A mosquito bite is a nuisance that can have you itching until you break skin further and create an even bigger wound. The itch begins immediately the mosquito bites you because it releases its saliva that contains an anticoagulant into the site of the bite. The anticoagulant prevents the blood from clotting allowing the mosquito to gorge on your blood to its fill.
The body naturally produces histamine to help more blood containing white cells to flow to the site as the first immune response. The histamine is also responsible for activating the nerves at the site which react to the bite by instigating the itching.
Unfortunately, such activity can result in an infection of the mosquito bite known commonly as cellulitis. This is the type of bacterial infection that results from dirty hands coming into contact with an exposed wound.
How to stop the itching
Mosquito bites are usually from female mosquitoes. They feed on your blood to help them with their reproduction process especially in developing the eggs. Without the protein from human blood the eggs will not develop sufficiently in the body of the mosquito so that she can lay them for hatching.
You can stop the itch by first resisting the urge to scratch. Understandably, it is quite a strong urge but by indulging it too much you are not alleviating it but rather exacerbating it. Instead wash the area with cool water and soap for a few minutes to lessen the urge to itch.
Apply some calamine lotion or a hydrocortisone cream. Both soothe the area and lessen the urge to itch. They also mitigate the swelling and irritation that accompanies the bite. Both can be bought over the counter.
Hydrocortisone creams are especially effective because they counter the histamine in your body and act as an anti-inflammation agent.
A cold compress can also help to contract the blood vessels dilated by your body’s histamine as a result of the bite. The cold compress will cause the blood vessels to constrict lessening the swelling.
You can also take an oral antihistamine which will help maintain the balance of your natural histamine. It will prevent your histamine from attaching to receptors at the blood vessels effectively allowing your blood vessels to return to their natural state.
Some effective home remedies include heating a spoon to warm and applying it to the site. The heat will kill off the protein that causes the itching reaction. Alternatively, use some baking soda mixed with a little water and apply the paste to the site to stop the itch.
What to expect
As the site of the mosquito bite heals the itch will fade away completely. The bite is typically about a quarter of an inch across your skin. The redness of the area and the swelling should diminish within three days to a week. The bite will itch more at night because your cortisone, which is your natural anti inflammation, is at a lower level compared to its natural daytime levels.
Mosquito bites can occur at any time of the day depending on which mosquito is biting you. A typical mosquito bite looks round and puffy with a dot at the center. This reaction is instantaneous and shows up as soon as the mosquito bites you. The bump then becomes red and swells accompanied with a lot of itching.
Children and people with a compromised immune system may suffer more severe reactions to the bite including a break out of hives, swollen lymph nodes and a massive patch of redness and swelling. Typically the mosquito bite should not be a source of concern because the swelling and itching go down in a few minutes to hours; unless, of course, one has an allergic reaction to a mosquito bite or a mosquito-borne disease.
The Skeeter syndrome is a severe reaction to a mosquito bite with severe symptoms. The bite becomes swollen up to twice or three times the size of a normal mosquito bite, sometimes even bigger. A high fever accompanies this swelling coming hot on the heels of the bite and within a few hours of the bite. Skeeter syndrome can occur in absolutely healthy victims of a mosquito bite.
Skeeter syndrome can get intense with adverse reactions like very pronounced swelling especially if the mosquito has bitten the victim on the same spot several times. There is also a lot of heat emanating from the bite site as well as pain which is not normal with a mosquito bite. For some people their faces swell as well and lips or eye lids will puff up while others have nausea and vomiting as well as blistering on the site of the bite and difficulty breathing.
Skeeter syndrome can be diagnosed in a clinic or b an allergist using a skin test. The good news is that Skeeter syndrome is not as deadly as the anaphylactic shock that people go into from wasp and bees stings. Medical practitioners haven’t seen Skeeter syndrome victim fatalities.
How to tell a mosquito allergic reaction from a mosquito bite infection
Both situations feature very similar symptoms including itching, redness, pain and swelling. Some fever and chills are involved as well. However, while the infection can occur within a few days of the bite the allergic reaction occurs immediately. Skeeter syndrome doesn’t take long to manifest and it can be very scary especially when accompanied with difficulty breathing.
We always recommend preventing mosquito bites as a way to prevent eh larger issues that may arise for the bite. As such using repellent and sleeping under a net should be your first line of defense. Also, learn whether you are susceptible to mosquito bites more than other people and steer clear of areas with mosquitoes.
If you have an allergic reaction to a mosquito bite, make your way to the doctor’s. They will probably give you and oral antihistamine and prescribe a pain reliever. For people who have very severe reactions the option of allergy shots that desensitize the patient so that the reaction is not life threatening.
