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The Ultimate Mosquito Survival Guide of 2023: Prevent and Combat Bites Naturally

Are you being eaten alive by mosquitoes lately?

If you’ve noticed an increase in mosquito bites this year, you’re not alone. Mosquitoes seem to be out in full force, leaving many of us feeling like a walking buffet. But why are there more mosquitoes than ever before? And what can we do to protect ourselves without resorting to toxic chemicals? In this blog post, we’ll explore the prevalence of mosquitoes this season and delve into natural remedies that can help keep these pesky insects at bay.

The Mosquito Invasion: Why are there more than ever?

Mosquito populations can vary from year to year, but it seems like this year they’ve taken over with a vengeance. Several factors contribute to the surge in mosquito numbers:

1. Weather Conditions

Mosquitoes thrive in warm and humid environments. Unusually wet weather or higher temperatures create ideal breeding conditions for these insects.

2. Environmental Changes

Urbanization and deforestation have disrupted natural ecosystems, creating new breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Construction sites, stagnant water in urban areas, and even small containers left unchecked can become prime locations for mosquito larvae.

3. Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Genetically modified mosquitoes, often abbreviated as GMO mosquitoes, are mosquitoes whose DNA has been altered in a controlled laboratory setting. This genetic modification is done with the aim of reducing the mosquito population or curbing the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases. However, the release of genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild can have unintended consequences on the ecosystem and lead to an increase in mosquito numbers.

4. Resistance to Pesticides

Overuse of pesticides has led to some mosquitoes developing resistance to commonly used insecticides. This makes it more difficult to control mosquito populations and can result in an increase in their numbers.

Another factor of this resistance is that over time, mosquito populations exposed to genetically modified mosquitoes could potentially develop resistance to the modified genes or evolve alternative strategies for disease transmission. This resistance is extremely problematic and has us questioning why we are modifying the genes of mosquitos in the first place.

Genetic modification primarily focuses on reducing disease transmission, but it may inadvertently impact other mosquito functions, such as pollination or nutrient cycling. Understanding these potential side effects is important.

 

 

Prevention Methods

The Chemical Concerns in Traditional Mosquito Sprays

Traditional mosquito sprays often contain chemicals like DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) or permethrin, which can effectively repel mosquitoes but come with potential health risks. These chemical-laden sprays are not only toxic to mosquitoes but also to beneficial insects, wildlife, and even humans. Some of the concerning effects of these chemicals include:

1. Endocrine Disruption

Certain chemicals found in traditional mosquito sprays have been linked to endocrine disruption. Endocrine disruptors interfere with our hormonal systems and can lead to a variety of health issues.

2. Environmental Impact

Chemicals used in mosquito sprays can contaminate water sources, harming aquatic life and disrupting ecosystems. They can persist in the environment for extended periods, causing long-term damage.

3. Allergic Reactions

Some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to certain chemicals present in traditional mosquito sprays, leading to adverse reactions ranging from mild skin irritations to more severe respiratory problems.

Now, let’s dive into some natural remedies that can help keep mosquitoes at bay.

 

Non Toxic Mosquito Deterrents  

Apple cider vinegar daily is believed by some to make your skin less appealing to mosquitoes. You can also dilute it with water and apply it topically to soothe mosquito bites.

Garlic

Eating garlic regularly may help repel mosquitoes due to its strong odor. You can also create a garlic spray by mixing crushed garlic with water and spraying it around outdoor areas.

Garlic Spray

Create a garlic spray by blending garlic cloves with water and straining the mixture. Spraying this solution on plants and outdoor surfaces can help deter mosquitoes.

Basil Leaves

Rubbing crushed basil leaves on your skin or placing basil plants near windows can deter mosquitoes.

 

Tansy Herb

Tansy is an herb known for its mosquito-repelling properties. Crush tansy leaves and rub them on your skin or place them in your outdoor seating area.

Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal is an herb known for its natural mosquito-repelling properties. Crush pennyroyal leaves and rub them on your skin or place them in sachets around outdoor areas.

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Lemon and Cloves

Insert cloves into a lemon or lime and place it on a plate near your sitting area. Some believe this can help keep mosquitoes away.

Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon oil, when diluted with water, can be used as a natural mosquito repellent. Apply it to exposed skin or create a spray.

 

Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil not only has a pleasant scent but can also act as a natural mosquito repellent. Apply diluted lavender oil to your skin or clothing.

Clove Oil

Clove essential oil is known for its mosquito-repelling properties. Mix a few drops of clove oil with a carrier oil and apply it to your skin.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil, especially lemon eucalyptus oil, can be effective as a natural mosquito repellent. Dilute it and apply it to your skin or clothing.

 

Citrus Peels

The scent of citrus peels, like lemon or orange, is disliked by mosquitoes. Rubbing the peels on your skin or leaving them in outdoor areas can help keep mosquitoes away.

Sage

Burning sage leaves in a campfire or outdoor fire pit can create a natural mosquito-repelling smoke. Just be cautious with fire safety.

