The mosquito has become as aggressive as the tiger. In fact the Asian tiger mosquito, called "tiger" because of its striped body as well as because of its aggressiveness, is one of the worst offenders. Unlike many other mosquitoes, the tiger mosquito bites during the day.
Below you'll see quite a few remedies to stop the itching. At the end, you'll see my personal secret remedy that always works.
The Illinois Department of Public Health asks (and answers): What's the most dangerous creature on earth? Without question the answer is: the mosquito. Mosquitoes and the diseases they spread have been responsible for killing more people than all the wars in history.
How worrisome is that?
Aside from the awful itching a mosquito bite causes, millions of deaths occur each year worldwide as a result of bites from the mosquito. Moreover, in 2008 alone, the CDC reported 1,356 cases of West Nile throughout the U.S. and 44 deaths. And in 2009 and 2010, outbreaks of dengue fever were reported in the U.S.
Here is further incentive from Mosquito Magnet to keep mosquitoes at bay: After the female mosquito bites a human or animal, she completes the development of her eggs and may then lay up to 400 eggs. After laying her eggs, she may seek another meal!
Prevent Mosquitoes from Biting You.
WebMD reports: As you run around . . . , the mosquitoes sense your movement and head toward you. When you pant from exertion, the smell of carbon dioxide from your heavy breathing draws them closer. So does the lactic acid from your sweat glands. And then — gotcha.
- Remove standing water before it accumulates.
- Keep gutters and downspouts unclogged, so they don't accumulate standing water.
- Wear light-colored clothing.
- Keep your ankles and legs covered; the Asian tiger is a low-flying mosquito.
- Apply a product, such as OFF!, that contains DEET.
- Use a mosquito repellant that contains citronella and/or lemon oil of eucalyptus, if you want to avoid using DEET.
- Use a cell phone app that emits a high-pitched tone, said to repel mosquitoes, keeping an eye on your battery if you use this, though its effectiveness is questionable. Other devices reportedly unlikely to work are insect electrocuting devices.
- Hang a mosquito net over your bed.
- Spray around the outside of your home or hire a service to spray every two to four weeks, keeping environmental concerns in mind.
A friend who uses a service wrote to me in an email, "The 'fogging and spraying' we get every 3 weeks have really made a difference — we can now walk and work in our yard and use our deck without being bitten. However, the service does not get rid of all the mosquitoes (perhaps they still breed in and visit from the neighboring yards) and I have had some bites, particularly towards the end of the third week after each spraying. I would agree with the service's claim of providing some 80% - 90% improvement."
Treat the Itch From Your Mosquito Bites. (Some of these ideas come from wikiHow.)
- Consult a doctor if you incur infection or an allergic reaction.
- Avoid scratching; this is most important, both to avoid infecting and to limit the intensity of the itch.
- Apply alcohol.
- Apply ice.
- Apply products such as After Bite or Benadryl Itch Relief Stick.
- Apply mint leaves, an idea from my African friend.
- Apply toothpaste.
- Apply clear nail polish, but only if the skin is not broken.
- Apply a paste of baking soda and water.
- Apply Vicks Vaporub.
- Apply tea tree oil.
- Dab affected area with lavender oil.
- Apply mud and cover with a bandage until dry.
- Dab with mouthwash.
- Rub with cool tea.
- Apply apple cider vinegar.
- Rub with the inside of a banana peel.
- Place Scotch Tape on the bite.
- Use your fingernail to press an X into the bite.
And now for my secret: The one thing that always works for me: I avoid scratching and rustle up some steaming hot water. I then dip a paper towel or wash cloth into the hot water and dab it onto the bite. If a bite itches in the middle of the night, I direct a hot hair dryer at it for a brief moment, off and on, until I feel relief. This works because heat helps draw out the histamine. Be careful to heat only a bit at a time; don't burn yourself.
Check out some of my other articles:
- FIND, PREVENT AND DEAL WITH BEDBUGS
- 8 SIMPLE WAYS TO BRIGHTEN YOUR FALL GARDEN
- COMPOSTING, IT'S EASIER THAN YOU THINK
- ARE YOU SLEEPING AS WELL AS YOU COULD? BED, BATH & INSOMNIA