Mosquitoes are attracted to you as you sleep because of a few factors. One is the carbon dioxide you breathe out and your body heat. As the mosquito flies closer it begins smell your blood which is what it wants to fed on.
It is widely believed that mosquitoes will bit some people and not others. Some researchers found that one species of mosquito is attracted to the blood of O+ people as well as people who consume beer and pregnant women. There is ongoing research to verify if this research is true or false. Plus, we have over 400 chemicals produced by our bodies onto the human skin that attract and repel insects like mosquitoes. However, using repellent can ensure that no one is targeted by mosquitoes at all.
Best natural mosquito repellent
Citronella is considered as effective as DEET in repelling mosquito but because it occurs naturally it is much safer. The oil evaporates quickly which is why it is a better idea to use citronella candles which you can burn before going to sleep and the scent will still be present long after you fall asleep. Citronella can provide protection against at least three species of mosquito.
This essential oil has citronella in it making up 85% of the oil. It is an effective oil for repelling mosquitoes that cause malaria and yellow fever particularly. The combination of lemon and eucalyptus gives you a clean scent afterwards.
This option can be grown in plant form or you can purchase the essential oil. Keep some fresh anise in the home and rub it on you to keep mosquitoes away. You can also plant it in your yard to keep the mosquitoes from breeding nearby.
You can bake with it and also use it to deter mosquitoes. Cinnamon oil can be applied topically, or you can bake using cinnamons and let the scent waft through the house. The great thing is that cinnamon oil smells delicious so it will not be hard on your senses even if the whole house smells of cinnamon.
This is alcohol derived from citronella as well as roses. It can be used as a spray or diffused into the space to keep mosquitoes away.
Cloves have a distinctly cloying scent but the scent is amazing at keeping mosquitoes at bay. You can plant it in your garden or just apply a drop of the oil on the exposed skin of your body before sleeping. Unfortunately, the scent can be quite strong but if you don’t mind that this is an excellent repellent.
Lavender is a great soft smelling flower with incredible powers against the mosquito. It is used as an insect repellent while also keeping the space nice smelling and fresh. It can be applied topically or diffused in to the space. For people who prefer to apply their repellent but find scents like clover and citronella to overpowering you can use lavender instead.
Anyone who has ever been bitten by mosquitoes knows just how annoying it is. For such a small insect, they really pack a punch. They leave behind swollen, red, itchy bites that often begin to ooze, only making the situation worse.
If you weren’t fortunate enough to remember to spray yourself with mosquito repellent before going outdoors, there are some very simple, inexpensive ways to get rid of big mosquito bites relatively quickly.
First, everyone knows just how hard it is to resist itching those puffy, red bites. You might force yourself to ignore it, but they are sure to catch you off guard.
Prevent this by applying an anti-itch cream to the affected area. Take an antihistamine to reduce swelling, redness, and itchiness associated with the bites. While the cream works on the outside, the antihistamine works on the inside.
Together they work wonderfully in preventing yours from digging madly at your arms and legs as you desperately try to find relief.
Another first aid treatment that you can easily do is to place a cold compress on the mosquito bite. Simply place an ice pack or numerous ice cubes into a large cloth, and press against the bitten skin.
If you do not have either of these, you may set a washcloth into cold water and then press it against the bite. This will serve to comfort the itching and reduce any swelling until you can find something better to utilize.
The next safest thing you have the power to apply on a bite is something that will help to alleviate the itching.
You can also use Calamine lotion to decrease skin itching. It is also safe for children. You may likewise make your own paste. Combine together baking soda and water to form a paste that is set onto the bite.
All of these things assist to treat these bites – but there are things that you can do to shield them in the first place. It is safest to utilize natural mosquito repellent to keep the bugs away and from biting you and your children.
Now, if you are one who has dug their bites until they have begun to ooze and bleed, then a little first aid is required. In cases such as these, since the bites are now open to infection, clean the affected areas with warm soap and water and then apply alcohol.
The alcohol may sting, but it will help to dry up as well as prevent infection.
After cleaning the affected areas, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover it with a bandage.
You should notice a great improvement in the appearance and itchiness of the mosquito bites by the next day.
Continue to follow these directions until all bites have completely disappeared. Throughout the healing process, it is wise to keep all bites bandaged as this will prevent unconscious scratching or at least hinder the attempt.
To prevent this from happening at all, hiring a reputable pest control company is a much better option.
