To alleviate the annoyance generated by mosquito bites, i natural remedies they could represent one of the most valid allies. These insects are certainly one of the least welcome presences of the summer: from early spring to late autumn, they haunt humans with their itchy bite.
A situation that is not limited only to producing pain and swelling, but which in some cases could cause dangerous effects: in addition to triggering allergies in predisposed subjects, mosquitoes can also be carriers of increasingly less rare serious diseases.
But what are the grandmother’s founds that really work to contain their spread? What are the natural remedies to use both to prevent the sting and to treat the affected area after the insect attack?
Because mosquitoes bite us
Mosquitoes are bloodsucking insects, that is, they feed on blood to ensure their life and reproductive cycle. This need is especially evident in female specimens, since they need human or animal blood to be able to deposit fertile eggs.
A female mosquito settles about 250-300 eggs per week upon reaching adulthood, for a maximum of 6-8 weeks. A little less than 20 days pass from the larval to the reproductive stage, which explains why these insects are so prolific and almost ubiquitous. And also indirectly because the bites are so frequent, sometimes even dozens in a single night: in the spaces most affected by mosquitoes it is estimated that there are at least one hundred specimens per square meter.
While males normally feed on nectar and other sugary substances produced by plants and flowers, they increase their size so quickly, females retain energy for reproduction. However, I am unable to produce some proteins which serve for the development of the eggs and, thus, they derive them from species that are naturally abundant with them, such as humans and most of the warm-blooded animals.
Why do mosquito bites itch?
Everyone will have to deal with the nuisance caused by a mosquito bite. The affected area reddens, a middle finger appears swelling and you perceive a irrepressible itching, a feeling so stressful that it even prevents you from sleeping. And the more you give in to the temptation to scratch the affected area, the more itchy. But because the sting itches, why don’t mosquitoes just feed in our blood without unpleasant effects?
To prevent the blood from clotting in response to the small wound caused by the bite, and therefore that the mosquito cannot feed on it, the insect injects a anticoagulant substance under the skin. This triggers an immediate response on the part of our immune system which, through the swelling and action of white blood cells, results in intense itching as a side effect.
When the mosquito bite is risky
The mosquito bite is usually harmless, however annoying and painful. In most cases, the discomfort generated resolves itself after a few days, without any direct consequences. However, there are specific conditions in which the sting is risky, Which ones are they?
- Allergy: in the presence of subjects allergic to mosquito bites, the immune system reaction may be excessive. There could be dermatitis, swelling extended also to the mucous membranes – the so-called angioedema – and other systemic responses that require immediate assistance;
- Illnesses: Mosquitoes can be vectors of diseases, as they facilitate the passage of viruses from one individual to another. This is the case of malaria, one of the infections still widespread in large areas of Africa and Asia, which causes very high fevers and increases the risk of death. But also of the South American Zika, Dengue fever, spinning, Yellow Fever, West Nile virus and much more.
How to avoid mosquito bites
The presence of the mosquito on the Italian territory is almost endemic: in spring and summer they are everywhere, especially near ponds, waterways e acquitrini. This is because females need water to lay their eggs.
Sometimes even a full and stagnant saucer may be enough to recreate the ideal insect environment. But how can we prevent these annoying presences from stinging us?
Mosquito bites and personal hygiene
The first front is to act onpersonal hygiene. Several studies have shown that mosquitoes rely mainly on smell to identify prey to target. And the typical smell of sweat, even when mild and not immediately noticeable by the human nose, it is one of the major attractions for these insects. It is therefore better to increase the number of daily showers, also using refreshing wipes when you are outside, preferring a soap that respects the PH such as Marseille soap or that of Aleppo.
Still, the accumulation of carbon dioxide it is another element that stimulates the arrival of mosquitoes, so it will always be adequate to ensure an excellent recycling of oxygen in the environments. Finally, it seems that mosquitoes are also attracted tolactic acid, a fact that explains why sportspeople are usually more affected by bites.
In addition to personal hygiene, it is also very important to have home care. First of all, keeping all surfaces clean, vacuuming floors and carpets frequently and sanitizing textiles. Among the cleaning allies are lemon,vinegar and the Tea Tree Oil, the latter with a generally deterrent effect for a great variety of insects.
It is also useful to install mosquito nets on all windows and doors, especially the French windows that give access to balconies: one of the few effective physical methods to keep such annoying insects out of our homes.
Natural preventive remedies
Then there are several natural remedies that reveal themselves bite estimates, or that have fragrances considered deterrents for the mosquito itself. Among the best known are listed:
- Citronella: it is a widespread plant with a citrus scent, a herbaceous variety that mosquitoes do not seem to love. It can be placed or grown on window sills, at the entrance to doors, proposed in decorative jars for outdoor tables and armchairs;
- Neem oil: this essence is considered one of the most powerful natural pesticides, so much so as to fight a very long series of unwelcome guests, from fleas to mosquitoes. The essential oil can be smeared on the body, in areas not covered by clothing. It is usually well tolerated, tends not to cause irritation and has a pleasant olfactory note;
- Tea Tree Oil: as already mentioned, Tea Tree Oil has a deterrent effect on mosquitoes and can therefore be used to clean all surfaces in the house to keep them away. It can work on the skin too, but some can’t stand the intense scent or mildly irritating effect of higher concentrations;
- Rosemary, basil and mint: some aromatic plants normally used in cooking are not appreciated by mosquitoes, such as rosemary, basil and mint. They can therefore be grown for a dual purpose: both to enrich their dishes and as an insect barrier to be displayed on windowsills.
What to do after the bite
It may happen that the preventive grandmother’s discoveries fail, also because these insects are particularly cunning in hitting their prey. And so we end up with flashy and pruriginosi pomfi to have to manage. What to do?
Natural remedies for mosquito bites
Some folk remedies prove to be quite effective in containing the itching generated by the bite of mosquitoes:
- Shelfmark: instead of scratching the affected area, thus increasing swelling and itching, a useful technique is to “mark” the bite. In other words, you press your fingernails on the wheal reproducing a sort of cross, an “X”. In doing so, the skin is pushed to separate the irritating liquid in smaller doses, distributing it over a larger area, thus reducing itching;
- Ice: Applying a little ice to the affected area, wrapped in a cloth to avoid irritation, can temporarily relieve the ailment. The cold has in fact an anesthetizing effect;
- Ammonia: ammonia is one of the main antagonists of the anticoagulant liquid of mosquitoes and, for this reason, it removes itching in a very short time. Although it is not a natural remedy, it is very popular: just apply a few drops directly on the skin.
Natural anti-itch remedies
Between natural anti-itch remedies, are listed:
- Aloe vera: has a refreshing effect, can be applied several times a day and stimulates the skin to degrade the itchy liquid injected by the mosquito;
- Calendula: it is a kind of natural antihistamine, given the high presence of quercetin. Applying it to the skin in cream, it reduces both swelling and itching;
- Chamomile: as a pack, given its calming properties, it can help reduce redness and make itching less violent;
- Mauve: thanks to its mucilage it creates a filter on the skin, reducing the increase in pain and swelling due to rubbing. In addition, it has precise calming properties.
Final tips: check the reaction
As already mentioned, mosquito bites are almost harmless to a large part of the population. In some individuals, however, it can trigger some severe allergic reactions: if you notice extreme redness, excessive swelling at the site of the bite, swelling of the mucous membranes of the lips and nose and a feeling of closed throat, it is good to contact the emergency services immediately.
Source: GreenStyle by www.greenstyle.it.
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