A blog by runners. For runners.

Natural relief from mosquito bites (and how to prevent them in the first place)

Natural remedies for mosquito bites and prevention

Last night my family sat outside after dinner for the first time all year – the weather is finally cooperating! But as the warmer days and nights come out of hibernation, so do the mosquitos.

I am no stranger to the sting and itch of bug bites. Mosquitos just seems to love me. I read a study a few years ago stating that your blood type could make you more attractive to mosquitos. If you’re curious, type O blood seems to be preferred type. Lucky me and my type O blood.

I’ll try just about anything to avoid being eaten alive. Here are a few tricks you can try to avoid being bitten in the first place:

  • Wear light colored clothing, mosquitos are attracted to dark colors.
  • Avoid alcohol. Mosquitos are attracted to heat. Drinking alcohol can increase your body temperature, making you more susceptible to bites.
  • Remove any standing water from your yard. Dog bowls, fountains, watering buckets, mosquitos love standing water.
  • In the same vein, avoid standing at the edge of lakes or reservoirs while stretching during runs as they tend to hang out closer to the water.
  • Avoid running around dusk, when mosquitos begin to emerge after the day’s heat.
  • Eat garlic and onions, mosquitos don’t like the odor associated with these foods.
  • Before heading outside, rub the inside of a lemon or orange peel on your skin.
  • Same goes for vanilla. Mix 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract with 1 cup water, using a washcloth rub the mixture on your skin. Apparently mosquitos don’t like the smell.
  • Certain essential oils can also repel bugs such as eucalyptus and lemongrass.

If you do end up with a few bites over the coming months, I’ve also put together a list of natural remedies for relief from the itching and burning associated with bug bites.

  • Wet a cotton ball with some vinegar, apply vinegar directly to the bite. (More uses for vinegar.)
  • Apply a banana peel, flesh side down, directly against the bite for a few minutes.
  • Make a paste with a little baking soda and water, apply the paste to your bite. (More uses for baking soda.)
  • Basil is also known to stop itching. Gently bruise a basil leaf then apply onto the bite.
  • Aloe vera is said to have anti-inflammatory properties. Use a fresh aloe plant, scrape out a bit of the flesh, and then apply to the bug bite.
  • Place a cold, wet tea bag directly on the bite, it is said to help alleviate the swelling.
  • Try tea tree essential oil. Mix a few drops of oil with a tablespoon of water and apply to your bug bite.

Do you have a remedy that works for you? Please share it in the comments below.

Written by Lisa Chase.