We love getting outdoors while the weather is warm. The problem is – so do the mosquitoes. They’re not just annoying; some mozzies can transmit serious diseases.
There are simple things you can do to Beat the bite!
Protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne disease:
Beat the bite! Resources in Better Health Website-
- Brochure: Beat the bite! (pdf)
- Poster: Beat the bite! (pdf)
- Fact sheet: FAQs about mosquito repellents (pdf)
- Fact sheet: Mozzie-proof your home (pdf)
- Fact sheet: Mozzie-proof your holiday (pdf)
Information fact sheets on mosquito-borne diseases:
- Mosquitoes can carry diseases
- Ross River virus disease
- Murray Valley encephalitis
- Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus. The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific. There is no cure, specific treatment or vaccine for Zika virus.
- Recently there has been spread of the virus to a number of countries not previously affected.
- There is scientific consensus that Zika virus infection during pregnancy causes certain birth defects.
- The best defence against Zika virus is to avoid mosquito bites if you are travelling in a country with active Zika virus transmission.
- As a precaution, pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant are advised to consider postponing travel to any area with active Zika virus transmission.
- Men with Zika virus infection can transmit the virus to their sexual partners. Men with pregnant partners should use condoms for the duration of pregnancy or abstain from sex
Simple Household alternatives to soothe that annoying bite
Summer, we love you, but all of these insect bites are really killing our mood. Sure, bug repellants can scare off the pests, but those don’t guarantee around-the-clock protection. So the next time you stumble upon a bug bite, don’t be so quick to make a beeline for the closest drugstore. Instead, try out one of these amazing alternatives to soothe your pain first. Experts say they might be just as effective as any over-the-counter medicine.
Tea tree, lavender, and coconut oils all have properties that can alleviate itching, pain, and swelling. In particular, tea tree oil is also antibacterial, which can help prevent infection from incessant scratching. Oils from different brands may be more acidic than others, so make sure you ask the store owner or a dermatologist about an oil’s concentration before you apply it directly to your skin. If the oil is too strong, you can dilute it with water.
If you don’t mind a bit of stickiness, honey is an anti-inflammatory and can make the itching a little less tempting.
Milk and Water
Mix equal parts skim milk and water, dip a thin cloth (like handkerchief or an old T-shirt) into the concoction, and dab your skin.
Lemon or Lime Juice
These fruit powerhouses provide itch relief and are antibacterial. If you go this route, make sure you’re inside—these juices can burn your skin if you’re out in the sun.
“Most toothpastes have a mint or peppermint flavor, and the menthol ingredient creates a cooling sensation on your skin.” Your brain picks up on this feeling much quicker than the itching sensation. Plus, the intrinsic astringency of toothpaste helps reduce swelling.
This spice isn’t just limited to the kitchen. Basil leaves contain chemicals such as camphor, which creates a cool feeling, similar to menthol in toothpaste. Crush a few leaves and apply the bits directly to your bumps.
A single ice cube can constrict the blood vessels and decrease the body’s natural histamine release. Translation: less itching.
It’s true! Cool tea bags draw fluid out of a bite to reduce itching and swelling.
This is a great home remedy to block itching because of its small acidic levels. Dab it onto individual spots or, if your body’s been a buffet for bugs, you can add two to three cups to warm water and soak in a tub. Apple cider vinegar may work even better.