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It’s getting warmer (finally!) here in central Illinois, but with the more beautiful weather, we have to contend with our arched enemy…the MOSQUITO!

Do you know of a more unpleasant noise: that small buzzing in your ear announcing you have been chosen for the mosquito’s next victim?

But alas, there it is. A small red button appears, and now you have to suffer from all that itching!

Keep reading to find out what you can do to prevent these terrible insects (do they have any purpose in this world at all?) and other information to help your summer be the best!

Let’s first start with what you can do to avoid mosquitoes in the first place.

How to Avoid Getting Bit

First of all, there are two reasons you have been chosen as a blood-sucking victim: (1). Your body temperature and, (2). Your body odor.

Female mosquitoes (they are the ones that bite you, of course, right?) are attracted to pheromones we release. Your body odor is related to the food you eat, the amount of sweat you produce, using perfume, etc.

If you happen to be the lucky one with just the right smells attracting Mrs. Mosquito, here are some tips to thwart her unwanted passes.

  • Wear loose, thick clothing if you can, especially around your ankles (a favorite spot for mosquitos), especially when traipsing out in the woods.
  • Don’t wear dark, shiny colors.
  • Do not go near stagnant bodies of water.
  • Don’t wear perfume or other scents that potentially could attract mosquitoes.
  • There are some essential oils known to prevent mosquitoes. Learn more here.
  • Use a ceiling fan or small, low-speed fan to prevent mosquitoes from flying around.
  • Use a natural repellent like these when spending a reasonable amount of time outdoors.

But despite your efforts (or maybe carelessness), you have a mosquito bite. Maybe two. Perhaps even more. Now, what to do?

How to Treat Mosquito Bites

  • Wash the sting with soap and water as soon as you can.
  • Apply heat (place a towel in hot water) or ice on the sting.
  • Mix a concoction of 3 tablespoons of baking soda in 1/2 cup of water. Dip a soft cloth in the baking soda solution and apply generously to sting.
  • Apply alcohol swaps to bite for 10 minutes twice a day.
  • Essential oils, like tea tree oil, can relieve the itch too.
  • Or you can pick up anti-itching ointments like Benadryl, which can be highly effective.

Do Not Scratch!

You already know scratching only makes the bite worse. Scratching activates nerve endings that release histamine molecules that also itch. You are only adding misery to misery, so stop scratching!

Instead of scratching, see above and start treating your mosquito bites with a little love. 💚