Ahh summer, or is it Ouch! Summer!? Mosquitos. The quintessential part of summer. Whether at the beach, a backyard party, camping, hiking, swimming or sitting on a deck there will always be mosquitos. It seems like mosquitos are not afraid of anything.
They invite themselves to every function imaginable including our bedroom. There is nothing more annoying then trying to sleep and you hear the insanely loud buzz of a 0.4 inch long menace waiting to get a good vein to suck your blood
In fact, how do mosquitos bite us? What are mosquitos attracted to? You will be surprised by what mosquitos are attracted to. In this article we are also covering natural mosquito repellents you can make your yourself or, buy, including DEET alternative bug sprays you can safely use on your family and pets.
Last week in my Newsletter I talked about how to act fast and save yourself from poison ivy and other poisonous plants with all natural remedies. Deborah thought the article was great and wanted information on mosquito bite relief. Of course, we need to know a little more about mosquitos. Here is what Debrah wrote;
Thanks. Any tips on mosquito bites? I get welts!!! and horrible itching
Thank you Deborah for the question and I appreciate you reading my emails. Mosquito bites are nasty things. But for some, the welts can be super big and super maddening. I know, I used to get terrible welts typically at the beginning of "Mosquito Season." So, let's dive in and learn a little about what mosquitos are attracted to, natural mosquito repellents and the best natural mosquito bite relief tips. These are going to shock you!
What are mosquitos attracted to?
Did you know, mosquitos can smell their dinner from 165 feet away and are attracted to the carbon dioxide and lactic acid in our breath? They are also attracted to our sebum, an oily substance produced in the sebaceous glands dotted throughout our skin secretes through the hair follicles. It doesn’t matter whether you are enjoying an evening sitting on the porch on a cool night or sweating profusely, these unwanted summer guests use a simple neural code to target us humans over animals.
Are mosquitoes attracted to perfume?
Do you wear perfume? Guess what? mosquitos are attracted to some perfumes. If the perfume use aldehyde odorants, decanal and undecanal, reminiscent of orange peel you are a magnet for mosquitos. If you wear Chanel No°5 perfume, you are literally a mosquito buffet! Perfumes or lotions that are citrus, lemon, floral scents are especially attractive.
Do mosquitoes smell your blood?
As I was writing this article and learning about what mosquitos attracted to and how mosquitos bite, I couldn't help but draw comparisons to Dracula. They are "vampires of the jungle." Mosquitos do not smell your blood, there are some other things that happen first, I'll talk more about those further down the page.
How mosquitoes determine which individuals to bite has important epidemiological consequences. Now this kind of sucks if you happen to be a blood type O. Mosquitoes are most attracted to type O blood and least attracted to Type A blood. Well, I guess if you are a blood type A, you are smiling from ear-to-ear! Pregnant women also attract more little buzzers and body temperature plays a role too. But, before all of this can happen, mosquitos will tune into a couple of things before they land on human skin.
Mosquitos are attracted to colour
Did you know mosquitos are attracted to certain colors as well? Mosquitos like most insects use color to find food and mates. A University of Washington-led study found, after releasing carbon dioxide from our breath, mosquitos fly toward specific colors, including red, orange, black and cyan, but they ignore other colors, such as green, purple, blue and white.
If the researchers used filters to remove long-wavelength signals, or had the researcher wear a green-colored glove, then carbon dioxide-primed mosquitoes no longer flew toward the stimulus.
