While mosquito bites might not be completely avoidable, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of getting bitten! Taking safety precautions beforehand will make the bites less frequent and help protect you against mosquito-borne illnesses such as Malaria and Zika Virus. Before you and your loved ones head outside to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine, make sure to brush up on how to handle mosquito bites when you get them.
5 FAQs About Mosquito Bites
Why Do Mosquitoes Bite?
Did you know that of the few species of mosquitoes that do feed on humans, only females actually bite? That’s because the females need the nutrients in our blood to produce more eggs. Without human blood, females can lay about a dozen eggs, whereas after a nutritious feeding, they can lay up to several hundred eggs.
What Do Mosquito Bites Look Like?
Mosquito bites are almost always instantly noticeable, unlike some other pest bites. Mosquito bites usually appear as a hard, roundish bump that is filled with fluid. It’s not uncommon for there to be a cluster of bites in close proximity to each other. Most people experience swelling, redness, and itching when they receive a bite, however those who are more allergic to the saliva or have an impaired immune system may show more severe symptoms such as blisters, lesions, hives, joint swelling, difficulty breathing, wheezing, body or headaches, and confusion.
According to the Prairie Research Institute of Illinois, around two million deaths occur each year due to mosquito-borne diseases. If you or a loved one has been bitten, it is important to stay vigilant of worsening symptoms. Should any of these occur, seek immediate medical attention from your local healthcare provider. Although a rare occurrence, someone in anaphylactic shock from a mosquito bite will need an EpiPen injection. Over-the-counter antihistamines such as loratadine and cetirizine may also help reduce the body’s natural immune response.
How Long Do Mosquito Bites Last?
Depending on the size of the bite and the person’s immune response, a mosquito bite can last anywhere from several hours to several days or even weeks. If you have sensitive skin, you may notice small dark marks even after the noticeable effects of the bite have faded. To avoid any unnatural pigmentation of the skin from occurring, apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 when spending time in the sun. You can also incorporate products with vitamin E, C, or niacinamide in them to prevent any permanent skin damage.
Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?
Most of us are all too familiar with the itchy, swollen mosquito bites that happen while spending time outdoors. But did you know that bites actually affect each person differently? When mosquitoes bite, they insert their saliva containing anticoagulants and proteins into our bloodstream through their mouthpart also known as the proboscis. Because these proteins are foreign to our bodies, it triggers the immune system to fight them off by releasing histamines.
While histamine helps get our white blood cells to the affected area, it also causes the redness, itchiness, and swelling that we see with a bite. However, this isn’t the reaction that we see every time we get a mosquito bite. You might even not realize you got one! This is because our bodies can take time to formulate an immune response to the mosquitoes’ proteins. Oftentimes, people won’t have a reaction when bitten the first time. For some, it may take time to build up a tolerance, while others may never notice bites.
How Do I Treat Mosquito Bites?
With a variety of effective mosquito control solutions for you to choose from, we are sure you will feel confident in trusting Palmetto Mosquito Control to protect you and your loved ones from irritating pests. Should you get one of these irritating mosquito bites, however, it’s always helpful to have some at-home treatment tricks that alleviate the itch! Here are a few of our favorites:
Step 1: Immediately Clean the Area
If you notice that you have a bite, make sure to immediately clean the area with soap and water to clean off any dirt or bacteria that might be on the skin. Wipe off the skin with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball after washing. Rubbing alcohol has a cooling effect, which may help relieve the itching once it dries. Be careful not to apply too much, as it can dry out the skin.
Step 2: Numb the Area With an Ice Pack
Applying an ice pack to the area will help numb the bite, reduce the swelling, and
alleviate the itch.
Step 3: Use Natural Remedies To Alleviate Your Symptoms
- Honey has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that promote healing and reduce inflammation and infection
- Oatmeal has active properties that soothe the immune response. Try making a paste with water, honey, and colloidal oatmeal, letting it sit for 15 minutes before washing off with warm water.
- Tea has anti-swelling and anti-inflammatory properties that can ease the itchy sensation by applying a cold, soaked tea bag to the skin.
- Basil is an herb commonly found in many households. Rubbing freshly chopped basil on the skin or dipping a washcloth into boiled water mixed with dried basil leaves can help alleviate your symptoms. Make sure to let the mixture cool before applying!
- Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm the redness and swelling. If you have a plant around your house, simply cut off a leaf and apply the gel.
- Garlic extract has anti-viral and healing properties when diluted. Try mixing garlic extract or minced garlic with coconut oil on your bite.
Step 4: Use Over-The-Counter Medications
- Antihistamines help reduce inflammation, itchiness, and swelling. These come in oral forms, such as Benadryl or Allegra, and topical creams such as calamine lotion.
- Over-the-counter creams sometimes contain numbing ingredients such as lidocaine and benzocaine for temporary relief. Anti-itch cream can also be found at your local store and helps soothe the affected area.
- Peppermint and menthol can often be found in creams and can provide temporary itching relief.
Step 5: Avoid Scratching the Bite
The more you scratch a mosquito bite, the more inflamed the skin becomes, leading to a vicious cycle that can extend the time the affected area takes to heal. Scratching also has the potential to turn the swollen bite into an open wound, which could result in a secondary skin infection. Itching can also prolong the healing time that it takes for the bite to go away.
To learn about other home remedies you can try, click here. It may take some experimenting to see which ones work best for you!
Reliable pest control and prevention is the best way to avoid getting painful mosquito bites. Palmetto Mosquito Control, in affiliation with Palmetto Exterminators, offers a number of affordable options to combat the mosquitoes, flies, and gnats in your yard. Make the outdoors livable again with a custom mosquito misting system seamlessly integrated into your yard for long-term pest control.
Not quite ready to commit to our system? We also offer a more temporary solution with our mosquito barrier treatment in which one of our technicians will perform a surface spray treatment to affected areas every two to four weeks. Palmetto Mosquito Control also provides Green Barrier Treatments that use only organic, biodegradable ingredients.
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