The mosquitoes are out in force these days, as are the biting ants, and other annoying insect pests. Some people just never seem to get bitten by them at all, but others just attract them it seems, and are usually covered in annoying itchy bites. So far, for us here in Kuwait, the idea of a mosquito bite, while being unwanted and really uncomfortable, is not something that we need to consider extremely dangerous, but there are places on the earth where they are, such as in places where malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, etc. are prevalent. Also, West Nile disease is more and more worrying, although we have not had to deal with it in Kuwait so far. So, what can you do if you’re one of those sweet smelling human beings that those mosquitoes and ants want so badly? Plenty!
The first plan of action is to prevent those insects from coming around you at all. That is the ideal situation, so that you don’t have to deal with the bites afterward. The most obvious protection is the basic mosquito net. It might be cliché but they are still probably the most effective protection around. The only problem is that you can’t go out with a mosquito net wrapped around you. So, while mosquito nets are great for when you are going to sleep, you would look kind of funny walking around with one draped over your head. The “practical version” of the mosquito net is to simply wear clothing that covers all of your exposed areas. Also, it is important not to wear colors that look too flowery or bright, so the best thing is to wear light and dull earthy colors. Some perfumes and soap fragrances can also attract mosquitoes (and other bugs). The worst time for mosquitoes to bite is during the dark hours (specifically at the exact times of dusk and dawn), although that is not the only time they bite, and they are particularly pleased with dank, stagnant areas, swampy areas, or places where the humidity is high and it is hot. Also, having yellow tinged outdoor lights for places that might have mosquitoes is supposed to help reduce their numbers.
There are practically countless products on the market right now, including some that are really not that safe or healthy. There are several that are safe and hopefully as healthy as chemical formulations would allow without being totally ineffective. There are yet others that are natural and considered totally safe under all circumstances, even pregnancy! Mosquito repellents are what you need to ward off those little rascals. They don’t kill the mosquitoes but they make life so miserable for them that they stop coming around. Citronella is one of the most well known natural items on the market. You can get it in the form of pure essential oil, and also as a blend and in products containing certain quantities of it. Probably the most well known product containing citronella oil is “Skin-So-Soft” from Avon. The great thing is that this product is available right here in Kuwait. Other important mosquito repelling essentials oils that have been included in many name brand marketed products include lemongrass, geranium, cedar, and peppermint.
As far as chemical repellents go “Deet” (which is actually N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide or N,N-diemethylbenzamide) is probably the most well-known (or at least one of the most) mosquito repellents around. It is sold practically everywhere too, and comes in several brand names, such as “Off!”, so it’s not difficult to find. These come in many different forms including sprays, wristbands, creams, oils, and more. Just be careful to follow the directions for use, because overusing can result in too much absorption through the skin, which can be toxic. Permethrin is another well known repellent chemical mosquito repellent that is particularly effective on clothing and cloth, and in fact is effective for weeks. If you can’t find one of the types that I have mentioned, then just make certain that whichever type of repellent that you end up using it has been approved by a bona fide, official, and respected health agency. I’m not certain whether any of these are available right now in Kuwait, but even if they aren’t, you should be able to get something similar, if need be.
Some scientific studies also suggest that if you are prone to being bitten by mosquitoes, taking thiamine (which is vitamin B1) regularly will prevent mosquitoes from bothering you, and this is supposed to be particularly true for those who have serious allergic reactions to the bites.
But, if it’s already too late and you have already gotten bitten, then relief is easier than you think. There are some great herbs and essential oils out there on the market that you can use to get practically instant relief from mosquito bites. You can use pure lavender or tea tree essential oils directly on the mosquito bites, or you can blend calendula or olive oil (as a base) with several drops of pure lavender, tea tree, peppermint, geranium, German or Roman chamomile, or cypress essential oils. You will get immediate relief from the itching and redness and if the bite is swollen that will improve as well. These essential oils work so well that it is practically miraculous.
There are also several herbs that are great for bug bites, and some of them even grow in your garden. Marjoram, basil, marshmallow leaf, chamomile flowers, calendula flowers, licorice, and aloe (which is widely available in Kuwait) can all be used topically right on the mosquito bite for quick relief, and if you don’t have the herbs fresh, then you can also use dried herbs. You can either soak them in warm water, or brew them into an herbal infusion and then put them on the bites in the form of warm compresses. (These remedies are good for other types of bug bites as well).
So, if you are one of those people who are prone to getting bitten, you don’t have to worry any more. Even if you can’t prevent the bites, you can get quick relief by using one of these great natural remedies.
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