Mosquito bites are often common in warm climates. Although most mosquito bites are harmless, some can still result in complications. Mosquito bites mostly because they are drawn to human blood. Therefore, the bites from mosquitoes might not show until many hours later, and when they appear, they can create a bump that is often itchy, sore, or swollen.
Mosquitoes can carry infections and diseases, although the chance of being infected by a diseased mosquito largely depends on your location. Another uncommon problem a mosquito bite can cause is an adverse reaction to the bite itself.
If you notice that you begin to develop hives, a swollen throat, or a breathing difficulty, consult your doctor as soon as possible. You may not immediately notice when a mosquito bites you, but the bump left behind by the bite is usually assisted with a persistent itch that can tarry for days even after the bite. Ointments and creams might be of assistance, but you can also get rid of the irritation with products you probably have lying in your home which can serve as home remedies for mosquito bites.
You will learn the following from this post:
Table of Contents
- Meaning of mosquito bites
- Types of diseases caused by mosquito bites
- Symptoms and causes of mosquito bites
- Natural remedies for mosquito bites
What Are Mosquito Bites?
Mosquito bites are tiny, raised bumps that appear on the skin due to a female mosquito feeding on human blood. Mosquitoes are tiny flying insects with six legs and long mouthparts used to feed on nectar and blood; only female anopheles mosquitoes feed off of blood. There are three types of mosquitoes, and they exist in different parts of the world: Anopheles, Culex, and Aedes. Usually, mosquitoes do not cause any severe or lasting harm. Instead, they can trigger mild irritation or annoyance for a short period. However, mosquitoes are still dangerous because they can transmit fatal diseases to human beings.
Where are Mosquitoes Found?
Mosquitoes usually breed near water, so they can mostly be found in swampy areas. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in shallow, stagnant water. The eggs typically develop in birdbaths, the inside of tires, children’s pools, lakes, ponds, marshes, and other containers with shallow water.
Why Do Mosquitoes Bite?
Mosquitoes suck blood and bite mainly for reproductive reasons. Though male mosquitoes only consume flower nectars, female mosquitoes consume both flower nectar and blood. The females require the protein inside the blood they suck to develop their eggs.
What Happens When a Mosquito Bites You?
Mosquitoes have an extended mouthpart (proboscis) that stretches far beyond their heads. The proboscis resembles a tiny needle. When you suffer a mosquito bite, the mosquito uses this proboscis to pierce your skin, suck your blood, and leave saliva in your bloodstream.
Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?
When a mosquito deposits its saliva into your bloodstream, the body reacts by considering the saliva as an allergen. Your immune system then transfers the chemical histamine to the spot of the bite to eradicate the allergen from your body. Unfortunately, the histamine is what makes the bite swell and itch. As a result, most people have an allergy to a mosquito bite.
How Do Mosquitoes Spread Diseases?
Mosquitoes transmit diseases through their bites. Mosquitoes act as vectors because they carry diseases between humans and animals. Vectors are known to carry infections through the blood. Many creatures called vectors are bloodsuckers. Examples of vectors include sandflies, fleas, and ticks.
When a mosquito stings, it not only sucks blood but deposits saliva in you. The saliva is passed to the bloodstream. There is an interchange of fluids between the saliva and your blood in the bloodstream. An infected mosquito has bitten a person or animal with a certain disease, and it transmits the infection when it bites. Mosquitoes often feed on blood through a method known as sip feeding. This method simply means that the mosquitoes do not only suck all the blood it requires from one source – it takes several meals from multiple sources. This method, unfortunately, exposes bitten people more to infections and diseases.
Types of Diseases Associated with Mosquito Bites
The following are common diseases one can get from being bitten by a mosquito:
This particular disease is common in Asia, North and South America, Africa, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent. Chikungunya is a kind of virus spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The symptoms of chikungunya can include a rash, tiredness, nausea, headache, joint and muscle pain, and rash.
Like chikungunya, Zika is also common in North and South America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific region. Zika is also a virus spread by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito. As soon as a person is infected, the virus can spread from one person to another through sex. The symptoms of Zika include irritated eyes, skin rash, joint and muscle pain, headache, and a mild fever. Zika can also affect an unborn child if the mother has the virus while pregnant.
Common in Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Africa, dengue is a virus spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The symptoms of this virus are almost the same as the flu. Other dengue virus symptoms include nausea, joint and muscle pain, and fever.
- West Nile Virus
Common in the Middle East, Europe, West Asia, North America, and Africa, the West Nile virus is often spread by the Culex mosquito. West Nile virus can be life-threatening, and its symptoms include weakness of the muscles, convulsion, coma, confusion, a stiff neck, fever, and headache.
This is perhaps the most common disease caused by a mosquito bite. Malaria is common in sub-Saharan Africa, and it is a virus spread by the anopheles mosquito. The symptoms of malaria can include vomiting, headache, and fever. Like the West Nile Virus, malaria can also claim lives.
