06 October 2009

the cure to mosquito bites!

Okay, I'm really, really behind now. Four continents behind, to be precise. Eek.

BUT! I offer you my cure to mosquito bites as compensation for my tardiness.

Background: I am one of the biggest mosquito magnets I know, and when I get bitten, the bites turn into hot, tangerine-sized bumps. I'm usually into peace and love, but I really wouldn't shed a tear if mosquitoes disappeared off the planet. Forever. And did I mention that my partner and I are taking anti-malaria tablets every day?

Right. Now, cut to my present-day state of mosquito zen, and my loathing for mosquitoes has diminished because I've finally, finally found a solution to the itchy bites that works for me. I must give credit to my brother-in-law, Than, who started this craziness with clear tape, but here are my solutions, depending on the various types of mosquito bites:

- somewhat itchy bites are fine with plain old anti-itch cream (1% hydrocortisone, generic is fine)
- Benadryl itch-stopping gel is another good option for normal bites
- tape (yes, plain clear tape) works on small bites

But the real winner, which works on the itchiest and largest of bites, is duct tape. That's right, plain old duct tape. Just cut, rip or bite off enough to cover the bite, and it will stop itching. Almost immediately. I know that this isn't the sexiest remedy for mosquito bites, but it works.

When they say duct tape is mystical and magical and does it all, it really is and does. You can even make flip flops and shoes out of duct tape. It's a travel and backpacking must-have.

So, I hope you'll forgive my slow posts. (Our local internet café was suffering lots of blackouts, but we've splurged on a USB modem, so we should be connected to the world from now on. Ooooh, fancy.)

Now, my next (monster) post will get us all caught up on our travels (New Zealand, Australia, the U.S., Mexico and a quick day in the Netherlands). And after that, I'll be able to tell you all about Tanzania, where I am now.

So, stay tuned, and in the meantime, may you never suffer from itchy bites again!

And please, let me know if it works for you!

(Other popular natural remedies include taping pennies onto bites, rubbing banana peels on bites and dabbing clear nail polish on bites, but I haven't tested these yet. I also came across a popular prevention technique which I'm curious about: rubbing dryer sheets on exposed skin to ward off mozzies. Anyone tried this and/or know if this works?)


  1. Ahh...duct tape! Man's best friend.

    We just discovered aloe vera gel works really well for mossie bites too.