Did you know that there are certain foods you can eat to stop mosquitoes biting you? There are also some oral medications that help. These can be very useful, especially if you want to take the natural approach to preventing mosquito bites. So, what can you eat to stop mosquito bites?
What you can eat to stop mosquito bites — some caveats
- There is limited research on the mosquito-repelling properties of these foods and oral medications. There are many variables involved when doing research about the mosquito-repelling effects of these foods and medications. These variables involve the mosquito species, the body chemistry of individuals, and environmental conditions. There are also many other factors that attract mosquitoes, such as body heat, carbon dioxide, and lactic acid, and these factors can differ from individual to individual. This can make research difficult. There is also very little interest in the matter because there are other ways to stop mosquito bites.
- There are more practical ways to stop mosquito bites. There are more recommended first lines of defense against mosquitoes. They are more practical and easier to digest. For instance, it’s easier to just buy commercial mosquito repellents than to research what foods to eat to stop mosquito bites. It’s more practical to just stop mosquitoes from thriving on your property than to read about oral medications that will repel mosquitoes. The ease and practicality of other methods just make the oral method less desirable.
- Consult a medical professional before taking something orally to stop mosquito bites. Firstly, there is the issue of dosage and proper administration. Your age, weight, and other specific metrics will be taken into consideration. Secondly, there is the risk of allergic reactions and interactions with your existing medical conditions and medications. And lastly, there is the need for personalised advice to address your specific needs.
What you can eat or take orally to stop mosquito bites
1. Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is believed to be a systemic insect repellent since 1943. This is because many researchers believe that Vitamin B1 produces an odor that mosquitoes find unappealing, so it can be effective in repelling mosquitoes. There are many case studies, research, and reviews surrounding this idea.
However, many of these are from uncontrolled trials, and the science behind Vitamin B1 as an effective mosquito repellent is mostly anecdotal. Many medical professionals and travelers continue to believe that the vitamin can repel mosquitoes. They take Vitamin B1 supplements when they are going to an area with many mosquitoes. Unfortunately, there is just not enough research on the matter to completely accept or deny this belief.
Antihistamines are medications for allergies. They work by blocking histamine, a substance released by the body during allergic reactions, giving you symptoms like itching and sneezing. These medications are not meant to be mosquito repellents. But this doesn’t stop some people from using them as such. Like Vitamin B1, the research behind the mosquito-repelling properties of antihistamines is limited and mostly anecdotal.
Antihistamines like cetirizine and loratadine are more commonly used to ease allergic symptoms from mosquito bites than to repel mosquitoes.
Garlic can help repel mosquitoes because of its natural repellent properties, particularly its allicin content. When you consume garlic, the allicin content is released through your pores, creating a scent that mosquitoes find unappealing. It also affects your breath. This is problematic for mosquitoes because they find victims by looking at signs of life, including the carbon dioxide they breathe out.
Garlic can work not just as a whole food, but also as a supplement. But take note that garlic supplements are not for everyone. They are not recommended for pregnant and lactating women. If you are looking into garlic supplements, consult a medical professional.
4. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges do have insect-repellent properties like limonoids. They also have certain compounds like citric acid and Vitamin C that can alter your body’s chemistry and make it less attractive to mosquitoes. However, there is little evidence or interest in citrus fruit consumption as a mosquito repellent. It’s not likely to provide significant protection against mosquitoes, but you can try it, especially because of its additional health benefits. Just don’t rely on it for full mosquito protection.
People use citrus fruits more as a topical repellent. Many commercial mosquito repellents have citrus fruit ingredients in them. And many home remedy enthusiasts use citrus fruit essential oil to naturally repel mosquitoes.
5. Herbal supplements
Herbal supplements can come in many forms, such as capsules, tablets, and even liquids. There are many supplements believed to help prevent mosquitoes, such as catnip, neem, and lemon eucalyptus, with lemon eucalyptus being the most widely accepted because of extensive research data.
Like the others on this list, you should not rely on herbal supplements in preventing mosquitoes. The concentration and formulation of compounds, the science behind them, and your medical history are factors that need to be considered to determine their effectiveness.
Other ways to stop mosquito bites
- Use commercial mosquito repellents. It’s not advisable to eat something to stop mosquito bites. It’s better to topically apply commercially available products, such as repellents that contain synthetic ingredients like DEET. You have probably heard about some of the most famous brands like OFF!® and REPEL®. Fun fact — some of their offerings even have natural ingredients like lemon eucalyptus.
- Avoid mosquitoes during peak activity times. Mosquitoes are more active during the night, so you should double your effort in repelling them during this time. Aside from using topical repellents, you can also try taking a bath before bed to remove natural sweat that attracts mosquitoes and avoid intense physical activity during nighttime to avoid excessive carbon dioxide emission.
- Prevent mosquitoes from thriving on your property. Stagnant water is the primary reason why you have mosquitoes on your property. Get rid of stagnant water, whether they are from areas with water deposits like gutters or items that accumulate water like old tires in your yard.
Don’t rely on foods and oral medications to repel mosquitoes
There are some things you can eat or take orally to stop mosquitoes and their bites. They can be whole foods like citrus fruits and garlic or medications like antihistamines and thiamine. However, you should not rely on them as mosquito repellents because the research surrounding them as mosquito repellents is limited. There are also many more conventional and practical ways to repel mosquitoes.