Ways to Fight the Itch
Like many challenges in life, there are lots of paths to treating mosquito bites. You might reach for the essential oils first. Or, maybe you’ve got your favorite hydrocortisone cream in the top drawer during mosquito season. Since the itch of a mosquito bite is actually caused by your body’s own reaction to the mosquito’s saliva, remedies work differently on everyone. So, keep searching until you find one that works for you!
Keep in mind, at Mosquito Squad, we’re experts at killing and repelling mosquitoes. We’re not doctors or medical experts. If you have any concerns about a bite, please consult a medical professional.
Over the Counter Relief
- Calamine lotion is a great all-purpose soother, containing zinc oxide and iron oxide. You probably remember it being poured in a bathtub if you had the chicken pox. The FDA declared it ineffective in the 90s, but some doctors still recommend it.
- Hydro-cortisone cream contains corticosteroids which help counteract the histamines your body is creating (and what’s making you itch). Anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen, will help reduce the swelling or “wheal” or welt from the bite as well.
- While an oral antihistamine, like Benadryl, won’t work immediately, it will help the blood vessels near the bite return to normal. If you can stay awake, consider taking an antihistamine before you anticipate exposure to mosquito bites.
- Make a baking soda mixture by adding a small amount of water to baking soda and put the paste on the bite.
- Apply mint toothpaste to create a cooling sensation and reduce swelling.
- Apply cold, damp green tea bags to help soothe the itch.
- Mix 2 tablespoons baking soda and 25 drops lavender oil, apply to skin, and leave for 20-30 minutes for relief.
- Ice cubes are a time-tested relief from itching and swelling. But why? The cold takes priority in your brain, so your cells switch from “I’m itchy!” to “I’m cold!” Only apply the ice for a few minutes at a time.
One last mosquito itch remedy may sound unusual, but it comes straight from the top: simply apply the inside of a banana peel onto the affected area and leave on for several minutes.
“This ancient Chinese remedy involves rubbing the inside of a banana peel directly on the affected bite area,” says Amy Lawhorne, Mosquito Squad Chief Operating Officer. “This is known to moisturize and neutralize the itching, and the sugars in the banana will assist in soothing the redness.”
Essential Oil Relief
It's important to remember that the FDA doesn't monitor essential oils, so make do your research about which essential oil products are high-quality or worth the price. When using essential oils on your skin, it's best to use a carrier oil (e.g. vegetable or coconut oil) with a few drops of the essential oil.
Here are the benefits of popular essential oils:
- Peppermint oil has a cooling effect that provides itch relief through distraction.
- Tea tree oil has antifungal and antibacterial benefits, and it helps reduce swelling. However, some people find that it dries out their skin a little too much.
- Lavender oil is repulsive to mosquitoes, so it acts as a natural repellent. It also has a soothing effect on bitten areas. Lavender is versatile, so you'll find plenty of uses for this oil around the home.
- Rosemary oil, like lavender, can repel mosquitoes for short periods. It's important to mix this one with a carrier oil.
- Chamomile oil helps with infection and inflammation. For itch relief, you can make chamomile ice cubes by brewing tea and freezing it in an ice tray. The cold and chamomile combined will help soothe the mosquito bite.
In the end, the best way to treat mosquito bites is to get rid of mosquitoes before they get near you. Call Mosquito Squad today for a free quote to learn how we can get rid of 85-90% of your outdoor pests!