The Mosquito - How Nail Polish helps Ease the Bites when Bitten by Mosquitoes
Due to a serious local reaction I have just suffered after being bitten by a small flying insect, I felt obliged to research the mosquito to learn why I suffered such a reaction when most other people don't.
It seems it is all to do with the chemicals these biting insects inject directly into your blood stream, This normally includes a type of local anaesthetic to allow it is suck your blood for longer without you noticing, and a substance to stop your blood from clotting (so they can suck even more blood).
Several species of insects suck blood, but it is only the female of species that does this. They need the blood in order to lay eggs.
Prevent Mosquito Bites
Mosquitoes (Spanish for tiny flies) live in all warm climates, and are most active between dusk and dawn. They lay their eggs and breed in any stagnant water they find lying around. For this reason, it is advisable to ensure you do not leave water lying around for them to breed in. This obviously makes saving rainwater in order to water your garden plants in summer difficult, unless you have a tight-fitting lid on the container in which you collect rainwater.
Close windows and doors at night-time.
To prevent mosquito bites, keep your windows and doors closed at nighttime so the mosquito can't enter your house.
Mosquitoes are attracted by the lights in the house, but they are also attracted to you once lights are out and you are sleeping. They know you are there because their highly developed olfactory senses smell you and smell your blood. If you are awake you can quite often hear them emit a high pitched whine as they buzz around you, looking for a place to land. Even if you are almost sleeping, it is a really good idea to get up and spray the room with a household insecticide, otherwise you may wake up in the morning covered with bites.
More Measures to Prevent Mosquito Bites
Electric insecticide Plugs
You can buy electric insecticide plugs that you plug directly into any electrical socket that will disperse an insecticide into the air while you sleep. They work but are expensive to buy and means you are also breathing in the chemicals all night long.
While there is no evidence to suggest they are in any way harmful to humans, any chemical in a room is best avoided if at all possible.
Shut the windows, and leave them shut all day. (Or just open them for a time in the morning).
When the heat of the day kicks in, you are no longer freshening the air in your house, you are letting heat in that will still be there at night-time. It is best to keep your windows and blinds (or curtains) closed all day, in order to keep your room cooler at night.
If you really must open your bedroom window at night, fit mosquito nets over the window so that they can't enter.
Air conditioning will negate the need for cooler air at night time, but I personally don't like air conditioning because here in Spain if you step out of an air-conditioned environment, you get the impression of stepping into Hell when you walk outside. The wall of heat hits you.
If you never use air-conditioning, you will not notice this incredible heat to the same extent.
Electric Cooling Fans
Some form of cooling/refreshing is needed in order to be able to sleep in this heat, and ordinary household fans help double-fold. Not only can they give the impression of a breeze (admittedly with warm air), but if you position a fan directly over your position while sleeping, the breeze created prevents a hungry mosquito from landing on you. Their wings are simply not strong enough to fly in a breeze.
If you do suffer from a mosquito bite, you will likely develop a raised itchy area of skin. Some lucky people are completely unaffected by bites, but for most of us the itch can be almost unbearable. The more we scratch, the greater the danger of opening up the skin through scratching, thus allowing infections to enter.
Itchy Mosquito Bites
I have tried loads of 'cures' ranging from fresh lemon juice to toothpaste to try to relieve the itch from a mosquito bite, but at long last I have found a measure that actually works.
That is nail-varnish. Clean and dry the bite, then put clear nail polish over the spot where the bite broke the skin. The relief is instant as this sealing of the wound seems to stop the itching. Re-apply as necessary until the bite wound has healed.
Another relief I have just learned about is to use Scotch tape, which I think is sellotape, to seal the wound.
This seems to be based along the same idea as the nail varnish, and I've used that and KNOW it works! I didn't have any clear nail varnish last time I was badly bitten, so had to use the only color I had in the house which was a shimmering pale green, and it did show up as small green dots on my arms legs, neck and face, which most people were polite enough not to comment on when I went out. I don't care, I would rather look a bit stupid than suffer from mosquito bites.
Buy Mosquito Repellents at Amazon
Prevent Mosquito Bites
Mosquito Repellent Sprays
Buy a mosquito repellent spray to wear on any exposed skin if you go outside in the evenings, to avoid being bitten. Any repellent sprays containing DEET or Icaridine will suffice. Spray directly onto your skin and rub in to ensure an even coverage.
An excellent product for sale here on the Costa Blanca is Autan Protection Plus 'repelente de mosquitos'. This contains 20% Icaridine and is very effective and last up to 8 hours, which is ideal for an evening out where you may find yourself sitting in a pavement cafe which is probably cooler than inside, but where you are exposed to the mercy of the mosquitoes whose activities start just as dusk is falling.
Some of the bigger supermarket sells their own brand of mosquito repellents a little cheaper and they are all very effective so long as you remember to cover ALL exposed skin, including your face and neck. I find it easier to spray a little on my hand, then use my hand to rub it on the face, rather that spray directly onto the face where the eyes might get affected.
The thing I can tell you about mosquito repellent sprays is that they really do work.
Treating Mosquito Bites
If you have any remedies for mosquito bites, please feel free to add them to the comments section at the foot of this page.
Prevent Mosquito Bites
Footnote from myself: Just watched a Spanish TV show where they made a mixture of apple cider vinegar ( about 1 tablespoon) and a handful of cloves. Leave to steep overnight. Next evening, apply to skin and this deters mosquitoes, apparently. It is worth a try - anything that can help prevent mosquito bites is worth a try.