antihistamines and the other is the application of corticosteroids.

Antihistamines for mosquito bites:

Antihistamines restrict histamine to get released from a human body when it encounters any allergic attack (from the saliva of mosquitoes). After any allergic attack, histamine (a protein that helps to inflame) helps in swelling the blood vessels so that white blood cells (WBC) can rush to the area and help in blood clotting. This causes severe eye, mouth and other body parts to bulge.

Excessive swelling can cause urticaria (outbreaks of inflamed bumps), irritating eyes, and blocked noses too. Antihistamines stop histamine to cause damage to human bodies by decreasing the different symptoms of allergy attacks. Although antihistamines are used to treat mosquito bites, reputed doctor, Dr. Delilah Warrick prescribes taking antihistamine medicines before going to any mosquito infected areas.

Oral antihistamines or topical antihistamines for mosquito bites?

Antihistamines can be taken by your mouth and swallowed (Oral) or can be applied to the affected area of your skin (Topical). Dr. Delilah Warrick (mentioned above) prescribes oral antihistamines like Benedryl, Claritin or Allegra than topical antihistamines like Calora, Calamine or any anti urticarial ointments.

Corticosteroids for mosquito bites:

Corticosteroids are steroid hormones that also ease the swellings, lumps, and itchiness caused by mosquito bites. In fact, physicians prescribe hydrocortisone creams more nowadays. Both antihistamines and corticosteroids are effective for mosquito bite treatments. Like any medication, corticosteroid too has its drawbacks. Extensive use of products containing corticosteroids can cause amebic colitis, steroid psychosis and even hyperglycemia (applicable to children too). Click here to know more but it is always advisable to consult a physician.

Antihistamines or Corticosteroids? Which are better?

A difficult question to answer. It totally depends on the physician whether he or she prefers hydrocortisone products or oral and topical medicines containing antihistamines. To date, no such comparative research has been done. Even research conducted during 2012 could not come to a conclusion which ingredient is superior to the other.

Actually, the adaptive capability of human bodies differs and so one product may work for one and not the other. As mentioned earlier it is always a wise decision to consult your physician before applying any product.

23 Methods to Get Rid of Mosquito Bites Naturally

Mosquitoes have been bothering people for ages and obviously there have been methods and products that were applied to get rid of them. Do not concentrate only on advanced chemical and biological pesticides. How did people use to deter these prickly pests for ages? What did people use to get rid of painful mosquito bites who could not access the modern-day pesticides? We have listed some easy and natural ways of getting rid of mosquitoes by using things that are available at home and handy.

  • Mosquito

    Activated charcoal:

    After going through many production processes, carbon produced from carbonaceous source materials (coal, willow peat, wood, coconut husk, coir, bamboo, lignite, etc) become activated charcoal. The pores in them absorb toxins from the skin.

  • Mosquito

    Aloe Vera:

    Aloe vera is a natural component that can be applied on skin to deter mosquitoes and on mosquito bites to soothe the skin and get rid of the irritations.

  • Mosquito

    Apple cider vinegar:

    Apple cider vinegar works the same way as aloe vera.

  • Mosquito

    Aspirin:

    After getting mosquito bites if you mix aspirin in a glass of water and drink it the swelling of the bites decrease gradually.

  • Mosquito

    Banana Peel:

    Rubbing the inner layers of banana peels help soothing the mosquito bites because of the antioxidants present in them.

  • Mosquito

    Baking soda:

    Applying baking soda on your skin also reduces the prickliness of the mosquito bites.

  • Mosquito

    Chapstick:

    Chapsticks too help in reducing the swelling and itchiness caused by mosquito bites.

  • Mosquito

    Garlic:

    Eating garlic and rubbing raw garlic on the skin irritations help in reducing them. Dr. Edward, from Global Healing, recommends rubbing raw garlic on the mosquito bites.

  • Mosquito

    Heat treatments:

    Studies show that for any kind of mosquito bites, bee stings or wounds caused by flying insects, heat treatment works fast. Just treat the affected area with hot water, hot wind (from a hairdryer) or a heated surface (a spoon), the irritation and the lumps lessens.

  • Mosquito

    Meat Tenderizer:

    Meat tenderizer is another strange but true tool to diminish the pain caused by mosquito bites. CNN, in the year 2012 has a report regarding this. Generally, a meat tenderizer is used to break down proteins to tenderize meat. When applied to mosquito bites, it does the same and gives relief to the skin.

  • Mosquito

    Scotch tape:

    People tend to scratch the mosquito bites (because of the irritation caused by them) until the skin becomes soar and starts bleeding. Apply scotch tape on the bites and try to ignore them for a while. After a few hours when you remove the tape you will find that the lumps caused by the bites have reduced and so is the itchiness.

  • Mosquito

    Tree tea oil:

    Tree tea oil is a natural ingredient and works perfectly on mosquito bites. But concentrated tree tea oil can burn the skin. Make sure the product is diluted with alcohol or similar liquids before applying.

  • Mosquito

    Calamine lotion:

    It is the commonest treatment for any bite or skin inflammation and has been a household product for ages.

  • Mosquito

    Deodorant:

    Applying deodorants or antiperspirants on mosquito bites may cause instant ache but gradually it diminishes and so does the prickliness and swellings.

  • Honey

    Honey:

    Take a piece of cotton, pour some honey and rub slowly on the mosquito bites. Its antimicrobial feature reduces the irritation and inflammation caused by them.

  • Mosquito

    Ketchup and mustard:

    Both ketchup and mustard are acidic in nature and applying them on your skin can change the pH level giving you comfort.

  • Mosquito

    Lemons:

    Lemon too are acidic in nature and like the ketchup, mustard or apple cider vinegar it changes the pH level of your skin and helps you treating the mosquito bites.

  • Mosquito

    Rubbing alcohol:

    Alcohol being volatile in nature dries up the skin when applied to mosquito bites and gives quick relief.

  • Mosquito

    Lavender oil:

    Skin irritations and inflammations can be reduced by applying lavender oil because of its anti-inflammatory elements.

  • Mosquito

    Papaya:

    Papaya contains the ‘Papain’ enzyme which breaks down the protein injected by mosquitoes to the skin when they bite you. Dr. Leonard Perry highly recommends papaya as a fruit that helps in reducing ache caused by mosquito bites.

  • Mosquito

    Salt and vinegar:

    Salt and vinegar have their antiseptic and anti-inflammatory attributes which help in treating mosquito bites.

  • Mosquito

    Ice:

    Ice with its cooling touch reduces the swelling and prickliness caused by mosquito bites. It gives a feeling of relief too.

  • Mosquito

    Toothpaste:

    Most of the toothpastes have menthol as their main ingredient which has a cooling sensation like ice on the bitten areas and helps in reducing the itchiness.

Finally

Mosquito bites are irritating and they can be dangerous too. There are various ways to avoid and treat them. There are chemical pesticides, bio-pesticides and numerous natural ways to treat them. We have listed many of them. All you have to do is to decide which one is appropriate for you and apply it. But like always we suggest, it is a better option to consult your physician before applying any product.

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