Mint and Rosemary Smoke

Burning dried mint leaves and rosemary sprigs in a fire pit or outdoor grill can create a mosquito-repelling smoke when you’re enjoying outdoor activities.

White Vinegar

White Vinegar can be used to create a natural mosquito repellent. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar, then apply it to your skin or clothing.

Onion Slices

Some people rub slices of raw onion on their skin to deter mosquitoes. The odor is believed to repel them.

Cinnamon Sticks

Place cinnamon sticks in outdoor seating areas to create a natural, mosquito-repelling aroma.

 

 

Lifestyle Prevention Methods

 

Avoid Bright Lights

Mosquitoes are drawn to light. Consider using yellow or amber outdoor lights, which are less attractive to them than bright white lights.

Plant Mosquito-Repelling Herbs

Grow herbs like basil, mint, and rosemary in your garden. These plants not only add flavor to your meals but can also help repel mosquitoes.

Keep Pets Protected

Pets can also be vulnerable to mosquito bites and the diseases they carry. Consult your veterinarian for mosquito protection options for your pets.

Mosquito Bed Net

Consider using a mosquito bed net to keep these insects at bay while you sleep.

 

Herbal Sachets

Create sachets filled with dried herbs like rosemary, mint, and thyme. You can also use any of the herbs or ingredients listed below. Place these sachets in your home, outdoor seating areas, or even in your pockets in order to deter mosquitoes.

 

Not Recommended

Avoid the use of any new or emerging high frequency technologies to deter these insects. The use of high-frequency mosquito control methods may present human health risks that need to be carefully considered and mitigated. Here are some potential human health risks associated with the use of high-frequency mosquito control methods:

1. Auditory Discomfort: Some high-frequency devices emit sound waves at frequencies that are audible to humans. Prolonged exposure to high-pitched sounds can cause discomfort, irritation, or even hearing damage. Users and individuals in proximity to these devices may experience these effects.

2. Psychological Impact: Constant exposure to high-frequency sound or other unfamiliar technologies may cause psychological stress or anxiety in some individuals. Fear of the unknown or concerns about the technology’s safety can contribute to negative mental health effects.

3. Interference with Communication: High-frequency noise generated by certain devices can interfere with communication, especially in areas where clear communication is crucial, such as hospitals, emergency response centers, or workplaces. This interference may affect public safety.

4. Neurological Effects: Although rare, some individuals may report neurological symptoms, such as headaches or dizziness, when exposed to certain high-frequency sounds. These effects may vary from person to person and could be influenced by factors like sound intensity and frequency.

5. Sleep Disturbances: High-frequency noise, if audible or perceptible, can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to sleep disturbances. Sleep quality is crucial for overall health, and prolonged sleep disruptions can have adverse effects on well-being.

6. Electromagnetic Sensitivity: Some individuals claim to be sensitive to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by electronic devices, including certain high-frequency mosquito control devices. This condition, often referred to as electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), can lead to various symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, and skin irritation, although scientific consensus on EHS is lacking.

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Natural Itch Remedies

Fortunately, there are plenty of natural alternatives available that can help protect us from mosquitoes without exposing ourselves or the environment to harmful chemicals. Here are some effective natural remedies worth considering:

Essential Oils

Certain essential oils possess strong mosquito-repelling properties. Citronella, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, and lavender oils are among the most effective options.
Dilute these oils with a carrier oil like coconut oil or witch hazel and apply them to exposed skin for a natural, chemical-free mosquito repellent.

 

Lavender oil

Lavender oil has gained popularity for its antihistamine properties, making it a top choice. Histamine, responsible for the inflammatory response, can be effectively countered by this natural antihistamine. Lavender oil is renowned for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties, as well as its soothing effects on the skin.

You can directly apply Lavender Oil on your skin. For soothing relief from bug bites, simply apply 1-2 drops of lavender oil directly to the affected area.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is a versatile and widely-used essential oil with numerous beneficial properties. has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which will help reduce swelling and itching.
Add 3-5 drops of tea tree oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil like jojoba, coconut, or olive oil.  Apply to the mosquito bite.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil provides a cooling effect on the skin and can effectively alleviate the burning and stinging sensations caused by mosquito bites. It possesses anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and anti-viral properties, making it a versatile solution for skin relief.
Combine 3-5 drops of peppermint oil with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut, or olive oil. Please note that peppermint oil is not recommended for children or babies.

Basil Oil

Basil oil is a highly effective remedy for mosquito bites due to its rich content of a compound called eugenol. Eugenol is known for its remarkable ability to alleviate itchiness and reduce rashes. Furthermore, basil oil is renowned for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.
Add 3-5 drops of Basil Oil to 1 tablespoon of carrier oil like jojoba, coconut, or olive oil.

 

Thyme Oil

Thyme oil possesses powerful antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties, making it an effective remedy for mosquito bites. Not only does it soothe irritation, but it also minimizes the risk of infection.

