If you’ve been seeing a lot more insects, particularly mosquitoes, in your area, rest assured, you aren’t alone! While mosquitoes aren’t strangers to the hot Australian climate, this year has seen an increase in these pesky little biters. The increase of mosquitoes might leave you wanting to enlist the services of pest control Melbourne and other Australian cities so often rely on! But what has caused the explosion of mosquitoes in your area? Ever heard of La Niña?
Is La Niña Responsible for the Influx of Mosquitoes?
La Niña is the name given to the weather pattern currently sweeping through the Southern hemisphere. During this period, much of Australia sees increased rainfall. Temperatures in some areas are hotter than usual. It’s no secret that the two factors mosquitoes enjoy the most are water and warm weather!
So, with an increase in warmth and wetter conditions, it’s to be expected that there’s a sudden influx of these hateful little critters! While there’s a lot you can do to keep your property clean and uninviting to mozzies, a general influx in your area means they’ll still find their way to your home sooner or later!
Why Do Mosquitos Bite & Why Does it Itch?
There are at least 300 different species of mosquitoes found in Australia. Initially, mosquitoes bite and suck blood for reproduction. Female mosquitoes require the protein in blood to develop their eggs.
If you’ve ever been bitten by a mosquito, you’ll know that it’s quite an itchy and sometimes burning experience. The reason for this is that the mozzie uses a special mouthpart called a proboscis to suck up your blood.
As the mozzie feeds, it injects its saliva into your skin. Most humans and animals have an allergic reaction to this saliva which results in red bumps that swell and itch.
A Few Popular Home Remedies to Deal with Mosquito Bites
While there are plenty of over-the-counter remedies to deal with the stingy itch of a mozzie bite, chances are you might not always have these products on hand! The good news is, there are a few products you might already have in your pantry that you can use as a natural remedy to counter the itch! Let’s take a closer look at what some of them are.
1. Cold Compress
One of the most common remedies for mosquito bites is by placing a cold compress or ice pack on the bite. Applying the compress for about 15 minutes should provide relief as the coldness reduces the itchiness. The cold also decreases the inflammation that forms around the area.
This tip might not be everyone’s favourite because it’s a sticky business!
Notably, honey is one of the home remedies with the best anti-inflammatory properties and treats several ailments. Raw honey encourages debridement—the medical term for removal of dead tissue and foreign debris such as mosquito saliva.
Dab some honey on your bites, and cover with a band-aid.
3. Baking Soda
There are many uses for baking soda around the house. In fact, every home should have a box or two!
For bites, simply make a small paste of water and baking soda and apply to the itchy area. Baking soda works because it helps counteract the acidity caused by mosquito saliva. You can cover the paste with a band-aid to prevent getting it on clothes and bedding.
Another old kitchen remedy for itchiness is oatmeal. Use colloidal oatmeal which is finely ground oatmeal used for skin treatments.
One of the best ways to apply oatmeal is to have an oatmeal bath. Sprinkle oatmeal into a warm bath and soak for about 10 minutes. A handful of ground oats should do the trick!
5. Tea Tree Oil
A homegrown oil, in the form of Australian tea tree oil, is another common and popular remedy for a whole variety of ailments. One of these is any type of insect bite. Many over-the-counter mosquito remedies already contain tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a natural antihistamine and works well for bites!
If you have tea tree oil in essential oil format, simply mix a few drops with a small amount of another oil—coconut or olive oil—to dilute. Then use some cotton wool to dab it on the bite.
6. Aloe Vera
The oldest remedy on our list is probably Aloe. It’s a plant that contains a gel that treats a wide variety of skin conditions. The most common are sunburn and mosquito bites.
- Cut a small tip off the plant
- Squeeze the gel out.
- Rub all over the bite
You’ll experience instant relief.
It’s a good idea to have a few of these plants in your garden!
While you might not have any control over the weather patterns in your area, you can prepare for their niggly side effects! Always keep a few of these household ingredients in your pantry for days that you feel like a mozzie pin cushion!
Also read: Best Bug Zapper for Flies And Mosquitoes