a Cage assay with real-time tracking system, odor, and visual stimulation through two windows on the front of the cage. b Example of individual trajectories (top: skin and control (white glove), bottom: skin+filters (550–700 nm), and control). c Occupancy maps showing the distribution of female mosquitoes during CO2 stimulation while in presence of the skin and control (top), and the skin+filters (550–700 nm) and control (bottom). d Relative flight activity between the different phases of the experiments (pre-, CO2, and post-CO2) for the skin and skin+filters treatments (n = 6 trials/treatment). There was no significant difference in the relative activity during the CO2 phase between the skin and skin+600-nm filter treatments (Kruskal–Wallis test, df = 1, Chi-sq = 0.004, P = 0.96). e The percentage of mosquitoes visiting the windows over the duration of the experiment. Few mosquitoes investigated the windows before the CO2 exposure. However, exposure to CO2 significantly increased the numbers of mosquitoes visiting the windows relative to the pre-CO2 period (Kruskal–Wallis test with multiple comparisons: df = 5, Chi-sq. = 277.85, P < 0.0001), although during CO2 there were no significant differences in the total number of mosquitoes investigating the windows between treatment groups (Kruskal–Wallis test with multiple comparisons: P > 0.57). Lines are the means and shaded areas the ±sem. f Mean preference index for the different treatment groups (white glove vs. white glove, skin vs. white glove, and skin + filter (550–700 nm) vs. white globe). Boxplots area the mean (line) with 95% confidence interval (shaded area). Different letters denote statistically significant differences between groups (Kruskal–Wallis test with multiple comparisons, P < 0.01). (n = 13,597 for the skin treatment group; n = 9502 for the for the skin + filters treatment group; and n = 9368 for the control group). doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-28195-x
The study found mosquitoes are highly activated by CO2 (our exhale) and this increases their visual attraction to visual stimuli, including skin. They have to smell first and then hone in on the visual cues to find the right target. One researcher likened it to use smelling a bakery and then looking for the source of the wonderful smells. When the researchers changed the hue of color wavelengths the mosquitos were not interested.
“ Collectively, these results demonstrate that the long-wavelength band of the visual spectrum plays an important role in determining mosquito attraction to skin color. In addition, knockout of either visual or olfactory detection receptors suppresses mosquito visual attraction to long-wavelength host cues.” doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-28195-x
Wearing certain clothing may help but not in relationship to the study. Other studies have shown lighter colors are a better choice because mosquitos are attracted to dark colors. Makes sense because the earth, trees and shade are dark; a great place to hide and wait for its next victim.
You can however, opt for light colored clothing that is not tight to the skin. I can’t tell you how many times I have come home after a great hike wearing tights and have mosquito welts all over my legs. If your clothes are not clinging to your skin, the mosquito can not get its proboscis through the clothing and into your skin.
Video; How Mosquitoes Use Six Needles to Suck Your Blood | Deep Look
How do mosquito bite us?
Technically mosquitos do not bite. They are more like a phlebotomist. The females proboscis is like a syringe. She pokes through the skin, and injects a small amount of saliva into a capillary so that your body can not try and clot the blood so she can suck up enough to fertilize her eggs. Gross, I know. This is why I get the image of Dracula every time I think of mosquitos. Now if only wearing a garland of garlic would ward off Mosquitos.
The welt that soon appears along with insane scratching is a result of your body’s immune system launching an all out attack. It is simply an IgE immediate allergy response.
Mouthparts of Anopheles gambiae moving under the skin of a mouse. Credit: Choumet et al, PLOS 2012 Video; Mosquito mouthparts
To get more technical, it is a histamine response. The chemicals in the saliva sets out a serious of events. The biggest, the immune system trying to protect us. White blood cells rush to the site of injury along with compounds to “stitch” the breach.
Of course, the compounds in the mosquitos saliva is preventing coagulation. Because this can not happen, histamine is released to help wash away any potential microbial pathogen and sweep away the threats to keep inflammation to the necessary minimum to help heal the infected area.
We want some histamine to help our immune system do what it needs. Too much histamine and the immune system becomes overwhelmed.
how to reduce mosquito bite swelling
One of the best ways to stop mosquito bites from swelling is with a natural antihistamine. Natural antihistamine for mosquito bites starts with the oral route because it can help help ease the symptoms while supporting the immune system. We do not want to block histamine completely. Natural oral antihistamine for mosquito bites include;
I prefer the natural antihistamine effects of Histamine Scavenger 90 DRcaps which you can get in my online store with 10% savings automatically and free shipping. Once you sign up for a free account you can copy the code in red, or " Histamine Scavenger ", paste into the search bar and the professional product will pop up, add to cart and voila! You have an awesome natural antihistamine for mosquito bites.
Histamine Scavenger 90 DRcaps Code P90826
Histamine Scavenger is a unique formulation used to help the body clear itself of excess histamine. This product is designed to help scavenge excess histamine in the body while supporting the gut and the immune system. It contains quercetin, bromelain, stinging nettle leaf and other anti-inflammatory and antihistamine compounds for immune and gut support. This includes Larch tree fiber to feed the bacteria that will help lower histamine producing bacteria colonies for a better overall histamine response.
