Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch?

Most people probably know that mosquitoes love to bite humans to get to our fresh and tasty blood. But do you know why mosquito bites itch so much?

Today, our experts are sharing why bites get so itchy, and how you can relieve the irritation.

When a mosquito starts to suck on humans, the body sees the mosquito’s saliva as a foreign substance. Our bodies naturally see this as an attack and trigger the immune system to respond.

Local immune responses known as histamines create the red swelling around the bite. This response increases blood flow and white blood cells in the affected area. This causes inflammation and swelling. Nerves around the bite will then react to the histamine, and cause itching.

So really, your body is just trying to protect you from foreign substances that could be harmful. In some areas, mosquitoes can spread viruses like Zika and yellow fever. If you ever get annoyed with how itchy a bite is, just remember your body is trying to protect you. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to stop the inflammation.  

How Do You Stop Bites From Itching?

The skin is often inflamed and irritated when it’s bitten. New research from the Agricultural Research Services (ARS) in Peoria, Illinois, reports that cornstarch is a proven natural remedy for mosquito bites. Bug bites become aggravated when exposed to oil, bacteria, and moisture. This is what makes cornstarch a practical solution for bug bite relief. Currently, the scientists of ARS are creating a product to include these natural products along with cornstarch. This can offer a solution to those in moist and humid environments seeking to protect their gardens without harming essential pollinators.  

If you do get bit by a mosquito or another bug, you’ll notice the area will become red and bumpy, or inflammation. The irritation on your skin causes the bite to inflame. The key to getting rid of the itch? Using products with anti-inflammatory properties. Lots of essential oils have these properties, so there’s no shortage of options. Here are some essential oils that relieve bug bite pain:

These essential oils are also antibacterial, which means that the bite will heal quicker and is protected from infection. Always keep bug bite wounds clean before applying any treatments.  

Make Your Own Bug Bite Solution

Bug bites become aggravated when exposed to oil, bacteria, and moisture. To use cornstarch to soothe bug bites in a spot treatment:

  1. clean the affected area
  2. combine cold water and cornstarch to make a thick paste
  3. Apply paste to affected area       

You can also add cornstarch to your bath water, then rub dry cornstarch on affected areas. You can also make your own natural repellent with essential oils. 

To make your own soothing aftercare treatment, you’ll need a small spray bottle, a roller ball bottle, or a eyedropper bottle. Make sure the bottle is clean. In another bowl, mix together:

  • 2 tbsp fractionated coconut oil
  • 10 drops lavender oil
  • 10 drops either eucalyptus or lemongrass

Funnel the mixture into your container, then use it on the affected area(s). Keep the area clean, and try not itch. This solution can also help repel pests and prevent future bites!

If you want to know more of our favorite pest-control DIYs, check out our recipe page with natural solutions to your pest problems. To keep up with all our pest solutions, check out the Pest Brigade Facebook page.     

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