How to cure insect bites: 21 Ways To Prevent Mosquito Bites
21 Ways To Prevent Mosquito Bites
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The whine of a mosquito may be the most annoying sound on earth — and if you’re in a zone where mosquitoes transmit disease, it can also be a dangerous one. If you’re planning to camp, kayak, hike, or garden, you can prevent mosquito bites before you’re attacked by the bloodthirsty arthropods.
Here’s a list to help you in the fight against the bite.
1. DEET products
This chemical repellent has been studied for over 40 years. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed that when used properly, DEET works and poses no health risk, even to kids. Marketed as Repel, Off! Deep Woods, Cutter Skinsations, and other brands.
Shop for mosquito repellents with DEET.
Picaridin (also labeled KBR 3023 or icaridin), a chemical related to the black pepper plant, is the most broadly used repellent outside the U.S. The Zika Foundation says it works for 6-8 hours. Safe for use on babies 2 months or older, it’s marketed as Natrapel and Sawyer.
Shop for mosquito repellents with picaridin
Don’t handle birds, fish, or reptiles after using DEET or Picaridin products. The chemicals are known to harm these species.
3. Oil of lemon eucalyptus
Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE or PMD-para-menthane-3,8-diol). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says this plant-based product protects as well as repellents containing DEET. Marketed as Repel, BugShield, and Cutter.
Shop for mosquito repellents with oil of lemon eucalyptus
Don’t be confused. The essential oil called “pure oil of lemon eucalyptus” is not a repellent and did not perform well in consumer tests.
How to safely apply insect repellent:
- Put on sunscreen first.
- Don’t apply repellents under your clothes.
- Don’t spray directly onto face; instead, spray your hands and rub repellent on your face.
- Avoid your eyes and mouth.
- Don’t apply on injured or irritated skin.
- Don’t allow children to apply repellent themselves.
- Wash your hands after you apply repellent.
IR3535 (3-[N-butyl-N-acetyl]-aminopropionic acid, ethyl ester)
Used in Europe for about 20 years, this repellent is also effective for keeping deer ticks away. Marketed by Merck.
Shop for mosquito repellents with IR3535.
5. 2-undecanone (methyl nonyl ketone)
Originally formulated to deter dogs and cats, this repellent is found naturally in cloves. Marketed as Bite Blocker BioUD.
Still not sure? The EPA offers a search tool to help you decide which insect repellent is the right one for you.
6. Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil
This is a popular option for people who want to avoid chemicals, and in 2015, researchers confirmed that Avon’s Skin So Soft does in fact, repel mosquitos. However, the effects last only for about two hours, so you need to reapply very often if you choose this product.
Shop for Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil
7. Victoria Secret Bombshell perfume
Much to the surprise of researchers, Victoria Secret Bombshell perfume actually repelled mosquitos quite effectively for up to two hours. So, if you like this perfume, it might help you avoid mosquito bites while smelling good. You may need to reapply to keep the mosquitos away longer.
Shop for Victoria Secret Bombshell perfume
8. Permethrin fabric spray
You can buy spray-on pesticides made especially for use on clothing, tents, nets, and shoes. Make sure the label says it’s meant for fabrics and gear, not skin. Marketed as Sawyer’s and Ben’s brand products.
Note: Never apply permethrin products directly to your skin.
9. Pre-treated fabrics
Clothing brands like L.L. Bean’s No Fly Zone, Insect Shield, and ExOfficio are treated with permethrin at the factory, and protection is advertised to last up to 70 washings.
Shop for fabrics and fabric treatment with permethrin.
10. Cover up!
When you’re outdoors in mosquito territory, wear long pants, long sleeves, socks, and shoes (not sandals). Loose-fitting garments may be better than snug spandex.
11. Not under 2 months
The CDC recommends that you avoid using insect repellents on babies under 2 months old. Instead, outfit cribs, carriers, and strollers with mosquito nets.
12. No oil of lemon eucalyptus or PMD10
Oil of lemon eucalyptus and its active ingredient, PMD, are not safe for use on children under three years old.
In the United States, the EPA says DEET is safe for kids over the age of 2 months. In Canada, it’s recommended in concentrations up to 10 percent, applied up to 3 times a day on kids between 2 and 12. On kids ages 6 months to 2 years, Canadian officials recommend using DEET just once daily.
14. Hang mosquito netting
The CDC recommends using mosquito nets if your space isn’t screened well. Most effective? Nets pre-treated with insecticides
Shop for mosquito netting.
15. Use oscillating fans
The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) recommends using a large oscillating fan to keep your deck mosquito-free.
Shop for outdoor fans.