Once you have popped your Natural antihistamine for mosquito bites, there are some other things you can try for natural mosquito bite relief to help ease the welt and itching of mosquito bites. Try one or all of these. Let me know in the comments which ones worked for you.
Natural remedies for mosquito bite swelling you can buy
Let's face it, life is busy and sometimes we just want to carry something with us when a mosquite bite starts to swell. Here are a couple of suggestions.
After Bug Itch Relief Stick code B97003
This stuff really works. In the search bar copy the code B97003 and paste. Voila! it will come up, add to cart and itch no more!
This is a great way to put an end to the itch-scratch cycle with Badger's certified organic and all natural After-Bug Balm
This gentle balm with soothing Colloidal Oatmeal and cooling Menthol relieves itchy bug bites and minor skin irritations. Organic Beeswax, vitamin E-rich Sunflower oil and essential oils of Seabuckthorn and Lavender help nourish and soften skin.
The convenient travel size means you can take it with you wherever you go! Pediatrician approved and tested hypoallergenic so it’s safe for sensitive skin and great for use by the whole family.
SssstingStop Gel Code STIN6
Ssssting Stop Insect Gel Code STIN6 is a homeopathic topical formulation provides temporary relief of itch, pain, and redness of non-poisonous insect bites and stings of bees and wasps. StingStop combines three natural homeopathic (HPUS) medicines prepared from botanical sources which are also effective on reducing mosquito bite swelling.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine conducted two double-blinded clinical studies using mosquito's which had not been fed for 24 hours and human volunteers. The test prove conclusively that the medicines in StingStop provide dependable, effective relief. Ingredients include;
Echinacea Angustifolia 1X
Ledum Palustre 1X
Urtica Dioica 1X
What are the best mosquito repellents?
To avoid being bitten by a mosquito, protect your skin with a mosquito repellant before you go out. The best mosquito repellant, would be to paint your skin in a less desirable color so mosquitos do not hone in on you. OK, so this is probably not a good idea (I’m joking here.)
When it comes to mosquito repellents sticking to natural mosquito repellent is much better than apply toxic sprays that contain DEET.
DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) according to Consumer Reports;
"DEET is a yellowish liquid created by USDA chemists in the 1940s for use by the U.S. military. One long-held theory is that deet blocks an insect’s ability to smell human sweat and breath."
This is scary. This means this chemical has to interact with our physiology (gut, liver, kidneys, circulatory system) to work. Just thinking of this is enough to have me looking for more natural mosquito repellant.
Recent research suggests a different, simpler explanation: The compound just smells incredibly bad to most bugs, so much so that they avoid all contact with it. Or, this just could be the company trying to downplay the adverse affects of DEET and keep the profits up.
You must watch this video if you are not convinced as to why DEET is not the answer, especially if you have children. In fact, mosquitos have built a tolerance to DEET and it is not as effective as it once was.
Why is DEET not good for you The Dangers of DEET
Is DEET safe?
After watching the video I hope your answers to is DEET safe have been answered. Numerous studies have Detected DEET or its metabolites in many organs of exposed animals, including the brain, liver, kidneys, lungs, spleen, fat, tears, and inside the nose but, does not appear to accumulate in any particular organ in the body. (I find this hard to believe). Studies have shown the following with DEET;
DEET also negatively impacts the eco and aquatic system as well as the environment essentially poisoning the soil and water including the insects and wildlife.
Best natural mosquito repellent for skin
We can use natural mosquito repellent for skin that are not harmful to us and the environment. Natural mosquito repellents include oils, creams, lotions, sprays and combinations with sunscreen.
I am going to share with you the best natural mosquito repellent compounds individually which naturally includes the scents that repel mosquitos. That is the whole idea, repelling mosquitos.
After, I’ll share essential oil mosquito repellent recipes and sprays and a couple of products in case you do not want to make your own homemade mosquito repellent. Let’s start with the top and best natural mosquito repellent which happen to be essential oils;
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus is derived from Australia’s lemon-scented gum tree, and is recognized by the EPA and the CDC as an effective and safe ingredients for repelling mosquitos. We can find this as pure Lemon eucalyptus essential oil.
Citronella is well known for deterring the little silent attackers.
Neem oil is an EXCELLENT alternative to DEET. Studies have shown it be quite effective against mosquito attacks. It can be quite irritating and must be diluted. I will tell you, it has a strong odor which is more than likely why it works. Neem is also has natural antimicrobial properties.
