Toothpaste is keeping me from scratching the freckles off my right arm. Mosquitoes, by some arcane mosquito logic, prefer to feast on my right arm while leaving my left arm in relative peace. Toothpaste soothes the itching. I smell minty fresh but the downside is it leaves white splotches. So I decided not only to try the next remedy at Debbie Hadley’s, Guide to Insects, at About.com, but to try them all.
Well, maybe not every single one, 143 readers responded to Debbie’s article on The Best Remedies for itchy mosquito bites.
Mosquito is Spanish for ‘little fly’. I have other names for the little blood suckers, some of them epithets, some of them suitable for polite conversation. Extreme heat or cold stops the itch and ice works instantly; so does ice cold beer. I didn’t have any beer on hand but if I am bitten in the future I look forward to combining the beer solution with one that suggests sprinkling salt on the bite and following it up with a squeeze of lime. I may even apply some of this remedy to the mosquito bite.
Salt works by itself, rub sea salt on the bites and you will be soothed for at least an hour. Banana peel too rubbed on the skin will send relief for at least an hour. It turns out though the smell of banana attracts mosquitoes. I had decided against banana anyway as I prefer not to attract fruit flies but who knew mosquitoes have a sense of smell?
There are scores of anti-itch ideas. One of them is to actually score the bite. Take your thumb and press an X into each bite. Some swore this is foolproof others said it doesn’t work and only exacerbates the itch.
Cooling solutions are alcohol, the rubbing kind, a used green tea bag, baking soda paste or a wet paper towel and of course a soak in Epsom salts. You can take a swim in the pool too, chlorine soothes the itchiness.
Don’t try these but just for your entertainment here are some solutions from responses at Debbie’s site not to use.
“Just put your hot cup of coffee (or tea) on the bite for a few seconds and the itch goes away. The bite is heat sensitive.”
“Light a match, then blow it out and tap the top of the bite with it. It will burn for a couple minutes but it works.”
—From Bite Hater
Then there is this:
“I use hemorrhoid cream on mosquito bites. It works every time. Good luck to anyone who tries my remedy.”— From M. Frazer
I agree, if you try this - good luck.
Old fashioned soap and water works too:
“Whenever I get a mosquito bite I first wash it with a bar of soap then I mix together baking soda and water together and apply it to the bite...then I put scotch tape over it and leave it on for about 30 minutes, then wash it off and after that I sprits on water and salt mixed together all over my body to keep the mosquitoes away.....REALLY WORKS!!!”
Speaking of keeping the mosquitoes away a dilution of Listerine sprayed on does the trick as well. When I tried this they would come in for a landing, halt, hover, reconnoiter up and down my arm then give up and leave. I have met the enemy and it is mine!
Nail polish might be the best solution of all:
“I put clear nail polish on chigger and mosquito bites all the time. It usually works and the bite is gone by the time you get up the next day.
Dab some clear nail polish on the area until it cracks, and then wet it with cold water and put a piece of tape on top of it. You will soon forget about the darn thing!”
— From Ouch
But my favorite sure-fire remedy of all was this:
“Bang your left toe with a hammer. You'll forget all about the itch…No doubt about it...works every time.”