I can guarantee that everyone has suffered the wrath of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are small flying insects that suck blood from humans and animals. In the bargain, these insects transmit diseases like encephalitis, malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever.
Mosquito bites can also cause an allergic reaction to individuals with sensitive skins. The female mosquitoes have piercing mouthparts, which they use to pierce the skin of the host and extract blood. However, the male mosquitoes do not bite nor feed on blood. Instead, their main food is nectar from flowers and other sweet substances in their surroundings. When a mosquito punctures the skin to feed on blood they usually, leave itchy bumps, which are very irritating. It’s the saliva left behind when feeding that creates the reactions of the bite symptoms. Although the bites are itchy and uncomfortable, the most dangerous problem arising from the bites is that they transmit parasitic as well as viral diseases. Some of the symptoms of mosquito bites include swelling of the bite region, bleeding, and soreness.
So you may ask: what are the factors that lure mosquitoes to humans?
Well, many factors attract a mosquito to the host, one of which is our own scent. Our skin emits about three hundred and forty (yes, that’s right 340) different chemical scents that can attract mosquitoes.
The carbon dioxide exhaled when breathing also helps mosquito to track the host and attack them. Additionally, the body heat of the human body and moisture released when exhaling or in sweat form also attracts mosquitoes.
Since the release and strength of the scents differ from one person to the other, some individuals have higher chances of getting bitten by mosquitoes. Similarly, consumption of beer and use of some perfumes may attract these insects more.
Mosquito Bites Treatment
Knowing how you can avoid mosquito bites and/or having proper mosquito bite treatment can help you avoid contracting the diseases they transmit. Additionally, treating the bite will help you get quick relief from the itchy and uncomfortable feeling of the bite.
One of the best ways to treat these bites is preventing the bites in the first place. Trust me; prevention is always better than cure. There are many insect repellents that can help to keep mosquitoes far from you. However, you need to be careful when using mosquito repellents as they contain chemical compounds that can be harmful to your health. Some of them are also toxic, so you need to be extra vigilant if they are within your children’s reach. Besides using these repellents, there are other tips that you can use to keep the mosquitoes away from your home. Some of the most useful ones are:
- Drain all standing water away from your yard, i.e. try to avoid any water ponding
- Wear long sleeves and long pants especially when the wind is down, and mosquitoes are out
- Have mosquito control systems in place that enhance your family protection against mosquito bites
- Use citronella candles and use yellow bug lights as they keep these insects away
When you are indoors, there are many ways to keep mosquitoes from your reach. However, it is very challenging to do the same when enjoying the great outdoors and mosquito bites seems to be an unavoidable evil.
Besides, when the summer season is here, most of us want to enjoy every bit in the outdoors. Unfortunately, this is also the time when the mosquitoes are most active. This means that you are likely to encounter several mosquito bites.
Luckily, there are various treatments that you can use to treat mosquito bites. One of the best treatments available is the use of essential oils. Essential oils have a multitude of uses from skincare to relaxation but have you ever thought that they could be effective in treating mosquito bites.
Due to mosquito bites being very itchy and uncomfortable, you would want to control the symptoms of the bites as quickly as possible. Some of the essentials oils that are useful in treating the mosquito bites include lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, rosemary amongst others.
7 Best Essential Oils For Mosquitoes?
1. Lavender essential oil
This essential oil has a relaxing and calming effect, making it great in soothing mosquito bites. This versatile oil also works as a repellent to various biting bugs including fleas and ticks. In case you’ve been bitten, just apply a few diluted drops to the area for fast relief – 2 drops diluted in 1/4 tsp of carrier oil such as almond oil. Additionally, you can apply lavender essential oil to the exposed parts of your body when going out; dilute 15 drops lavender in 30ml carrier oil (olive, jojoba, almond oil) and use as required.
2. Rosemary essential oil
Another essential oil that has dozens of uses is rosemary oil; it is an excellent oil for promoting hair growth as well as dealing with joint and muscle pain. Rosemary essential oil is also helpful when it comes to dealing with mosquito bites and acts as a great repellent of various summer insects especially mosquitoes. Mixing this oil together with other essential oils such as lavender and tea tree will offer fast and effective remedy especially when the bites are more intense. Use 3 drops of rosemary and 2 drops of tea tree or lavender diluted in 1 tsp of olive oil for optimal results.
3. Eucalyptus essential oil
Eucalyptus oil is an extremely versatile and handy essential oil that can be used for colds, flu, respiratory problems, sinuses, and treat skin problems such as scrapes, cuts, bruises, etc. Besides, it is one the most popular natural insect repellents as approved by the center for disease control and prevention (CDC). For best results, add 8 drops of eucalyptus with 6 drops of lemon essential oil diluted in 30ml olive oil and apply to your skin / bite areas. Alternatively, dilute the above mentioned essential oils in 30ml witch hazel and use as a spray repellent.