Greek catmint oil (epeta parnassica)
Catnip oil (nepetalactone)
Catnip oil is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender contains a compound known as linalool, which produces a strong odor detestable to mosquitos. It overloads their sensitive olfactory organs, much in the same manner as DEET. Lavender possesses a 93% repellant rate against mosquitos indoors and only around a 53% repellant rate against mosquitoes outdoors
Cinnamon is good for killing larvae and is suspected as a good repellent agains adult mosquitos
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
peppermint repelled 84-100% of mosquitoes, depending on the species (this can be directly applied to the skin). Applying peppermint oil on one arm protected both arms from mosquito bites for up to three hours. Solutions with 20% peppermint oil repelled 57% of mosquitoes, with a protection time of 6.5 hours
A study found multiple species of mosquito found that up to 95% of mosquitos from one species were repelled due to the oil’s strong odor over a 2.5 hour period. The scent overpowers the mosquito’s olfactory nerves, causing the scent to “camouflage” your presence from the mosquito’s perspective
Thyme essential oil study showed significantly extended the duration of protection from mosquito bites. Thyme essential oil is a rich source of 5 monoterpenes. a potent repellent activity with a protection rate of 97% at a concentration of 0.05% topical treatment.
Melaleuca ericifolia was identified in this study, as being an effective insect repellent. When formulated into three different bases: an alcohol-based spray, an emulsion and a gel, these Melaleuca-based repellents were shown to be as effective at repelling mosquitoes.
You can check out my store for numerous different brands of the essential oils listed here. All you have to do, once you are signed up for your own personal free account is search for the name of the oil or search for " essential oil. " You always get 10% off plus free shipping.
Essential oil mosquito repellent recipe
Once you have picked out your essential oil don't forget to grab an essential oil spray bottle, roll on or a glass bottle with a dropper. Essential oils naturally contain scents that repel mosquitos. Essential oils should never directly be rubbed into the skin (except for peppermint). They should always be diluted in a carrier oil.
Typically an essential oil carrier like almond oil can be used. However, why not increase your potency with Soybean oil? In fact, these brands use NON-GMO soybean oil as their carrier
A study looking at the use of DEET and different oil carries found A soybean-oil–based repellent protected against mosquito bites for an average of 94.6 minutes. Be sure to use a NON GMO soybean oil. If you can find one in a glass jar, even better.
The essential oil mosquito repellent recipe is quite simple.
For each essential oil, add 3 to 5 drops to 1 ounce of carrier oil. If you are going to be using all of the ones listed here, you will need to add it 2 ounces of your oil carrier, in this case the oil carrier would be NON-GMO soybean oil.
Essential oil mosquito repellent recipe for a Spray bottle
To make a diluted 1 percent solution for a spray bottle, mix 1/4 teaspoon (or 24 drops) of oil for every 4 ounces of water.
You can spray the fluid onto your skin or clothing, around your home, and onto upholstery. Be careful when applying cinnamon oil, as a concentrated dose can irritate your skin.
Best natural mosquito repellent for skin
If you do not want to make your own mosquito repellent recipe I get it. I usually buy mine because I just do not have the time. I have all of the essential oils to make my own, but, I would rather use those in my diffuse.
Did you know NOW makes Bug Ban Essential Oil Blend code N78049 ? They do. It is great for applying to your skin or in an infuser. Easy peasy!
My online private store also carries an array of products to help protect you, your kids, and pets from most flying insects. Search for “ mosquito “
Or " bug spray. "
Adult Organic Bugs Be Gone Code BUGS1
Amrita Aromatherapy Adult Organic Bugs Be Gone Code BUGS1 is a DEET-free natural insect repellent, comprised of six different essential oils with Eucalyptus Citriodora as the main oil. Ingredients include;
Amrita Aromatherapy also carry one for pets that is of course all natural and non-toxic to your pets. Bugs Be Gone for Pets Code BUGS2
Whether you want to try making a natural mosquito repellent for your skin, purchase the best natural mosquito repellent for mosquito bites, trust that you are in the right place.
This summer let's do what we need to avoid getting mosquito attacks and keep the best remedies on hand for one sneaks up on us.
If you need help picking out products or have some questions that were not addressed in this article email me firstname.lastname@example.org or text me (347) 766-9355 and I can help you get what you need. Thanks for reading and go out and enjoy summer.