I love my fresh morning air walks in the summer, I also enjoy evening walks and sitting by the fire! They’re a few of my favorite times to bond with family, but they also happen to be the worst times for bugs and I’m a mosquito magnet!
Mosquito bites can be really annoying and if you’re allergic to the bite then the swelling and itching (caused by the body’s release of histamine) can get really bad – for some people, bites can cause reactions as serious as anaphylaxis. I’ll talk about the most common reaction to bug bites, not anaphylaxis.
Aside from the itch they cause, my main concern with mosquito bites is the possibility of contracting the West Nile virus and having a bad reaction to it. Having said that, eighty percent of people won’t even know that they’ve been infected with the virus, but the other twenty percent can experience anything from flu-like symptoms of fever, headache, body ache, nausea, vomiting and rash (on the chest, stomach or back), to more serious symptoms of high fever, severe headache, muscle weakness, stiff neck, tremors, numbness and sensitivity to light. Hopefully we’re in the eighty percent right?
So what can you do to avoid getting bitten?
Avoid using scented skin care products and makeup. When it comes to clothing, cover up at dusk and dawn, which is when mosquitos feed! Wear light coloured and long clothing, meaning long sleeved shirts and pants, then tuck your pants in to your socks. Not so fashionable, but helpful to avoid getting bitten! Then clean up in your yard. Every few days get rid of standing water, which is where mosquitos lay their eggs and then keep the bushes and shrubs well trimmed and free of extra debris as adult mosquitos like to hide there. Finally, use insect repellant. The government suggested key ingredients to look for in a repellant are deet or icaridin because of how effective they are against mosquitos, but I never use them because of their possible side effects.
My personal favorite natural bug spray is made by a small company called “In The Spirit” and they’re located in North Bay, Ontario. The ingredients are all natural and on the label! See the pic below. If you’re nowhere near North Bay to buy some of this, the owner will ship to you!
Here are a few easy, at home things you can do to treat that bothersome bite. These are things that have worked for me…
This is a great way to soothe a mosquito bite and fast! An easy way to do this is to use a cold tea bag. The cold sensation will help numb the itch. Just make sure to either keep up the cool compress or let it slowly warm on your skin because if the bit turns cold to hot suddenly, you could have a flush of itching back very quickly.
Aromaforce Lavender essential oil has antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. A drop or two directly on a bite can help reduce swelling and relieve itching. A few drops of lavender in your diffuser can also help keep the bugs away.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I love A. Vogel’s echinacea and so I’ve always got it at home. See below for a pic. So not only is it great for cold and flu season, but it’s also amazing to help relieve the itch of bug bites. A couple of drops of the tincture right on the bite, will help prevent infection as well as allergic reactions – i.e. Itching, redness and swelling.
Mosquitos seem to find me haha and so bites happen! Hopefully these will help you too!