4. Thyme essential oil
Thyme is an antiseptic essential oil which is really helpful in curing yeast infections as well as helps in soothing mosquito bites and preventing infections. It contains the chemical thymol, which has antiseptic properties that help in soothing stings and bites. If the bites are severely irritating or itchy, mix it with eucalyptus oil for fast and effective results. Use 3 drops of thyme and 2 drops of eucalyptus oil in 1 tsp of almond oil and apply to the bites.
5. Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint is one of the best essential oils for pain relief, digestion, sinuses, as well as the respiratory system. Besides these uses, peppermint is also very effective in soothing itchy mosquito bites. Another advantage that comes with it is that it has a very calming soothing smell. Combine 2-3 drops of peppermint oil with 1/2 tsp of coconut oil and apply directly to the bites.
6. Citronella essential oil
Citronella essential oil is extracted from various types of lemongrass leaves and stems and is present in a number of products including candles, insect repellents and ointments. Citronella oil can help treat and prevent colds, fevers, and headaches. One of the ways to repel mosquitoes around your home is to grow citronella plants in your garden.
7. Tea tree essential oil
Last but not least, we have tea tree essential oil, which comes with a plethora of benefits including being antimicrobial and anti-fungal. Also referred to as melaleuca, this essential oil has the ability to deal with cold sores, skin issues (acne, psoriasis, eczema), get rid of nail fungus and boost the immune health system. Tea tree oil works beautifully when it comes to mosquito bites as well as other bug bites. For best results, you can use 1 drop of tea tree neat on the bite as it offers the most beneficial results.
Using an essential oil on its own may help alleviate the symptoms of insect bites, however you are bound to enjoy the full benefits of essential oils when you mix at least two essential oils to make a concoction. You simply need to follow the above instructions.
Just make sure that you dilute the essential oils in a carrier oil prior to application, with the exception of tea tree oil which can be used neat. Using a highly concentrated concoction may do you more harm than good as it can result in skin irritation. Additionally, always be mindful of the essential oils that you use on the elderly, kids, and pregnant women.
5 Essential Oils Recipes For Mosquito Bites, Repellent and Control
Here are some simple recipes that are effective for mosquito bites, mosquito repellent and to control mosquitoes.
Recipe 1 – Essential Oils Mosquito Repellent Recipe
What you need:
- A clean 2 oz. glass spray bottle
- Witch hazel
- Eucalyptus – 8 drops
- Rosemary – 6 drops
- Lavender – 6 drops
- Lemon -10 drops
- Clove – 4 drops
Fill the spray bottle with about three-quarter of witch hazel. Add the essential oils then add some more witch hazel to fill. Shake well before use.
You can spray this blend in your house to keep the mosquitoes away. You can also use this spray on the exposed parts of your body as a mosquito repellent. Just do a test patch beforehand in case of any skin irritation.
Recipe 2 – Varied Herbs Mosquito Repellent Recipe
What you need:
- Glass spray bottle
- An empty, clean glass jar
- Witch hazel or Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
- Herbs: Eucalyptus, Mint, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Lemon Grass, Lavender
You don’t need all the above herbs, however the more you can get your hands on, the better. Chop the various herbs and fill them in the glass jar. Add the witch hazel (or ACV) and securely seal with a lid.
Place this jar in a sunny spot and leave if for about seven to ten days. Shake the jar occasionally and it is ready for use when most of the herbs have broken down. Strain the herbs and store the liquid in a glass spray bottle.
You can use this liquid to spray your living room, bedrooms, house and courtyard to keep mosquitoes away. Applying this mixture on your skin will also help you to avoid mosquito bites.
Recipe 3 – Homemade Essential Oil Insect Repellent Spray
What you need:
- 20 drops citronella essential oil
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 oz. distilled water
- 1 oz. witch hazel
Add the water, witch hazel and essential oils to a 3 oz. glass spray bottle fill. Shake well. Spray onto your skin as required. Re-apply every 2-3 hours as needed.
Recipe 4 – Anti-Histamine Mosquito Bite Soother Recipe
What you need:
- 1 oz. roller bottle
- 30ml sweet almond
- 7 drops of lavender essential oil
- 9 drops of tea tree essential oil
Fill the roller bottle halfway with a carrier oil (sweet almond). Add the essential oils (lavender and tea tree) and shake well. Apply this blend on the mosquito bite for quick relief.