16. Trim green space
Keeping your grass cut and your yard free of leaf litter and other debris gives mosquitos fewer places to hide and thrive.
17. Remove standing water
Mosquitoes can breed in tiny amounts of water. Once a week, dump or drain tires, gutters, birdbaths, wheelbarrows, toys, pots, and planters.
18. Employ spatial repellents
Newer products like clip-on devices (metofluthrin) and mosquito coils (allethrin) may be effective in getting rid of mosquitoes in localized zones. But the CDC recommends that you still use skin repellents until more studies show that these zone defenses work are safe and effective. Marketed as Off! Clip-on fans and Thermacell products.
19. Spread coffee and tea waste
Spreading coffee grounds and tea waste throughout your yard won’t keep you from being bitten, but studies have shown that they limit the reproduction of mosquitoes.
Protect your plastics! DEET and IR3535 can dissolve plastics including synthetic fabrics, glasses, and even the paint job on your car. Apply carefully to avoid damage.
20. Check the CDC website
Visit the CDC’s Travelers’ Health website. Is your destination an outbreak site? If you’re traveling outside the United States, you may want to see your doctor about anti-malarial drugs or immunizations before you go.
21. Ask the National Park Service
The National Park Service’s event calendar lets you know if bug spray is recommended for an outing you’ve scheduled. If you’re worried about a stateside outbreak, check with the NPS Disease Prevention and Response team.
Save your time and money
According to Consumer Reports, these products did not test well and haven’t been shown to be effective mosquito repellents.
- Vitamin B1 skin patches. They didn’t repel mosquitoes in at least one study published in the Journal of Insect Science.
- Sunscreen/repellent combinations. According to the Environmental Working Group, you could overdose on repellent if you re-apply sunscreen as often as directed.
- Bug zappers. The AMCA confirms that these devices are not effective on mosquitoes and can instead harm many beneficial insect populations.
- Phone apps. Ditto for iPhone and Android apps that purport to deter mosquitoes by emitting high-frequency sounds.
- Citronella candles. Unless you’re going to stand directly over one, the smoke isn’t likely to protect you.
- Natural bracelets. These wristbands flunked tests by leading consumer magazines.
- Essential oils. Though there is some support for using natural remedies against mosquitoes, the EPA does not evaluate them for their effectiveness as repellents.
If you want protection against mosquitoes that can cause malaria, dengue, Zika, West Nile, and chikungunya, the best products have DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus as their active ingredients. Permethrin-treated clothing can also be an effective deterrent.
Most products considered “natural” aren’t approved as insect repellents, and most devices and apps don’t work as well as insect repellents. You can keep mosquito populations down by maintaining your yard and eliminating standing water.
10 Home Remedies for Bug Bites That Work
Feeling itchy and scratchy after being eaten alive by hungry insects? These chemical-free, all-natural remedies can help—fast!
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Surefire ways to stop scratching
There are so many things to look forward to in the summer—warm weather, long days, backyard BBQs, and lots of sunshine—but one of the less desirable features that comes along with warm nights on the patio is bug bites. These pesky, itchy, sometimes sore skin markings can vary depending on what bit you, but they’re all awful in their own way. While you’ll want to do your best to ward off these pests with mosquito repellents and bug zappers, bites can still happen despite your best efforts. But you don’t have to just grin and bear it as you scratch your skin raw. In fact, you can easily stop the itch with some smart (and easy!) home remedies for bug bites.
“The basic premise is that when an insect bites, it releases its saliva into the epidermis, causing the skin to have an inflammatory response with localized itchiness from the release of histamine and other biologic chemicals,” explains Monisha Bhanote, MD, a triple-board-certified physician who specializes in integrative medicine. Unless you’re experiencing an allergic reaction, the best after-the-fact fixes will counteract that reaction, soothing skin, reducing inflammation, and even preventing infection.
Even better? The suggestions on this list are all-natural, so you don’t have to worry about slathering potentially toxic chemicals on your skin. Stock up so you have these on hand whenever you need them. And prevent this situation in the first place by surrounding yourself with plants that repel mosquitoes and learning a few other natural ways to repel bugs.
Peppermint essential oil
This delectable essential oil doubles as a bug-bite soother. The cooling sensation it provides to the skin counteracts the burning, stinging, and itching. Plus, peppermint is both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, so it may help reduce infection, says David Friedman, ND, a doctor of naturopathy and a clinical nutritionist. Incidentally, peppermint can also prevent bug bites in the first place. “Mosquitoes, fleas, flies, wasps, and spiders hate the smell of peppermint oil,” says Dr. Friedman.
