mosquito bite relief?

I don’t like anything about mosquito spray. Thus, when I need to use it, I don’t use it as heavily as I should. Thus, I get bitten. Bites=not good.

Intellectually, I know that if I don’t scratch them, they will go away quicker. So far, I have resisted the urge to scratch until late in the day, when I remove my socks. (Shoulda’ worn higher socks.) Calamine lotion seems not to work for me, so I was wondering, what are some old wives tails homemade solutions to these damned things. Any suggestions?


:smack: That should have been “[del]old wive’s tales[/del] homemade solutions”

Baking soda. Mix with a little water and apply. Good for most insect bites and stings.

To help with the initial urge to scratch when you bursh or catch a bite removing your socks just rub the area with an ice cube. Instant short term releif after which you’re back to willpower.

(PS if you don’t like to use repellant you could try a citrus based spritz; cintronella, lemon or bergamot)

I suspect that the thing about not scratching them is an old wives tale itself.

I’m not bothered that much by mosquito bites, but I do have experience with poison ivy. I have found that heat, typically in the form of sticking my leg in running bath water as hot as I can reasonably stand, works great.

Thank for the advice about hot baths, but I don’t see how “not scratching” can be false. When I scratch, my nails abrade my skin, and the bites feel better, at first, but when I stop, the feel even worse, due, probably, to the abrasion. If I was without willpower, I might just scratch myself into getting a scab.

Cat Jones, RealityChuck, thanks for the advice.

Smear a little dish soap, or any liquid soap, on the bite and let it air dry.

Also, rather than scratch the bite directly, put a finger on either side and apply some pressure. Relieves the immediate itch without scratching.

Yes, scratching encourages infection.

As a longtime victim of contact dermatitis, I second the hot water treatment. The trick is to make it as hot as you can stand it and run it only over the affected area (don’t bathe in water that hot!). It’ll itch like hell for about 30-60 seconds and the area will be a little pink afterwareds but you’ll be itch-free for 8 or 10 hours. I do this for my poison ivy rashes and it works better than any medicinal salve prescribed by many doctors over the years.

Grossbottom: Oh, one I can do away from home! Thanks.

Patty O’Furniture: I just remembered. Doesn’t this denaturalize the chemical that is causing the swelling? I swear I used to know this, but I forgot. :smack: Thank you very much.

Really? Anything? I quite like that they repell mosquitoes, even though I don’t like other things about them…

If you’re in the outdoors, grab a leaf of platain (not the bannana looking kind; this kind.) and chew it up and slap it on the bite. Let it fall off on its own as it dries.

I also second the lemon, lemongrass, citronella, lavender, chamomile and bergamot essential oils, and raise you a nettles, feverfew and catnip tincture base to put it in if you’re looking to make a natural bug repellent. But that’s probably just me.

I don’t doubt that scratching can lead to infections, I’m just questioning the idea that not scratching will make the itch go away sooner.

Witch Hazel. Put some on a cotton ball and stick it on the bite for a few minutes. It works good for mosquito bite, and it is like magic for fire ant bites.

Afterbite (mostly ammonia). And hold an ice cube on the bite, that will really help.

I swear by the hot water method. Mosquitoes like me. I think I have mosquito luuuuurve pheromone or something. Others like to have me around, because it means they’ll get bitten less. sigh

But, yeah, run water as hot as you can stand it over the bite for several seconds, and it kills the itch for hours.

I’m in the malaria belt and probably get bit 20 times a week.

Wash. Wash immediately. Hot water is better, but just washing will help. I know if I get bit during the night, if I wash, I can go back to sleep. If I don’t, I will start scratching. Don’t scratch. I don’t know the science, but scratching definitely makes it worse.

One scratch is too many. A thousand isn’t enough.

To avoid bites: wear clothes. It’ll be 100 degrees out; I will have on long sleeves, long pants, and socks. It minimizes the area they have available to bite. They can bite through thin socks, which instantly cause the sensation brought about by scratching. If you sit, keep your hands and feet moving, which makes it more difficult for them to land.

Finally, if you are in a place where they get inside frequently, get one of these and send the cursed things back to the abyss from whence they came.

I was in Belize a couple weeks ago, and one of the locals recommended giving mosquito bites a couple of light slaps, instead of scratching them. It seemed to work, at least as a distraction. Some of the other suggestions you’ve gotten (being fully covered, afterbite with ammonia) also worked for me.

My solution to outrageously itching mosquito bites is to scratch around the bite. Never, ever scratch the bite directly - that just makes it itch worse, longer, and if you scratch too much you take off skin and can get infected.

But I take two fingers and scratch on the sides of the bite, and then the top and bottom of the bite, and it is bliss! My theory is that the nerves involved get satisfied, and calm down. But the ‘poison’ in the bite doesn’t get spread around and the itch doesn’t get worse.

So - scratch but don’t scratch. That’s my tip.

A candidate for Engrish if ever I saw one:


This sounds strange I’ll admit but it works for me. I am one of the compulsive scratchers if it itches sooner or later I will scratch it to the point that if it starts itching while I am asleep I will have a raw bloody wound by the time I wake up. At summer camp someone old me that instead of scratching it I should use a fingernail to press a X it the bite this stops the itch for about 5 seconds then it itches like mad for 5-10 min. if you can put up with it for that long however the itch is gone forever (or at least until the next time you get bit.) I have even gotten this to work on wasp stings although the itching is much MUCH worse and takes 10 to 20 min to go away.

When you scratch the itch and bring blood…it turns to pain. Slight pain is easier to take than itching.