My friend Kelli’s youngest child is a little girl adopted from China. Kelli and her husband have 3 older children of their own, but since Sarah is their first child from another country, they have occasionally experienced challenges and adjustments based on the inherent cultural and genetic differences.
One such challenge is Sarah’s extreme reaction to mosquito bites which apparently is not uncommon for those of Chinese heritage. As such, using an effective natural mosquito repellent is important, but doesn’t always work in every situation.
Living in Florida and being very sensitive to mosquito bites can pose a challenge. Mosquitoes can be a year-round problem particularly if the winter is rather warm as it has been so far this season. Even with spraying by mosquito control, getting nasty bites is a common occurrence.
Telling a young child not to scratch is a losing battle most of the time! Unfortunately, Kelli did not find any of the Western style remedies for mosquito bites to work very well for Sarah.
As a result, just a few mosquito bites could send Sarah to the doctor for examination as they would sometimes get infected from her scratching. The picture above is of Sarah’s leg after a recent run-in with a hungry mozzie!
Besides being a busy Mom of four, Kelli is also an Adoption Specialist, so with her international connections, she was able to consult with her Chinese friends about Sarah’s problem with mosquito bites.
An old Chinese mosquito bite remedy that is rubbing the bites with the inside of a banana peel!
I asked Kelli to let me know if the banana peel remedy worked the next time Sarah was bitten, and within a few days, Kelli reported back that the banana peel worked! The picture to the right shows Kelli applying the inside of a banana peel to Sarah’s bite. The peel is folded over backward which is why the inside of the peel is also facing the camera.
The banana peel not only worked, but it also worked FAST!
Here is Kelli’s email to me about her experience with this mosquito bite remedy:
Well, sure enough Sarah got 2 bites this evening….They immediately began to swell and the area all around the bite was quite red, of course some of that was from her itching.I applied the banana peel, as advised by my Chinese friends, and within 2 minutes the bite stopped itching. About 5 or 7 minutes later, the site was significantly less red. When I glanced at it again before bed, though I could still see the bite, her skin was no longer red. Best of all, she didn’t seem bothered by it.Since she is so young it is hard for her not to scratch, and I will forward you a picture of a current bite which landed us at the doctor’s office out of fear of infection (we’re in the clear for now). She has been on antibiotics once before from a bug bite getting infected after her scratching it, and I try to avoid antibiotics so was not happy when this recent bite started looking so bad.From now on, we will honor this Chinese remedy…I wish I had known this secret years ago!
The most interesting thing about this mosquito bite remedy to me is that it is fairly well known that eating bananas is a surefire way to be a prime mozzie target at sundown. While eating bananas seems to attract mosquitoes, rubbing the bites with the inside of the peel heals them!
Does your child have problems with mosquito bites too? The next time the mozzies leave their calling card on your child’s skin, skip the ammonia sticks and other chemical-based remedies that will end up in your child’s bloodstream and simply try the inside of a banana peel!
Do you know another mosquito bite remedy that works well too? We’ve often used this homemade herbal salve which is incredible for all types of skin irritations, rashes, and bites. Dabbing witch hazel on bug bites is a remedy that my Grandmother used.
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Ammonia dabbed on mosquito or fire ant bites makes the itch (or sting) stop quickly. Apply ASAP after being bitten. I usually apply 2-3 times over a few minutes. Both types of bites simply vanish, as if I’d never been bitten.
Ammonia is basic, and perhaps the offending bite chemical is acidic, thus it is a neutralizer (like baking soda, which is also basic)? I think it is the same chemical reasoning as applying urine (basic/contains ammonia) to jellyfish stings, at the beach.
I use the Bug Bite Thing suction tool to get instant relief from bug bites. it removes the poison from below the skin which stops the itching and swelling instantly.
I’ve found 2 things over the years that work very well and pretty instantly.
The first is meat tenderizer. Pour a LITTLE BIT in your cupped palm, wet your finger really well with saliva, dip it in the tenderizer + make a little paste, rub well into the mosquito bite. (I was told this neutralizes the enzyme the mos injects with it bites – that’s what makes you itch.)
My 2nd discovery was papaya TABLETS. I gave them to my free-roaming pet rabbits to help with their digestion. Bite a tablet in half (they’re chewable anyway) get one piece really gooey with saliva and rub on mos bite. Voila! As papaya aids digestion, I assume it helps break down the enzyme that causes the itching as well.
I’ve tried mixing up a little batch of each using water, but for whatever reason, it needs to be saliva – which also breaks down enzymes . . . (What’s wrong with a little grandma or mom spit?!)
I found a homeopathic topical product years ago called Ssssssting Stop that has worked well with our family since several of my kids and I am allergic to insect bites but also seem to draw them. It takes away the itch and the swelling. Sometimes you may have to reapply a couple of times but it usually works well. It’s available at most health food stores.
Our naturopath had suggested Maxiflav supplement for my son when he was younger as he would get huge welts from the bites. It worked great. He’s outgrown it since, so now we use Boo-boo spray from Wise Women Herbals or a tincture from the naturopath.
toothpaste and aloe vera work great for me and my dog too.
Basil leaves, tea bags Saliva and rosemary oil can help too.
Coconut oil is my go to remedy for an itchy mosquito bite and other skin inflammation.
Bad mosquito bite year for me. At one point I had eight on one arm and four on the other, in various stages of fresh spreading red rash, established welt, and slowly healing bruise. I usually just apply sunburn gel or lotion, containing lidocaine, to stop the itch, but the rash, swelling, and bruise stages still occur.
New bite on the right hand today, about an inch back from the base knuckle of the thumb toward the wrist. I thought I shooed that little bloodsucker away before it could nip me, but I was wrong. Within two minutes, the insane itch was on, the bite bump grew to a diameter about half that of a dime, and the rash was halfway to my wrist on the back of the hand, spreading over the thumb web onto the palm, turning purpley. The thumb itched down to the bone! I was at work, with much need of using my hands, so I tried the “fish and chips” treatment: first some salt sprinkled in the other palm, with a few drips of water, firmly pressing the resulting gritty poultice against the central bite area; then strips of paper towel soaked in vinegar and applied to the rash area until the itch subsided. Salt and vinegar — right out of the cupboard in the office kitchen.
The result was that ALL of the itch went away, ALL of the bite bump went away, and the rash shrank back down to the immediate bite area and was barely noticeable. After about ten hours the itch came back, much subsided, with a minor rosy pink dime-size swelling at the bite site. I think I will forego any further treatments, so I can see what ensues based on just the one. So far, I am very happy about it.
Oh — my blood is Type O, but the Rh is one of those mutations that requires special handling to detect the presence of the “factor”. It is there, but it is either in abnormally small amounts, or it has something different about the protein, which prevents its presence from showing up in the simplified tests you might do in biology class … where my blood was known as “O-maybe”.
holy just get to the remedy already!!!! Istopped counting at 120 mosquito bites right now. 47 on my right leg from the knee down. your remedy seems to be the mix of stop-itch/heal-bite that I’m looking for. You like to write…great! remedies for suffering people however,= keep it short!!! heh, heh, -but yea, thanks for the advice and caring to share!
Kombucha works for us. Put some on a paper towel and hold it on anything that itches from bites to poison ivy. Garlic is a good repellant but you have to chew it, not just swallow it whole.
Alcohol: rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer works wonders applied with cotton ball.
Lots of good ideas posted above!