No one likes mosquito bites, but they come with the territory as summer embarks, especially near areas that contain stagnant water and swamp-like conditions. The simple yet constant itch is annoying enough, but there have been concerns, and for good reason, about much more serious conditions that can occur from mosquito bites. If only there were ways to avoid these pests, and avoid diseases like Zika virus that mosquitos carry, along with home remedies for mosquito bites that worked quickly and effectively.
Well I’ve got some good news: There are several home remedies for mosquito bites, along with many ways to avoid getting bit in the first place. Take, for instance, myHomemade Bug Spray — an excellent repellant for bugs of all kinds, including mosquitos.
But a high-quality, safe, natural bug spray isn’t your only option. Check out my top five home remedies for mosquitos along with tips on how to avoid these itchy bites in the first place.
Top 5 Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites
Did you know there there are more than 3,000 types of mosquitos in the world, and nearly 200 of them live here in the U.S.? It’s true, and that may explain why mosquitoes have long been a threat, with a reputation of delivering some pretty nasty results from their bites. (1)
If you do get bit, here are some of the best home remedies for mosquito bites that are natural, safe and highly effective.
1. Witch Hazel
You may have heard of witch hazel for blemishes on the skin, but it’s not only great for acne — it can really help reduce the pain, annoying itching and swelling that often comes with bug bites, including mosquitos bites. Additionally, witch hazel can help speed up the healing process.
How does witch hazel work? It works as an astringent through a natural chemical it contains called tannin. This tannin can help reduce swelling and stave off bacteria while healing inflamed skin tissue.You can simply apply it directly to the skin. It’s great when combined with baking soda, forming a paste, then applied to the bug bites.
2. White Tea and Chamomile Tea Bags
It’s likely that you’ve seen the old remedy of putting a tea bag on a bee sting. Well, it’s a true natural remedy, not just for bee stings, but for mosquito bites too. It works because the ingredients in white tea help reduce inflammation. You can put a used, cold tea bag, acting as a poultice, right on the bite. Not only does it help with inflammation, but the coolness of the tea bag can help soothe the itch. (2)
White tea and chamomile tea are known as great topical treatments for many skin issues. Because the tea has antiseptic, antioxidant and polyphenolic properties, including apigenin, luteolin and quercetin, it makes for the perfect and rather comforting fast remedy for mosquito bites.
A 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association tested the effects of the oils of certain plants against mosquito bites. The oils of “citrus aurantifolia (leaves), Citrus grandis (fruit peel), and Alpinia galanga (rhizome),” were used to create a lotion and compared against commercial repellants. The essential oil-based lotions revealed an impressive 90 percent protection against mosquito bites for four hours. (3)
Another study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focused on the use of oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is registered with Environmental Protection Agency and can be found on the list of insect repellants. A couple of scientific publications have documented that the oil of lemon eucalyptus can provide protection much like low concentrations of common insect repellant ingredient DEET, though I want to note that oil of lemon eucalyptus has not been tested internationally or with malaria-spreading mosquitoes so take caution when traveling. (4)
Other essential oil options that mosquitoes seem to dislike are peppermint oil, ylang ylang and lemongrass essential oil. (5) Take a few drops of your favorite and blend it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil, and rub onto the skin before going outside for activities.
4. Neem Oil
Neem oil is another option that you may want to try. A study conduced by the Department of Entomology and Wildlife at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana and published in the Journal of Insect Science revealed that 95 percent of the larvae of the mosquito died within a day of being exposed to powdered neem leaf. However, the aqueous leaf extract took much longer to have a positive effect. (6)
While neem oil can help kill the mosquitos, it’s also fantastic for fighting fungal conditions, like eczema. If it can help with fungus, it makes sense that it can help fight off the effects of mosquito bites and help prevent infection that may be caused through too much scratching.
5. Colloidal Oatmeal Bath
Have you considered soaking in a soothing oatmeal bath? This old remedy still holds its reputation as a great way to soothe the itching caused by mosquito bites, in addition to reducing swelling these nasty bites may cause. It’s commonly seen in bath soaps, shampoos, shaving gels and moisturizing creams due to its ability to treat inflammatory skin conditions.
Colloidal oatmeal is used as a moisturizer for itchy skin because it contains emollients, which are what reduce that itchy feeling. Oats have been used for numerous skin conditions for centuries, such as atopic dermatitis and eczema. Oats contain avenanthramides, which are powerful antioxidants. These avenanthramides are the main polyphenolic antioxidants that have been shown to reduce inflammation and itching that causes scratching. It makes the skin feel super silky too. (7, 8)
The great news is that you can make your own remedy right at home. Simply use your coffee grinder or something similar, and grind up gluten-free oatmeal to a fine powder. Add it, along with a few drops of chamomile, to your bath and soak for 15 minutes once or twice a day.
Other treatments to relieve itching that comes along with mosquito and other bug bites include:
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