From the camping trip in the backyard to the family barbecue on the Fourth of July – it never fails – the presence of that pesky, uninvited guest that always seems to find a way to interrupt your summertime fun. Mosquitoes fly about looking for humans and other critters to feed on, as they require a blood meal in order to complete their life cycle and produce eggs, which is why it doesn’t hurt to become familiar with a couple of home remedies for mosquito bites.
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The Mechanics of a Mosquito Bite
During a feeding (which only females participate in), the mosquito penetrates human skin and injects saliva that is filled with proteins that prevent the clotting of blood. As a result, the blood easily flows into the mouth of the mosquito. Sometimes we feel it and other times, we don’t even know that we’ve been bitten until a welt on the skin is spotted. Most species of mosquitoes wait until dawn or dusk to feed . On hot days, the majority of mosquitoes are in hiding – taking a rest in a cool place.
When it comes to mosquito bites, a handful of reactions can take place with symptoms that eventually change with time. Some people experience immediate swelling, while others exhibit a delayed response. A mosquito bite often itches, especially when initially scratched.
Mosquito Bite Home Remedies
Knowing how to treat common annoyances right in the comfort of your own home can be a real lifesaver. However, with some home remedies for mosquito bites, it’s important to note that not all suggestions below will provide immediate relief. Keep in mind that some treatments will take two or three applications before you see any real results. Popular recommendations include:
a) Fruity Relief:
Tap into the power of healing fruits by applying lemon juice (or slices), lime juice (or slices), or rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a bite.
b) Raid the Bathroom Cabinet:
There are plenty of items in your bathroom cabinet that can ease the discomfort of a mosquito bite, including calamine lotion, Benadryl  Cream, Orajel, Anbesol, Caladryl, Vicks VapoRub, Preparation H, Gold Bond Medicated Cream (or powder), and Mylanta.
c) Create a Paste:
Instead of scratching your bites, concentrate on making a paste to treat your symptoms. Baking soda, meat tenderizer, salt, Epsom salts, Tums tablets, and aspirin are the most common ingredients used to mix with water in order to create a healing paste.
It’s pretty hard to resist scratching a mosquito bite. However, the temporary relief is not worth the threat of infection. You can lessen your chances of infection by cutting a lemon in half and rubbing the soft, pulpy side of the slice against your itchy skin.
e) Herbal Remedy:
Relieve mosquito bite symptoms by mixing one teaspoon each of lavender oil and vegetable oil. Apply the mixture to your bite. The lavender will reduce swelling and take away the itching.
f) Apple Cider Vinegar:
Rub apple cider vinegar directly on mosquito bites for quick relief.
Using a cotton swab, apply toothpaste (preferably a peppermint flavor) to a mosquito bite to combat itching.
To prevent histamine from infiltrating your skin, directly apply ice to a mosquito bite.
i) Alka-Seltzer :
When the itch of a mosquito bite becomes too much to bear, consider allowing Alka-Seltzer to come to the rescue. Drop two tablets into a ½ glass of water. Dip a cotton ball into the glass and apply the solution to your bite. Keep in mind that if you are allergic to aspirin, you should avoid this home remedy.
Create a paste using water to moisten a small amount of salt. Apply to your bite to relieve itchiness and swelling.
Control the inflammation of a mosquito bite by applying a wet aspirin tablet.
l) Prevention is Key:
When you’re planning on spending a great deal of time outdoors, especially when the sun has set or in a wooded area, consider using prevention home remedies to keep mosquito bites away. Before going out, some people have found success when they’ve bathed in a heavily diluted solution of chlorine beach and tub water. Add two capfuls of bleach to a tub of warm water. Soak for 15 minutes. Additionally, bath oils, like Alpha-Keri and Avon’s Skin-So-Soft, offer a decent mosquito repellant. The same can be said for some sunscreens, such as Pre-Sun.
m) Soap and Water:
Since mosquitoes spread disease, it is important to wash a bite with soap and water, followed by applying an antiseptic.
n) Baking Soda:
Treat itchy skin by dissolving one teaspoon of baking soda in one glass of water. Dip a cloth into the mixture and place on your bite for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also create a paste out of witch hazel and baking soda that is also left on a bite for about 15 minutes.
 Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg 38-39.