How to Soothe Mosquito Bites

Florida’s summers are famous for plentiful sunshine, abundant heat, and fun in the sun. But, with miles and miles of beaches and wetlands, all that almost tropical bliss comes at a cost. Whether you’ve been here for a while or you’re new to the Sunshine State, you’ve surely met our mosquitoes.

They’re almost famous for their reputation for being bigger and meaner than mosquitoes up north. We’re even home to a mosquito called the ‘gallinipper.’ These guys are 20 times bigger than the average mosquito, and get their name from the size. Legend has it they’re so big they drink a gallon of blood at a time. Of course, that’s not true, but…

Well, the bites are never fun, are they? So this article will cover ways to soothe an itchy mosquito bite.

Why Do They Bite?

They bite because they need to. Similar to horseflies, mosquitoes use proteins in your blood to make eggs. That’s why only female mosquitoes bite. Males fly from flower to flower, drinking nectar, and serve as significant pollinators. As they bite, they inject you with saliva. This saliva helps numb the bite as they drink, but your immune system attacks the saliva after they leave. This is what creates the red itchy bump.

What to Do About Them?

The first thing you should do when you notice a mosquito bite is to wash it with warm, gently soapy water. You can apply a bit of ice to reduce the swelling. Antihistamines like Benadryl can reduce the itching even further. Since most antihistamine pills cause drowsiness on top of reducing itches, not everyone’s a fan. It might not be appropriate all day.

In these cases, you can try over-the-counter ointments or take a trick from the old days. Take a tablespoon of baking soda and add it to a bowl. Start adding water slowly. Once there’s just enough water to form a paste, you can spread the paste over the bite. This can help reduce the sensation of itching.

It would be best if you never scratched a mosquito bite, though. Even though the puncture wound is tiny, it’s still an open path into your bloodstream. An infection can spread rapidly if bacteria under your fingernails gets inside. Even worse – It spreads their saliva! This spreads the itchiness and makes it worse.

A psychological trick that might help is to close your eyes and very gently itch the same place on the opposite half of your body. This can trick your brain’s reward center into thinking you’ve just scratched the actual itch. Definitely don’t scratch holes in your skin, though! Just give it a try – It can be a fun party trick to show off.

Preventing Mosquito Bites

One of the best ways to prevent mosquito bites is to wear bug repellent. If you’re indoors, sitting in front of a strong fan can make it hard for them to approach you. The best way is to reduce mosquito numbers around your home. Spray treatments and removing stagnant pools of water can go a long way. Citronella candles are also proven mosquito repellents.

Mosquitoes are one of the most famous pests in Florida. If you’re dealing with large numbers in your yard, give us a call. There’s a good chance there are ways to reduce their numbers and give you more peace of mind at night.

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