Along with the sunshine and fun, summer also means mosquito bite season. When a mosquito bites you, it uses the protein in your blood to grow more eggs. Those itchy, red bumps are an immune system response to the mosquito’s saliva. Instead of letting mosquitoes ruin any summer plans this year, read ahead to find out how to stop mosquito bites from itching.
Some common symptoms of a mosquito bite include:
- Localized swelling, pain, and itching
- Red bump on the skin that itches
- Redness around the bump
- “Skeeter syndrome” (papular urticaria) is a localized allergic reaction to mosquito bites, consisting of inflammation and sometimes fever. It is caused by allergenic polypeptides in mosquito saliva, so it is not contagious.
- If you start to experience headaches, fever, body aches, nausea, chills or have trouble breathing, be sure to contact a medical professional immediately.
- Most people have a minor reaction to a mosquito bite, but for some, the reaction may be more severe.
Mosquito Bite Treatment: What Should You Do When You Notice a Mosquito Bite?
The key for mosquito bite remedies is to start by cleaning the bite with soap and water to prevent infection. Ice can be applied to temporarily relieve swelling and itching, and over-the-counter ointments and creams can help reduce itchiness.
When it comes to getting rid of a mosquito bite, the most essential thing to remember is not to scratch it! Scratching the bitten site agitates the venom and raises your histamine levels. Scratching too much might result in skin breaks, which can lead to infection.
Antihistamines and anti-inflammatories, such as Benadryl, NSAIDS, and steroids, can help alleviate symptoms and, in the long run, eliminate mosquito bites. For severe itching and bigger responses, an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream may be recommended. If you have infection symptoms, you should see your doctor for antibiotics.
How do you prevent mosquito bites?
Although many mosquito bites are harmless, there are times when infected mosquitoes will transfer serious diseases such as the West Nile virus, making it even more important to protect yourself from bites in summer.
Wearing an insect repellent with at least 20% DEET is the best way to prevent mosquito bites. Also, be sure to eliminate any areas of standing water around the home that could become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Although mosquitoes only need about a bottlecap of water to reproduce, emptying any flower pots, tarps, or baby pools filled with water is an excellent preventive step. Screen all windows and doors, and fix any tears in existing screens, to keep mosquitoes out of the house.
Avoid wearing sweet-smelling perfumes, colognes, or dark colors, and spend as little time outside as possible around twilight and morning, when mosquitoes are most active.
If you continue to have mosquito infestations on your property or have more questions about mosquito bite remedies, reach out to a licensed pest control professional for assistance.