Regardless of whether you’re using peppermint oil as a home remedy for bug bites or as a preventive measure, Dr. Friedman advises against applying it directly to the skin because it may cause burning and stinging. Instead, he suggests mixing it with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut. “Use five drops of peppermint oil per ounce of carrier oil before applying it to your skin,” he says. “You can also make a diluted spray by filling a spray bottle with water: Mix three drops of essential oil with four drops of carrier oil per ounce of water.”
Lavender essential oil
If you’ve ever taken a big whiff of lavender, you know instantly calming it can be. Well, it’s equally calming on your inflamed, irritated, bug-bitten skin. “Renowned for its ability to soothe inflammatory skin conditions—including minor burns, wounds, and acne—lavender essential oil can help reduce itching and inflammation within minutes of application,” says Melanie St. Ours, a clinical herbalist and the author of The Simple Guide to Natural Health. She suggests choosing a brand that’s made of 100 percent French lavender grown at high altitudes, like this formulation from Orchid & Temple. Apply one to two drops directly to the affected area, and reapply as needed. By the way, in case you’ve ever wondered, here’s why you never see mosquitoes at Disney World.
This home remedy for bug bites is great for both adults and children since baking soda is so gentle. A true multitasker, baking soda doesn’t just work its magic in your meals—it can also relieve irritation and itchiness. To make a paste, Toronto-based naturopathic doctor Olivia Rose, ND, recommends combining 1 tablespoon of baking soda with water. “Add enough water to form a paste, and apply to the bug bite, letting it dry before removing with a cool washcloth,” she says. “If you happen to be covered in bites, add 1 cup of baking soda to a neutral temperature bath.”
Echinacea liquid extract
This natural remedy has been a staple in people’s medicine cabinets for centuries—and for good reason. Echinacea is a liquid extract from the echinacea plant, which is part of the daisy family. It’s been used for everything from treating colds and soothing sore throats to stopping infections in their tracks. “If you notice that the area around your bite is becoming red, hard, and swollen, apply echinacea tincture to the entire affected area every hour until the swelling is gone,” says St. Ours. “Apply the tincture liberally by patting it into your skin with your fingertips, using at least one-fourth of a teaspoon per application. If the swelling does not decrease significantly after 24 hours of consistent use, or if you start to run a fever at any time, she recommends calling your doctor immediately.
Ice can be oh-so-soothing for a variety of things that ail you—bug bites included. St. Ours explains that this simple remedy works on itching, swelling, and overall discomfort for two reasons. “First, your sensory nerves can only communicate a certain amount of information to your brain at one time, so, when you apply the ice cube, the nerves that were telling your brain, ‘This is itchy!’ change their tune and start telling your brain, ‘This is cold!’” she says. “Second, the coldness reduces local swelling and inflammation.”
Using a gel-filled ice pack, like this well-reviewed option by Rester’s Choice, keep things less messy and melty. That said, you may want to place a cloth between your pack and the skin for added comfort, and you’ll only want to apply it for a few minutes at a time.
Even though it shares the same name with the starchy fruit similar to a banana, the plantain that can help with bug bites is an entirely different plant, explains St. Ours. “It’s a common weed that grows well in packed soil, which means it’s often easy to find at playgrounds, hiking trails, and even growing alongside the sidewalk in cities!” she says. “You can recognize plantain species by the vertical veins that run along the leaves, which are organized like a circle of ‘rays’ emanating from a central point. This plant has impressive wound-healing abilities, which is why it’s an ingredient used in many healing salves and ointments. ”
Dr. Friedman recommends making a paste using plantain leaves and bentonite clay or activated charcoal with water and placing it directly on the bug bite for immediate relief. “If you don’t have these other ingredients you can also put 1/2 cup of dried plantain leaves in a blender or coffee grinder with enough distilled water to make a paste,” he says. “You can also substitute apple cider vinegar in place of water and grind until it’s a thick consistency (not too watery) before putting it directly on the skin.” Find out the reasons why you should start taking apple cider vinegar bath.
boonchai wedmakawand/Getty Images
You may catch more flies with honey, but vinegar can also do the trick! “Vinegar can reduce stinging or burning sensations and is a natural disinfectant, especially if you’ve been scratching a bite,” says Bernard Buttone, manager and associate certified entomologist at Triangle Pest Control. He recommends soaking a washcloth or absorbent paper towel in cold water and vinegar and applying it to the bite for a few minutes. “If you’ve been a mosquito feast and you have multiple bites, dilute 2 cups of vinegar in a lukewarm bath and soak for 15 to 20 minutes,” he adds.