People at Risk of Being Bitten by Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes can bite anyone. However, some factors can also make mosquitoes target some specific people. These factors include:
- Wearing dark-colored clothing
- Body temperature
- Blood type
- Wearing perfume
- Visiting a place with active mosquito-transmitted diseases
- Spending a long time around or near stagnant water
Symptoms and Causes of Mosquito Bites
When a female anopheles mosquito bites you, your body develops a small bump. The color of the bump may form, and you can sometimes notice a small, dark spot in the middle. That dark spot is the part where the sting occurred.
What Causes a Mosquito Bite?
Female mosquitoes usually cause mosquito bites. Male mosquitoes do not bite. Ordinarily, a female mosquito sucks your blood as a part of their diet. As a result, the skin around the bite area becomes irritated, and there is the presence of a circular bump on the skin.
Symptoms of a Mosquito Bite
There are varying symptoms associated with a mosquito bite. If the mosquito is carrying a certain disease or you have an allergic reaction to the bite, the symptoms could be severe. The most common symptoms include:
- Irritated and itchy skin
- A raised, circular bump on the spot where the mosquito sting occurred
More severe symptoms may include:
- An allergic reaction (wheezing, faintness, swollen throat, and hives)
- Infection of a disease a mosquito carries (tiredness, eye irritation, nausea, rashes, body aches, headache, and fever can accompany several diseases).
Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites
The following are natural remedies for mosquito bites that you can find in your home:
One of your favorite breakfasts may be a powerful remedy for an uncomfortable mosquito bite. Oatmeal can reduce swelling and itching because it contains compounds with anti-irritant qualities.
Create an oatmeal paste by mixing the same amount of water and oatmeal in a bowl until you are left with a sparkle-like substance. Next, apply some paste onto a washcloth and hold it (while the paste is downward) on the irritated area for about 10 minutes. Then clean off the area with another clean cloth.
However, if you have several bites, you can make an oatmeal bath. Sprinkle a cup of ground oats or oatmeal into a bathtub filled with warm water. Soak in the bathtub for about 20 minutes, and occasionally apply some of the clumped oatmeal onto the irritated parts of your skin.
2. Crushed Ice
Ice and cold temperature can decrease inflammation. The cold also numbs the skin, providing immediate but temporary relief. The Mayo Clinic recommends applying a bag filled with crushed ice or a cold pack to the area of the bite to relieve the itching.
Do not apply the ice directly to your bite and leave it for more than 5 minutes because it can destroy the skin. You can also apply a barrier, such as a washcloth, in-between your skin and the ice. With this, you can leave the ice on the spot slightly longer.
Honey is a common home remedy for many ailments because it possesses several anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This sweet sugary substance known as honey has been used for centuries to treat such problems as bumps, bruises, and sore throats. For example, a small drop of honey on an itchy bite can decrease inflammation. The honey should also keep you from itching the spot because touching it can create a sticky mess.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a household plant common in the homes of people who know its importance. Aloe vera has been used for many years as a plant known not only for decoration alone. The gel in aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory properties, which can help calm infections and heal minor wounds. That’s why it may also be effective against mosquito bites.
Cut open a part of the aloe vera plant you have, apply the gel that seeps out to the irritated area of your body, allow it to dry, and use again as required.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda is available in almost every kitchen because it has many uses – from clearing drains to baking bread. In addition, baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, may be able to provide relief from the discomfort associated with mosquito bites.
You can easily make a baking soda paste, and it can be used in the same manner as an oatmeal paste. Combine a tablespoon of baking soda with an adequate amount of water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the mosquito bite and let it remain there for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
Basil is a fragrant plant, and it is used to cook a lot of Italian foods, but it can also act as a remedy for mosquito bites. In addition, studies indicate that a chemical compound known as eugenol, which is present in basil, may be able to relieve itchy skin.
To create a basil rub, boil no more than 2 cups of water and add half an ounce of dried basil leaves. Allow the mixture to steep until it’s cool. Then put a washcloth into the cool liquid and rub it gently on the mosquito bite area.
You can also choose to chop some fresh basil leaves until they are fine enough, then rub them on the spot of the bite.
The leaves of thyme are used for cooking foods like fish, potatoes, and so on. Thyme may also be effective in easing the itch from mosquito bites. Thyme possesses both antifungal and antibacterial properties, so it can assist in reducing your risk of infecting and irritating the skin around the mosquito bite.
To get the best of thyme, finely mince the leaves. Then you can rub the leaves directly on your bite and allow them to sit for 10 minutes. You can also create a concentrated liquid by allowing water to boil and adding some sprigs of thyme to it. Allow the sprigs to steep until the water is no longer hot. Then put a washcloth into the thyme-infused water, and apply it to the bites. Allow the washcloth to stay in place for a couple of minutes before taking it off.
For extra relief, soak a washcloth in the thyme water, wrap it around an ice cube, and then apply it to the site of the bite for a natural cooling effect.
While it is easy to get rid of mosquito bites from the body or receive relief from the irritation, it is essential to know what you should not do when bitten by a mosquito. Avoid using home remedies for mosquito bites if you know that your skin is sensitive to some ingredients already mentioned in this post. If your symptoms worsen or do not improve after trying these natural remedies, check with your doctor for conventional treatment.