A mosquito bite typically results in a red bump on the skin that itches. As tempting as it may be, scratching a mosquito bite is a bad idea on two counts. First, it only agitates the venom and increases your itching. Second, over-scratching might cause breaks in the skin that can leave room for an infection.
The itch is due to histamine release in our body in response to the mosquito’s saliva which is injected while they’re drinking our blood. Histamine is one of the main drivers in allergic and inflammatory reactions and causes swelling, redness and itching. So, scratching only stirs up the saliva and increases the histamine response.
All bites should be washed with soap and cold water. The best remedies are antihistamines and anti-inflammatories – such as Benadryl, NSAIDS, and steroids. Over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone cream may be indicated for intense itching and larger reactions. If there are signs and symptoms of infection you may need to see your doctor for antibiotics.
Here are some helpful Mosquito Control Tips for Your Home provided by a mosquito control district.
During peak biting times (dawn, dusk, and early evening)
1. Try to stay inside.
2. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you go out.
3. Loose clothing.
4. Light colored clothing.
5. Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. An effective repellent will contain 35% DEET.
6. DEET in high concentrations (greater than 35%) provides no additional protection. Repellents may irritate the eyes and mouth, so avoid applying repellent to the hands of children.
7. When using repellents always read and follow directions for use as printed on the product.
What you can do to help
1. Throw out old tires
2. Throw out tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, or any water holding containers.
3. Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts) in yard.
4. Keep drains, ditches, and culverts clean of weeds and trash, so water will drain properly.
5. Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater, and drill holes in bottom of trash containers so any water can drain out.
6. Repair leaky pipes and outdoor faucets.
7. Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week or store in a position that water will drain.
8. Make sure your backyard pool is maintained properly.
9. Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps that hold water with sand or concrete.
10. Change water in bird baths and plant pots or drip trays at least once a week.
11. Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house, so adult mosquitoes will not hide there.
12. Keep gutters clean and free of debris and leaves.
You can also contact Bug Guardian Pest Control for a mosquito treatment to reduce the population in your yard.