You probably have this ingredient somewhere in your pantry, but you may never have thought to use it on your body. As it turns out, oatmeal provides healing, moisturizing, and antioxidant properties for the skin, making it one of the best home remedies for bug bites. “Oatmeal can relieve itching and reduce swelling, which is exactly why you need it after getting bit or stung by something,” says Amy Lawhorne, vice president for the pest control company Mosquito Squad. “Simply mix oatmeal with water to create a paste and apply it directly to the bite,” she says. “Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and then wipe it off.”
Aloe is well-known for soothing sunburns, but few people realize that it can also ease the sting and itch of bug bites. “When applied directly to the bite, the cooling action of the aloe vera gel will help shrink swelling and reduce the itch,” says Dr. Rose. If you have a mature aloe vera plant at home, that’s a bonus, but you can also purchase aloe vera gel, which works equally well—and is an especially good idea if you have a pet parent, since aloe ranks among the houseplants that are toxic to cats and dogs.
To stop a mosquito bite from itching like crazy, simply apply a little toothpaste to it! Yes, toothpaste not only works on soothing minor burns but also for such insect bites. “When a mosquito bites you, it releases an anticoagulant that lets it feed without being detected,” explains Buttone. “But your body’s natural reaction to that anticoagulant is to create histamines and send them to the bitten area, which is why you itch and the bite mark swells.” He recommends applying a minty toothpaste to the bite so you can benefit from its soothing and cooling properties. “Toothpaste is also naturally astringent, so it can prevent further swelling,” he adds. Now that you’re up to speed on all-natural, home remedies for bug bites, check out these chemical-free ways to get rid of household pests.
- Monisha Bhanote, MD, a triple board-certified physician who specializes in integrative medicine
- David Friedman, ND, a doctor of naturopathy and a clinical nutritionist
- Melanie St. Ours, clinical herbalist and author of The Simple Guide to Natural Health
- Bernard Buttone, manager and associate certified entomologist at Triangle Pest Control
- Amy Lawhorne, vice president of Mosquito Squad
Originally Published: August 13, 2021
Jenn Sinrich is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for health, wellness and all things beauty. She has written for Women’s Health, Shape, Self, Men’s Health, Glamour and Healthline. Jenn holds a degree in journalism from Northeastern University, and she currently resides outside of Boston with her husband and two children. When she’s not working, you can find her exercising, trying out new healthy recipes or exploring the city with her family.
Allergy to insect bites. Emergency treatment. Allergies
Many people are allergic to insect stings, and in many cases the allergy can get worse from one bite to the next.
Poisons, saliva and other excretions of insects, and even airborne chitinous hairs, pieces of external integument and excrement of insects, are considered strong allergens. All over the world, more people die from allergic reactions to insect bites than from snake bites, and a person can die from a single bite.
The reasons for such a reaction can be both a hereditary predisposition and an unfavorable ecological situation, as well as some diseases that increase sensitivity. Most often, cases of the most severe allergies are observed after the stings of bees, wasps, hornets, bumblebees and tropical ants. Much less often, the body reacts heavily to the bites of mosquitoes, midges, fleas, bedbugs and other non-stinging insects.
The aggressive effect of insect venom is due to the characteristics of its components. So, for example, bee venom contains proteins, substances and compounds that destroy red blood cells, cause acute inflammation, muscle spasm and disruption of tissue metabolism, reduce blood clotting (melitin and apamin), as well as hyaluronidase, which helps the poison spread throughout the body and histamine, which dilates blood vessels, provokes inflammation.
Wasp venom is distinguished by the presence of the substance kinin, which causes vasodilation, contraction of smooth muscles and provokes acute inflammation. And the poison of various types of hornets also contains acetylcholine, which slows down the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, reduces the muscles of the bronchi and increases the secretion of the bronchial glands.
The reaction to the bites of blood-sucking insects – bedbugs, fleas, mosquitoes, etc. – is due to the presence in their saliva of special enzymes that cause allergies and substances that prevent rapid blood clotting. And the saliva of bed bugs contains an analgesic, as a result of which their bites are painless and are usually detected only in the morning. In addition, the saliva of blood-sucking insects sometimes contains pathogens of very dangerous diseases: malaria, plague, tularemia, hepatitis B, anthrax and other dangerous diseases.
After an insect bite, an allergic reaction sometimes occurs immediately, and sometimes manifests itself within several tens of minutes or even hours.
What are the symptoms of an allergy to insect stings:
Local – burning pain, swelling of the skin, swelling or induration, hyperemia, itching, rashes;
Generalized – urticaria, conjunctivitis, rhinitis, weakness, fever with or without chills, dizziness, shortness of breath, lowering blood pressure, fast pulse of weak filling, heart pain, fainting.