Using natural mosquito repellent is the safest way to keep bothersome insects out of your yard, and the need for an organic method becomes even more important when you are dealing with your garden or even a small farm.
If you are tired of looking for a mosquito spray that actually works, the above-mentioned garlic mosquito repellent is guaranteed to keep your yard, garden, and home free of mosquitoes for the whole season.
Prevent Mosquito Bites Naturally
Not only is the thought of an insect drawing blood from you in your sleep repulsive, but many individuals also suffer from allergic reactions caused by mosquito bites and sometimes even contract a severe disease from the bug.
There are dozens of different mosquito repellents on the market, but many of these can cause more harm to your plants than the mosquitoes themselves, and others still fail to even keep the mosquitoes away.
If you need to find a solution that actually works, continue reading for an easy-to-understand guide to purchasing mosquito repellent.
Different mosquito repellents do very different things: some kill mosquitoes on contact; others try to mask the smell of carbon dioxide that mosquitoes use to find humans and animals so that they will move on by themselves.
You obviously don’t have enough time to chase mosquitoes around all day with a spray bottle, so you are definitely going to want to go for something that can be sprayed to keep them away from your front porch and house entirely.
These insects are initially attracted to the grass, plants or flowers in your lawn, so the most realistic approach towards truly repelling mosquitoes far, far away from your house is to focus on keeping them away from your lawn.
At the same time, you really don’t want to spray something that will leave all of the greenery withered as this will eventually attract even more undesirable bugs and insects and just looks undesirable.
Using an organic mosquito repellent or spray that specifically focuses on making your front lawn an undesirable location for mosquitoes to linger and breed without harming the other plants, animals or even people in the area is your best bet every time.
Using strong insecticides on your front yard can be a very dangerous decision to make. These chemicals can harm you, your animals and your children, and they will also leave any plants or grass you had in a terribly unhealthy state if not dead.
Mosquito Barrier offers an amazing organic repellent for mosquitoes that uses a garlic-based liquid that keeps these insects away from your yard for about a month with 1 spray, and it doesn’t have any harmful side-effects or chemicals at all – just a powerful garlic extract and a few food-grade preservatives.
Mosquitoes naturally shy away from garlic, and their sensitive sense of smell allows them to still sense the garlic for months later. You might be thinking that your whole house is going to smell like garlic, but the smell becomes untraceable to the human nose after just a few minutes.
Mosquito bites and summer go hand in hand. While summer conjures up happy thoughts, mosquito bites do not.
What are these bites from mosquitoes? The truth is, they aren’t really mosquito bites at all – they are ‘stab wounds’.
What is this stabbing concept?
Mosquitoes have a long mouth piece called a proboscis that will actually saw (with a back and forth motion) into your skin.
Once you are adequately stabbed, then some mosquito saliva is spat into your skin to prevent blood clotting. Now, this insect goes about mining for blood – moving that long proboscis in and out, to the right and left, up and down, searching for the perfect vein to suck from & fill her belly.
Only female mosquitoes suck blood as they need the protein to procreate and make millions of more blood suckers to torment you.
If a vein is struck, she sucks to her content and flies away fat with human blood, and happy. If not and the multiple attempts sawing in and out of your skin offer no reward, she goes away empty-handed.
But, the gift was still left behind as she spat just as much saliva in you whether she received nothing or the mother lode.
What’s up with the saliva?
Not only does the thought of another creature spitting into your skin sound repulsive but here is the real kicker – that saliva is what you have an allergic reaction to. The saliva injected into your body is what causes the mosquito ‘bite’.
It isn’t a bite at all – it is a puncture wound where a female mosquito has spit into you. So if the thought of mosquitoes didn’t really bother you before, it certainly will now.
If you have 6 itchy, irritating mosquito bites right now, then 6 females have violated your skin.
Maybe they were fed off of your blood supply, maybe not but their calling card is the same – an itchy, annoying welt to remind you of how nasty parasites can be.
So, what can you do to avoid this nightmarish scene?
It is summer and mosquitoes are here with a vengeance – ample rainfall, perfect temperatures, a lot of new diseases to spread around which brings us to the obvious point of why you want to avoid mosquitoes.
West Nile Virus is common, and so is the Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
And, we always have spinal meningitis to worry about but now we also have Malaria, Dengue Fever and even the Sleeping Sickness infiltrating the United States, so beware.
To prevent having mosquitoes get rid of standing water so they can’t breed.
Second, use a mosquito repellent that is safe and effective. Use a product that is natural, food-grade safe and has good customer service behind it.
Third, pest control for mosquitoes proves to be a great help. Many homeowners and companies have benefitted from evaluating their areas ridden with mosquitoes and eliminating them safely and effectively so.
