The Beauty Range: Solutions for Summer Bug Bites

In the summer, mosquito bites are the bane of my existence.  Swollen, red, itchy — such a joy.  Next weekend, we’re headed to visit some friends in the wilds on Idaho, and I am desperate to avoid being eaten alive but tiny, winged bloodsuckers.  Here are a few products that I’m taking along.

The Repelling Device

This Thermacell Patio Shield works significantly better than a citronella candle at repelling mosquitos.  Pro-Tip: Place one under the table as well as on it, if that’s where your bare legs will be.

The Spray

I don’t mess around with mosquitos.  I use Backwoods Cutter, 25% DEET.  If you prefer a more natural solution — picaridin for example — I don’t have a recommendation for you, because I haven’t tried one that I found effective.  If you have one you like, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

The Thing for When You’re Bitten

This is the best White Elephant gift ever.  The Bug Bite Thing is a suction tool that you put over a mosquito bite, pull up on the plunger, and it literally sucks out the venom.  The itch stops almost immediately, the inflammation dissipates, and you have precious relief within minutes.

If for some reason that does not work, I recommend After Bite Extra Itch Relief.

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  1. J says:

    If you can, take a one a day allergy medicine (I like Allegra) while you’re there. The reaction is an allergic reaction.

    June 25, 2021/Reply
    • AJ says:

      Last summer, my boyfriend and I did a lot of camping. After being eaten alive and miserable for a few days, I popped a Zyrtec and found (almost) instant relief. The antihistamine blocks the allergic reaction of the mosquito venison that makes the bite itch, so you aren’t suffering or tempted to scratch and scab.

      June 25, 2021/Reply
      • AJ says:

        *mosquito venom… autocorrect!

        June 25, 2021/Reply
  2. Grace says:

    Blasting a bite with a hair dryer is my life-saving trick! Hover the blow dryer about six inches away until the bite goes from extremely itchy to just plain hot. I don’t exactly know how, but it soothes the itch and helps it go away much faster, and is weirdly satisfying.

    June 25, 2021/Reply
    • Katie says:

      Similarly, I run hot water over bites and that takes away the itch. Usually works for about 24 hours and then I do it again. I have found picaridin products work, I use the brand Natrapel.

      June 25, 2021/Reply
  3. Colleen says:

    CeraVe’s Itch Relief Moisturizing lotion works wonders for me.

    June 25, 2021/Reply
  4. Anon says:

    Also try one-a-day garlic tablets, which I have found effective in deterring them. A friend who has horses told me they put garlic tablets in the feed in the summer to stop the horses being bothered by horse flies.

    June 25, 2021/Reply
  5. Chloe says:

    I get welts – Caladryl Clear is a lifesaver to stop itching.

    June 25, 2021/Reply
  6. Eileen says:

    I’m a huge fan of Natrapel Picardin repellent, especially the individually wrapped wipes, which I can carry in my purse. Without it, mosquitos eat me alive while completely ignoring my husband sitting next to me, what the heck?!

    June 25, 2021/Reply
  7. Laurel says:

    I get eaten even when people with me don’t and the brand Repel for natural repellant has been a fave for years. And given I need to apply all repellant like I’m in a cloud of it, I’d rather smell like lemon than Deet.

    June 25, 2021/Reply
  8. PK says:

    I have found Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard to be a highly effective mosquito repellent, and it smells less toxic than DEET.

    July 10, 2021/Reply