Turmeric Oil

Turmeric oil is rich in curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. Moreover, it possesses an impressive array of beneficial properties including antibacterial, analgesic, antifungal, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, and antiviral effects.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is another great natrual remedy because it can help calm irritation on the skin, and also has anti-inflammatory antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties. Aloe Vera helps form a cooling, protective layer on the skin, containing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to promote skin healing.

 

Ice

Ice is the optimal and quickest solution to alleviate the discomfort of a mosquito bite. Its anti-inflammatory properties effectively reduce swelling and inflammation. Additionally, ice provides temporary relief from itching by numbing the area. However, it’s important to note that ice alone does not possess healing properties. Therefore, it is advisable to complement the use of ice with another natural remedy from the following list.
For quick relief, gently apply an ice compress to your mosquito bite. Wrap ice cubes or use an ice pack in a cloth, then place it on the affected area. This simple remedy is effective in soothing bug bites.

Baking Soda

Baking soda has the ability to neutralize the pH of irritated skin, which in turn helps to reduce the risk of infection. With its antifungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties, it effectively alleviates irritation and itchiness.
Create a mixture by combining water and baking soda, then gently apply it to the affected area. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly with water.

Salt

Finally, let’s not forget about the incredible benefits of salt when it comes to soothing the irritation caused by mosquito bites. Creating a simple paste using salt and water can offer both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, providing much-needed relief.
To create a paste-like consistency, add a small amount of salt and just enough water. It is recommended to use either Celtic salt or Himalayan salt.

Vinegar

Vinegar is renowned for its antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It has the potential to prevent infections and soothe irritation at the site. However, it’s important to note that vinegar can cause a stinging sensation. While it may be effective, it might not be the most comfortable choice among the available options.
How to Use Vinegar for Mosquito Bites:

  • ol]:!pt-0 [&>ol]:!pb-0 [&>ul]:!pt-0 [&>ul]:!pb-0″ value=”2″>Add 1-2 cups of vinegar in bath water and soak for 15 minutes.
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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a beneficial natural remedy for soothing mosquito bites. Although it may cause some discomfort compared to alternative solutions, it remains a highly effective option.
Take a cotton ball and saturate it with apple cider vinegar, then gently apply it to the mosquito bite.

Raw Honey

Renowned for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, raw honey is a natural remedy that truly delivers. To harness its full potential, it’s crucial to opt for unpasteurized, raw honey. If available, sourcing local honey is highly recommended for optimal benefits.
Gently apply a few drops of honey directly onto the affected area. For a tidy application, cover with a cloth or bandage. Allow it to remain for a minimum of 15-20 minutes, ensuring optimal effectiveness.

 

Oatmeal

Oatmeal offers numerous benefits for skincare. When used for mosquito bites, oatmeal is particularly effective due to its avenanthramides content, which contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties.

How to use oatmeal for mosquito bites:

  1. Mix oats with water and let it sit until it forms a paste-like consistency. Then apply the paste directly to the mosquito bite.
  2. To create an oatmeal bath, simply add oats to your bathwater. Before adding them, it is recommended to let the oats soak first. It is also advised to grind the oats instead of using them whole. This can help enhance the effectiveness of the treatment.

 

Instead of going through the process of grinding and mixing oats, it’s convenient to have a ready-to-use Colloidal Oatmeal Bath Soak. This versatile product can effectively address various skin issues such as eczema, rashes, and even provide relief for conditions like poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, and mild burns.

Green Tea Bags

Green tea bags are packed with antioxidants and polyphenols, which possess anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate skin irritation and redness. For optimal benefits, opt for organic tea bags. Explore these USDA Organic tea bags, available here.
Steep a green tea bag in hot water.  Move it to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.  Squeeze out remaining water and apply the teabag to the mosquito bite.

Chamomile Tea Bags

Similar to green tea, chamomile tea bags can effectively alleviate inflammation and itching caused by the natural compounds present in chamomile flowers.
Brew a chamomile tea bag in hot water, then let it cool in the fridge for 30 minutes. Gently squeeze out any excess water and apply the chamomile tea bag to the mosquito bite.

Lemon

The antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, and astringent properties of lemon can help reduce risk of infection at the site of a mosquito bite. Keep in mind, lemon can sting open skin. If the bitten area has been opened even further by scratching, lemon would not be rcommended. While it is likely sting, lemon is an effective way to treat the site of a mosquito bite while also promoting better healing of the skin. Lemon juice can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun so use this remedy with caution.

Coconut Water

Coconut water, when available, offers a multitude of benefits. Not only does it possess anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, but it is also brimming with vitamins and antioxidants that aid in skin hydration.
Allow a cotton ball to soak a cotton ball in coconut water and gently apply it to the desired area for a minimum of 15 minutes.

 

Conclusion: Embrace a Chemical-Free Approach to Mosquito Control

As we navigate through mosquito season this year, it’s essential to prioritize our health and the well-being of our environment by opting for non-toxic solutions. By understanding the factors contributing to increased mosquito populations and exploring natural remedies for protection, we can effectively combat these bothersome insects without resorting to harmful chemicals. So let’s embrace a chemical-free approach to mosquito control and enjoy our time outdoors without being eaten alive!

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