This way you avoid these torturous human-stabbing creatures and can actually enjoy the summer. And that is a happy thought.
There are numerous ways on how to get rid of mosquitoes to prevent you and your family from getting bitten by mosquitos and these are provided below.
Firstly, look at where they live and breed and arrange for it to be removed. Although it will not protect you against the mosquitos it will prevent them from breeding further and thus reduce any future populations of them.
You need to look at other areas around your property where stagnant water may be such as clogged rain gutters, puddles, open rubbish bins, potted plants, toys; children play equipment and anything else that may be able to collect a small amount of water.
Another thing you could do if you can not stop the mosquitos from breeding to keep them away from the area where you are.
This can be done by using citronella candles or other similar devices. You will even find that you are able to purchase an electronic mosquito repeller that emits a sound that they can hear and deters them from the area.
It is also advisable to use yellow lights rather than white ones in your garden, although they do not repel the mosquitos, they certainly do not attract them as normal white lights do.
If you are able to place a fan near where you are sitting outside as mosquitos dislike air that is moving. However, when inside the way to keep mosquitos out is by making sure you keep screen doors/windows closed (doors which close automatically are the best kind to have) and sure that they are correctly attached and sealed.
Protecting Yourself From Mosquito Bites
One way to prevent mosquito bites is to kill those that you do have. You can do this by using various types of pesticides.
Foggers are the ideal choice for killing mosquitos in the air where they are flying. While residual insecticides are the best alternative to put on bushes and shrubs where they will rest when inactive.
Some of these solutions may seem more permanent than others, you will probably find you have problems with mosquitos that have migrated back from areas that have been untreated near to your home, and the best way to avoid these problems is to set up a mosquito plan in your neighborhood (however, you may find them difficult to organize and maintain).
Another way of controlling mosquitos is by using an electronic bug zapper, but when using this method you have to worry about the effect such a piece of equipment will have on those harmless insects and other wildlife in the area.
You may find that many insects that are vital to the environment around your home will be killed when you are trying to exterminate mosquitos.
You should be aware that larger wildlife can also be inadvertently harmed by any pesticides that you have been using to deal with mosquitos.
The final option for helping to keep you and your family safe from mosquitos is to schedule a home assessment with your local pest control company to safely eliminate mosquitoes.
These are actually called Crane flies, and while they look like scarier and meaner (and obviously bigger) mosquitoes, they’re actually quite harmless.
They look very similar to mosquitoes (maybe a cross between mosquitoes and spiders), but are significantly larger growing up to 60 mm in size with some tropical species growing up to 100 mm. They have very long thin legs and slim abdomens. Female Crane flies have slightly larger abdomens that end in a pointed ovipositor that mimics the look of a stinger (but they can’t actually sting).
When not moving, the wings are held out from the body, and unlike mosquitoes they are actually quite ungraceful fliers and may appear to wobble through the air at times. Another key difference between the two is that they’re attracted to light – that’s mainly the reason why they hang out in and around your homes, and not because they’re drawn to your blood.
Unlike mosquitoes, they don’t bite people or animals. They also aren’t known to carry any disease they can spread to people and animals. They may occasionally eat nectar, but in most species the adult does not eat at all. An adult crane fly only lives for about 15 days, and spends its time finding a mate and laying eggs before it dies.
Most of its life is spent as a larva, and they’re commonly referred to as leatherjackets or leatherjacket slugs due to the way they move and eat roots. These are soil-dwelling larvae, and they’re more numerous after a wet autumn. They mainly eat lawn grass but may also end up damaging small plants in flower beds and vegetable plots as they chew their way through.
One way to tell if you have an infestation of leatherjacket slugs is if you notice brown or dead patches of grass. You can look through the soil and you should find those slugs at the surface or near the surface. They typically remain under the soil, but will come up the surface on wet nights to feed on plant stems. They have elongated, tubular bodies up to 30 mm in length and are grayish brown.
They may be beneficial to gardeners as they speed up progress in a compost pile by feeding on decaying organic matter, however may end up killing your plants if there are too many feeding on them.
If you have an infestation, you can use parasitic nematodes (SteinernemaFeltiae) on your lawn or soil. These nematodes enter the bodies of leatherjacket slugs and infect them. However, they need a minimum temperature to exist –54°F (12°C)– so it may be tricky to use them. You can also introduce natural predators such as birds. You can encourage insect-eating birds on your property by hanging nest boxes and bird feeders on your property. If you have leatherjacket slugs, rest assured these birds will come find them.