Mosquito bites are almost inevitable when you spend time outdoors, especially in the summer. If you live in an area prone to mosquitoes or if your home is near a bog or wooded area, mosquito bites are likely to happen more frequently. Thankfully, there are many ways to prevent mosquito bites and some natural remedies for mosquito bites once they occur. You may be surprised to learn that not every mosquito bite needs to be treated with anti-itch lotion and Calamine lotion. Many people think that any bite from a pest must be venomous, but this isn’t true! While it doesn’t hurt to put on some lotion after getting bitten, it’s usually not necessary unless your skin has broken and the itch gets really bad. Read on for helpful tips on how you can avoid getting bitten by mosquitos and what to do if they do get the better of you.
Can you pop a mosquito bite?
No, you cannot pop a mosquito bite. A mosquito bite is not a blister or a pimple that can be popped. When a mosquito bites you, it actually injects its saliva into your skin. The saliva contains proteins that can cause an allergic reaction. The body’s immune system responds to the proteins by releasing histamine. The histamine causes the blood vessels to expand and the area to swell and itch.
How To Avoid Mosquito Bites
1. Wear long sleeves and pants.
Wearing long sleeves and pants will help keep you covered and reduce your risk of getting bitten. If you are outside in the evening, wear light-colored clothing that can be seen from a distance. Also, wear light-colored socks or shoes to make yourself more noticeable to mosquitoes.
2. Use mosquito repellents.
Mosquito repellents are available for purchase in stores or online and contain an ingredient that keeps mosquitoes from biting you. Some of these ingredients include DEET (a chemical), picaridin (an organic compound), oil of lemon eucalyptus (an essential oil), or oil of citronella (an essential oil). All of these chemicals have been tested to prove they work as they claim to work and are safe for humans to use on the skin without side effects or allergies.
3. Use mosquito netting.
Mosquito netting is a cloth that is draped over the bed or other furniture to prevent mosquitoes from entering the room. This can be very effective if you are traveling in areas where mosquitoes are common. However, most people have difficulty finding mosquito netting because it is not available in stores, and it can be expensive to purchase.
4. Clean up around your home and yard.
If you live in an area where mosquitoes are common, think about cleaning up any standing water around your home that may attract them. Also, consider cutting back on the number of weeds and tall grass near your home as these plants provide good hiding places for mosquitos to rest during the day. Reduce clutter around your home so that there aren’t many places for insects to hide during the day, such as by removing old tires or broken toys from your yard and placing them under a bush or other cover away from your house to keep mosquitos out of your yard at night while you sleep.
5. Use mosquito repellent when going outside at dusk or dawn.
If you go outside when mosquitos are active, use a mosquito repellent with DEET on exposed skin (such as applied on clothing) and apply sunscreen over it to avoid sunburn. You may also want to wear long sleeves and pants while outside at dusk or dawn if you want to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes that are active during these times of day (such as Aedes albopictus).
6. Use mosquito-repellent candles.
Mosquito-repellent candles are made of scented wax that is melted and allowed to cool overnight to create a small, flexible disk that can be placed under a mosquito net or other covering in your bedroom at night to keep mosquitos away from you while you sleep.
7. Use mosquito-repellent bed nets.
A mosquito net is a bed covering that is made of mesh and hangings that allows the air to flow through but keeps mosquitos out. Mosquito nets are commonly used in South East Asia, Africa, and other areas of the world where mosquitos are common. The most effective way to use a mosquito net is to place it under a mosquito-netting drape or curtain (often referred to as a “tense”) on your bed at night. A mosquito-repellent powder can be added to the inside of the bed net for extra protection from mosquitoes if you choose not to use a mosquito netting drape or curtain over your bed at night (such as when traveling abroad). The use of both types of protection may result in reduced bites, but it is not possible for one product alone to provide complete protection from all types of mosquitos in all parts of the world.