Life-threatening conditions such as angioedema and anaphylactic shock may also occur.
Insect bites are often very itchy: because of the constant itching, the child sometimes scratches the skin until it bleeds, with the risk of infection, which can be an additional health hazard.
If you experience general symptoms of an allergy, you should immediately consult a doctor. In this case, it is better not to self-medicate, because many drugs have restrictions for use in childhood.
First aid for insect sting allergy:
- In case of a bee sting, remove the sting with tweezers as soon as possible, as the venom sac associated with it continues to contract and inject the venom under the skin. In the case of wasp and hornet stings, you should not look for a sting – these insects do not leave it in the wound and can sting repeatedly.
- Then you need to slow down the rate of absorption of poison into the blood, and also help reduce local allergic swelling from an insect bite. To do this, you need to apply cold, for example, an ice pack, to the bite site.
- When bitten in the leg or arm, a tourniquet is applied to the limb – this will buy time, and the poison will not be able to spread through the body with the blood stream. An ambulance is urgently called.
- Itching and rash after an insect bite help to reduce special preparations: these can be sprays and ointments containing panthenol, Fenistil gel, hormonal ointments such as Advantan and Hydrocortisone, special insect bite balms for children
- Complicated allergic reactions should be treated by a physician.
How to smear mosquito and midge bites so that they do not itch
https://ru.sputnik.kz/20210609/Malenkie-krovopiytsy-chem-mazat-ukusy-17294638.html ditch and midges
Little bloodsuckers: how to treat mosquito and midge bites
Summer is not only outdoor activities, sun and sea, but also the season of insects – mosquitoes and midges. Little bloodsuckers are invisible, but they can deliver… 06/09/2021, Sputnik Kazakhstan 92021-06-09T15:25+0600
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MIA “Rosiya Segodnya”
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To prevent bites, you can put mosquito nets on the windows in your house or on tents on vacation. Fans of hiking and outdoor recreation should stock up on special clothing.
© Photo : From the personal archive of Gaukhar Adilbekova Gaukhar Aldibekova, a pediatrician at city polyclinic No. 11 in Almaty
Gaukhar Aldibekova, a pediatrician at city polyclinic No. 11 in Almaty
© Photo : From the personal archive of Gaukhar Adilbekova
Experts advise wearing clothing that covers the body as much as possible, as well as applying creams, ointments, essential oils or other fragrances. You can also use special aerosols and coils against mosquitoes.
But what to do if a mosquito or a midge still bites, and the bite is very swollen and itchy?
Mosquitoes bite me too: an official joined the challenge #bittenpavlodar
It is known that only female mosquitoes bite. They sense you at a distance of three kilometers. They are attracted to the smell of sweat, body heat and carbonic breath.
Midges are much smaller than mosquitoes and can bite without being noticed. Substances in the saliva of midges temporarily anesthetize the bite, so at first this may not be noticed. After a while, you will feel itching, redness, and burning. Midges, as well as mosquitoes, are attracted to the smell of sweat and light-colored clothing.
How to distinguish a mosquito bite from a midge bite
Gaukhar Aldibekova, a pediatrician at City Polyclinic No. 11 in Almaty, in an interview with Sputnik Kazakhstan, said that after a midge bite, the swelling is more extensive and painful.
How mosquitoes choose their prey – biologist
“This is related to the method of bite. The mosquito bites a person using its proboscis, with which it digs into the epithelium. The midge cuts the skin and injects saliva rich in enzymes and toxins that do not allow the wound to heal. Itching and a burning sensation appears the next day and is much stronger than with a mosquito bite. A midge bite heals for a very long time, “the doctor explained.
Why are mosquito and midge bites dangerous?
According to her, the bites of mosquitoes and midges are not poisonous, but at this moment an anticoagulant (a substance that prevents blood clotting – Sputnik) gets under the skin of a person.
Residents of Nur-Sultan were asked to treat mosquitoes and midges with understanding
the children’s body is still weak and not accustomed to all sorts of toxins and poisons,” the doctor said.
Proven folk remedies for bites
To prevent mosquito and midge bites from itching, you need to wash the surface of the skin with clean cold water, preferably with simple laundry soap or saline, says Gaukhar Aldibekova.
Also, according to her, you can press down on the bites with your fingers or objects for several minutes.
“To relieve itching, it is necessary to apply a cold compress with a soda solution (half a teaspoon to a glass of water). Another bite can be treated with water-based or alcohol-based antiseptic solutions (furacillin, chlorhexidine), and then lubricated with an antihistamine cream, gel or ointment” added the pediatrician.