How to Avoid Mosquito Bites

If you spend anytime in the outdoors you will most likely experience a mosquito bite at some point. Here are some helpful tips to prevent getting bit and what to do if you become a victim of this mean little blood sucking machine.

Insect Repellant on Clothing

a small mosquito on part of a hand

Does the Male or Female Mosquito Bite?

The male mosquito doesn’t bite. The female mosquito will bite you to get blood so it can produce eggs.

When are Mosquitoes Most Active?

Mosquitoes are most active in the early morning hours and in the evening hours.

Mosquitos typically avoid the heat of the day and direct sunlight because they can easily become dehydrated.

a raised mosquito bite on a person's arm

Why Does a Mosquito Bite Itch?

When a mosquito bites you it injects saliva into your skin. This mosquito saliva acts as an anesthetic, so you don’t feel the initial bite. The saliva contains anticoagulants, so your blood flows without clotting.

The mosquito saliva contains proteins that are allergens the human body recognizes. When your immune system recognizes the allergens, the immune cells spring into action causing inflammation at the bite site.

This immune response is what causes the itching. Some people have a mild reaction to bites and other people have a more painful reaction.

Pro Tip: Don’t Scratch

Scratching a mosquito bite site inflames the skin, and the inflammation can cause the skin to itch even more. Scratching a site can also cause a secondary infection that can leave a scar.

If it’s available to you, you can apply warm/hot water to the bite site. Hot water can short circuit the itch & scratch reflex and provide temporary relief.

a person spraying their legs with bug spray

Use Mosquito Repellant Spray or Lotion

The best way to deal with mosquito bites is to prevent them in the first place.

The CDC-recommended chemical repellant, DEET, is very effective. DEET repellant can be applied to the skin as a spray or as a liquid. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the insect repellant.

The CDC-recommended Picaridin is also an effective mosquito repellant. Picaridin lotion repels mosquitos for up to 14 hours and is non-greasy. Picaridin has a pleasant citrus odor, and won’t damage plastics or synthetic coatings like DEET.

Other Mosquito Protection Options

Another good mosquito protection method is to wear pants and a long-sleeved shirt when mosquitoes are active. You can increase the effectiveness of clothing by adding repellant like Permethrin to the clothing fibers. Permethrin repellant bonds to the fabric fibers and can last for up to 6 weeks after applying.

How to Use Permethrin Insect Repellent on Clothing >


To keep annoying mosquitos away from your face you can wear a mosquito head net. A mosquito head nets cost about $10 and weighs about an ounce.


The best way to avoid mosquito bites is to cover up when the mosquitoes are active in the area. Insect repellant is also a great way to reduce the chances of getting a mosquito bite. If you do get an itchy mosquito bite, just remember to avoid scratching it and making it worse!