8. Use an insecticide spray (such as DEET).
If you live in an area where mosquitoes are active during the summer months, you may want to consider using an insecticide spray that has been proven safe for human use on exposed skin (such as applied on clothing) such as OFF!® Insect Killer Spray or Repel® Insect Killer Spray applied on exposed skin every few hours while outdoors during summer months when mosquitoes are active around dusk and dawn. You should always follow the product label directions carefully when applying DEET insecticide sprays on exposed skin.
What Not To Do For Mosquito Bites
1. Do not scratch mosquito bites.
Mosquito bites can become infected if scratched or bitten while they are still fresh and causing you pain. This is because mosquitos inject an anticoagulant substance into the skin that makes your blood clot, which causes red marks on your skin. To prevent this from happening, simply wash your hands immediately after being bitten and apply an antiseptic cream to any open wounds. If you have a fever, see a doctor immediately for treatment of the bite.
2. Do not use alcohol to treat mosquito bites.
Alcohol is a drying agent that can cause your skin to become irritated and it may also encourage mosquitos to bite again. It is best to avoid using alcohol-based products on your skin when you are bitten by mosquitos and instead apply an antiseptic cream for open wounds.
3. Do not use heat-based products on mosquito bites.
Heat-based products such as a hot bath or hot shower can cause severe irritation of the skin if applied too close to the affected area and can seriously damage the skin if applied too often or at too high of a temperature. Instead, apply an antiseptic cream for open wounds immediately after being bitten by mosquitos and then wash the area with cool water after the initial application of antiseptic cream has dried, which should take no more than 15 minutes (especially if you are using an antiseptic cream that contains alcohol). If you have a fever, see a doctor immediately for treatment of the bite.
4. Do not use over-the-counter antihistamine medicines for mosquito bites.
There are only two over-the-counter antihistamine medicines that have been approved by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in treating mosquito bites: Benadryl Cold Relief Cold & Allergy Medicine 1%/5 ml and Zyrtec 12 Hour Cough & Mucus Relief Medicine 1%/5 ml. The reason for this is that most over-the-counter antihistamine medicines contain diphenhydramine, which is a known sedative and can cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness in some people. If you are taking any of these medicines and have been bitten by mosquitos, do not use them to treat your bite as they can make your symptoms worse. Instead, see a doctor immediately for treatment of the bite.
5. Do not use over-the-counter antihistamine medicines to relieve the itching from mosquito bites.
The reason for this is that there are no approved over-the-counter antihistamine medicines that are safe for humans to use when trying to relieve itching from mosquito bites because most of them contain diphenhydramine, which has been shown to cause drowsiness in some people. Therefore, it is best to avoid using over-the-counter antihistamine medicines on skin that has been bitten by mosquitoes because they can make your symptoms worse. Instead, see a doctor immediately for treatment of the bite.
How To Pop A Mosquito Bite
- Wash the bite with soap and water.
- Apply an antiseptic cream to the bitten area for at least 15 minutes.
- Cover the bite with a clean bandage (e.g., Band-Aid) or another similar type of dressing.
- Apply an ice pack (e.g., Ice Pack) to the bite for 20 minutes to help relieve pain and swelling from the bite, which can last for between 2 to 3 days after it has healed completely.
- Apply an antiseptic cream again to the bite for another 15 minutes.
Mosquito bites, while annoying, aren’t harmful to your health and can be treated easily. If you follow these tips for avoiding mosquito bites and popping bites when they come up, you shouldn’t have to worry about being bitten. If you do get bitten, don’t worry; there are plenty of treatments for mosquito bites and most will heal on their own within a couple of days. There are many ways to prevent mosquito bites and some natural remedies for mosquito bites once they occur. You can avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by avoiding areas with lots of standing water and avoiding the lure of carbon dioxide. If you do get bitten and they’re still really itchy, apply an anti-itch cream or use a natural remedy like baking soda to soothe the itch.