We have all been the victim of a mosquito bite at some point in our lives, and living in the Lowcountry does not deter these pests by any means. However, rather than waiting for the pesky itches to fade, we can take matters into our own hands to speed up the healing process. Preventative measures are helpful, but not fool-proof. Therefore, when your mosquito prevention methods fail, treating the symptoms is the next best option. Read on to learn three ways to treat mosquito bites on your own, without having to wait days to stop itching.
Soothe with Essential Oils
Believe it or not, essential oils serve as both a preventative measure and a treatment for mosquito bites. Essential oils are concentrated hydrophobic liquids containing liquid compounds from plants. They are the oil of the plant from which they were extracted.
In terms of prevention, essential oils repel mosquitos due to their high levels of concentration. Mosquitos have such an aversion to the smell that it drives them away. The use of essential oils should be accompanied by other preventative measures to be effective, but nonetheless, they do not cause any harm.
Even so, mosquito prevention measures are unfortunately never fool-proof. However, essential oils function as a means of treatment for mosquito bites as well — specifically peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is a centuries-old natural remedy that relieves itching. It is used to relieve itching as a result of long-term causes such as diabetes and therefore functions as a short-term itch relief as well.
To treat a mosquito bite with peppermint oil, simply mix a few drops of the oil into an ounce of either coconut or olive oil. Then, dab a small portion of the mixture onto the irritated area and rub it in. Do not apply peppermint oil to your skin without mixing it with the carrier oil — pure peppermint oil is extremely potent, and it can cause irritation if it isn’t diluted with a gentler oil.
Keep in mind that this treatment is not to be used on young children. Take care to consult with your doctor before implementing this treatment to ensure that it will not interact with other medications or have unexpected side effects.
Use a Garlic Puree
Whether or not you enjoy the taste, garlic serves as a natural and effective at-home alternative treatment for mosquito bites. Not only is it an efficient remedy that relieves ailments such as high blood pressure and heart disease, but it is simple and powerful in fighting against itch relief.
Know that applying garlic directly from the bulb to a bite on your skin can cause a stinging or burning sensation. Instead, follow these steps:
- Puree a clove of garlic (or two, depending on how many bites you want to treat)
- Mix the garlic puree with a carrier oil or an unscented lotion
- Apply the mixture directly to the bite, and let it sit for 5-10 minutes
- Rinse off with water, and gently pat dry to avoid re-irritating the bite
The lotion or oil will help reduce the garlic’s potency without interfering with its natural healing effects. If the itch persists, feel free to add more using the same method after some time has passed.
Take an Oatmeal Bath
It may sound crazy, but if your itching is out of control, an oatmeal bath could be the way to go. Oatmeal doesn’t serve as a mosquito prevention technique, but it is a highly effective itch treatment. They’re often used to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis, skin inflammation, eczema — and insect bites.
Oatmeal baths don’t use regular oatmeal but with colloidal oatmeal, which is finely ground oatmeal specifically used for skin treatments. You can make your own by using a blender or food processor to grind whole, uncooked oats into a fine powder.
Make sure your bathwater is lukewarm, not hot, as hot water can irritate the skin even further. Shake about one cup of your oatmeal powder under the running water and let it mix together as the bathtub fills up. Hop in and soak for 10-15 minutes. While it may seem like soaking for longer will only increase your skin’s hydration, too much time submerged in water can actually dry you out again. Once you get out, lightly towel off so that your skin is still damp and immediately put on a lotion or moisturizer.
Studies show that oatmeal serves as a protective barrier on the skin and a method of soothing irritation. Therefore, the next time you have an itch, give the oatmeal bath a try.
Increase Preventative Methods
If you are not in the market for essential oils, garlic, or an oatmeal bath, there are definitely more solid and trustworthy mosquito prevention techniques to try. The best way to treat mosquito bites is to avoid getting them in the first place, so stay on top of your mosquito barrier treatments and mosquito misting systems, and make sure to call your local pest control services for a quarterly pest inspection.
Contact Palmetto Mosquito Control for customized mosquito prevention and treatment options from an experienced team who has your back. We offer mosquito barrier treatments, misting systems, special event mosquito prevention, and more. Give us a call to find out how we can help keep you comfortable and safe.