As a child mosquito bites were a sign that summer was here!!!! My mother warned me to use bug spray but *shoulder shrug* I was a kid who didn’t like to listen. I would scratch and itch those bites like there was no tomorrow! As an adult I feel like mosquito bites are torture, plus these days there’s a lot more concern about diseases as a result of them.
FACT OR MYTH?
Mosquitos bite you for your sweet blood.
Mosquitos don’t “look” for sweet blood, they actually don’t are who they bite. Females are the only mosquitos that bite, this is because they need the protein and iron in our blood to make their eggs. Mosquitoes choose their victims base off of the host’s breathe, movement, odor or fragrance as well as body heat. The reason why their bites itch so much is due to their saliva. It contains enzymes and proteins that most people are allergic to causing an allergic response. You can find these pests in warm and humid climates, out during the day or the nighttime, and you can find them both indoors or outdoors.
According to National Geographic there are about 3,000 different species of mosquito in the world. These insects also transmit more diseases than any other creature in the world. Keep in mind the top 3 diseases spread by mosquitoes do not have a vaccine for treatment :
- Zika Virus: most recent outbreak in Brazil
- Dengue Virus: affecting mainly Asian and Latin American Countries
- Chikungunya Virus: found in Asia, Europe, and Africa
Mosquito Bite Prevention
If you plan on traveling this summer or even if you’re not, here are some tips to protect you from getting bitten.
- Cover Exposed Skin
- Make sure to wear lightweight pants, socks, and long sleeves
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered bug spray
- Harmful chemicals are a concern when it comes to anything we put on our skin but the Environmental Working Agency has co signed the use of bug repellents containing
- DEET- Most effective in repelling mosquitoes
- IR 3535
- Do your research!
- Avoid destinations dealing with breakouts. Use the CDC Travelers’ Health website to look up disease patterns https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
- Lodge Safely
- Choose hotels that are air conditioned, and that have window and door screens.
Natural Ways to Relieve Mosquito Bites
After returning from the Bahamas recently, somehow i got home and noticed three HUGE mosquito bites on the side of my face. You’d think I’d know better than not to scratch the bites that could leave scars! Luckily I found some natural remedies to apply and get rid of that annoying itch!
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Helps balance the pH of the bitten area
- Aloe vera (my saving grace when I came back from the Bahamas)
- Aids in healing and relief
- Raw Honey
- Has antimicrobial properties and can prevent infection.
- Witch Hazel
- An astringent made from a medicinal plant Native Americans used to heal swelling, sores and infections