Recipe 5 – Strong Natural Insect Repellent With Essential Oil
Use the essential oil as per the list below for the insect you are targeting:
- geranium (ticks, lice)
- cinnamon oil (mosquitoes)
- citronella oil (mosquitoes, flies)
- eucalyptus oil (mosquitoes, ticks, lice)
- orange oil (fleas)
In a roller or spray bottle (1 oz.), add 15 drops of essential oil with 30ml castor oil. Rub or spray the blend onto your skin, of course taking care to avoid the eyes. Re-apply as necessary every 3-4 hours.
If you want to make a natural spray repellent, use a 4 oz. bottle, add 2 oz. of distilled water, 1 oz. witch hazel or ACV and 50 drops of essential oils. Shake well before use. This makes a very powerful natural insect repellent.
6 Best Natural / Homemade Mosquito Repellents
Did you know that some of the other natural / home remedies for itchy mosquito bites could be sitting in your kitchen cupboard? Let’s explore this further and look into some of the natural homemade remedies that can help in controlling, repelling and treating mosquito bites.
1. Soybean oil
Are you aware that you could make an extremely effective mosquito repellent by just mixing a few drops of soybean oil, lemongrass oil, witch hazel and water? Put 10 drops each of soybean and lemongrass oil in a spray bottle, add 2 oz. witch hazel and 1.5 oz. water and shake well. Use this mixture to spray your house and yard to keep the mosquitoes away. Studies have shown that this mixture provides much longer lasting protection than any other repellent blends.
2. Oatmeal paste
Oatmeal is not only a nutritious breakfast option but it is also beneficial when it comes to dealing with mosquito bites. Oatmeal contains special compounds that have anti-irritant properties, thus making an effective relief for itching and swelling. Mix 1/2 ounce of oatmeal and 1/2 ounce of water in a bowl to make an oatmeal paste. Scoop some of the paste using a clean cloth, hold it to the irritated skin for a few minutes, and then rinse the area. For large bite areas, simply drop a cup or two of oatmeal in a warm bath and soak yourself in for at least 15 minutes. You can also rub some of the oatmeal on the bite areas whilst in the bathtub.
Honey has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and is a favorite remedy as it is readily available. You also do not need to mix it with any other ingredient. A drop on the itchy bite is sometimes all you need for an effective soothing remedy.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a popular household plant that offers treatment for various conditions including herpes, constipation, psoriasis and many more. This plant has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good remedy for soothing a mosquito bite. You can simply use fresh aloe vera plant or aloe vera gel and rub it to the mosquito bite.
5. Baking powder
I am pretty sure that baking powder can be found in every household kitchen. It has many uses starting from baking bread to clearing clogged drains to being a cure for mosquito bites. All you need to do is mix equal parts of water and baking powder in a bowl to make a paste. Dip a clean cloth in the mixture and hold it against the bite for several minutes before rinsing.
Basil is a common plant with fragrant leaves that are used in various food recipes. This herb offers an exceptional mosquito bite remedy. Studies show that basil contains the chemical compound eugenol, which is effective in relieving itchy skin. To prepare a basil rub, add about an ounce of dried basil leaves into a cup and a half of boiling water. Allow the mixture to steep until cooled down, then use a clean cloth to apply it gently on the mosquito bite.
How To Prevent Mosquito Bites?
For most of us, summer is the best time to explore the world. However, insects, bugs and mosquitoes can make your holiday a nightmare. They can easily inflict you with itch bites as well as spread life-threatening diseases such as malaria and the Zika virus. Below are some tips / options at your disposal to avoid these nasty mosquito bites.
- Avoid areas that are prone to mosquitoes – if you are traveling; ensure that the destination is not a hotspot for mosquito activity.
- Wear clothes with light colors – mosquitoes love dark colors, wearing light-colored clothes will keep them away.
- Use insect repellent – you can use any of the mosquito repellents / sprays that I have listed above. It is advisable to prepare your own DIY all-natural mosquito repellents rather than buy them at your local pharmacy and supermarkets as they are laced with chemicals.
- Wear appropriate clothing – more often than not, mosquitoes bite the exposed parts of our bodies. Wearing long sleeved clothing will help protect you from the nasty bites.
- Sleep under a mosquito net – besides using natural homemade mosquito repellents, sleeping under a mosquito net help keep mosquitoes away.
- Maintain air circulation – using a fan to keep the air circulating in a room also helps avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. A fan generally produces fast moving air currents making the mosquitoes unable to fly and bite you.
The Bottom Line
Always remember that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, ensure you have appropriate mosquito controls to prevent developing an itchy rash or contracting mosquito-related diseases. Using essential oil repellents, homemade repellents, as well as implementing tips to keep the mosquitoes away from your house will help you avoid mosquitoes altogether.