Relieve Itchy Mosquito Bites With This Unexpected Spoon Hack

The minute you feel the pinch of a mosquito bite, you know you're in for an itchy next few days. Aside from anti-itch creams or a cold compress, it might feel like you're simply at the mercy of the body's healing process. For some people, this can last as long as a week, reports UnityPoint Health.

While it's hard to pinpoint exactly how many people are bitten by mosquitoes in the U.S. each year, it is known that mosquitoes are responsible for the greatest number of bug bites across the globe, according to 2023 updated research published in StatPearls. The good news is, experts say there may be some DIY hacks (outside of lotions and ice packs) that can help relieve the maddening itch of a mosquito bite. All you need to do is reach into your silverware drawer. A spoon may be all that's required to achieve instant relief from an itchy mosquito bite. How is this so? Let's take a closer look.

The effects of heat on bug bites

First, you may be wondering what makes a mosquito bite so itchy to begin with. As an immune system response, the body produces Immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies then bind with the proteins within the mosquito's saliva, which stimulates the body's release of histamine and inflammatory molecules known as leukotrienes (via StatPearls). This ultimately results in the formation of the bite wound and the signature warmth and itching that comes along with it.

In a 2011 study published in the scientific journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, researchers examined 146 participants between the ages of 2 and 81. 63.7% of participants had experienced wasp stings. 22.6% of participants had incurred mosquito bites and 5.3% of people had been stung by bees. Using an insect sting-treatment device called Bite Away®, which gives off heat when applied to the skin, the research findings showed that symptoms of pain, swelling, and itching were all reduced within 10 minutes of device use. So how does a spoon play into all of this?

How to safely heat a spoon for itch relief

Heating a spoon and applying it directly to the bite wound is said to work much like Bite Away® and other similar insect itch-relief devices. According to experts at The Seattle Times, the warmed surface of the spoon numbs the itch-related nerves in our skin, thereby reducing itching sensations. PopSugar adds that a heated spoon is also thought to eliminate the protein in the mosquito's saliva responsible for itching.

It's important to note, however, that you don't want to apply a searing hot metal surface to your skin. This could potentially lead to injury. Rather, run the spoon under hot water. You can also dip it into a glass of hot water or another warm beverage. Finally, apply the rounded back of the spoon to the mosquito bite. Remember, the heat should be tolerable. If you can't stand it, the temperature is too hot. 

If the idea of applying something hot directly onto your skin makes you nervous, fear not, as there may be an alternate option. According to Home Pest Control, hot air from a hairdryer may also do the trick in relieving itchy mosquito bites.

While they may not be as well-known as other remedies, experts say that heat hacks for itch relief have been around for more than five decades.