With summer just around the corner, folks are gearing up to take advantage of the nice weather. Sunglasses? Check. Sandals? Check. Grill? Big check. What people are forgetting, however, are the mosquitos – and mosquito bites – that aren't far behind with these outdoor activities.

Mosquitos always seem to strike when you're least prepared. A bonfire may seem like the perfect opportunity to break out shorts and tank tops, but come the morning, your arms and legs are studded with those pesky red bumps. This itchiness requires a remedy – and fast! 

The internet is crawling with different ways to heal mosquito bites. Some of these remedies are chemical mixtures with ingredients you can't pronounce, while others are simply ineffective. So what's the alternative? For over 10 years now, my family has sworn by using the inside of a banana peel for mosquito bites. Think it's crazy? Here's why it works: 

First, let's review what actually happens at the time of a mosquito "bite". During egg production, the female mosquito must feed on blood (while the male just feeds on nectar). To ingest this blood, she lands on a mammal and inserts her needle-shaped proboscis into the skin. Simultaneously she releases some saliva containing an anti-clotting chemical to facilitate the blood flow.

The body doesn't, in fact, react to the insertion of the proboscis, but rather to the mosquito saliva. It triggers the immune system and releases histamines to fight the foreign material, which in turn causes itching and swelling.

The best response to these histamines is an anti-histamine, which is where bananas come in. As a superfood they are rich in antioxidants such as Vitamin C, a known antihistamine. The banana also possesses proven antibacterial properties. Together, these characteristics – both concentrated in the inner peel – make the banana the perfect method for treating mosquito bites.

Here's a step by step:

1. Choose a banana

sweet, vegetable, banana
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Green, yellow, brown – they all work.

2. Cut a chunk off

sweet, vegetable, banana
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Or peel the whole fruit.

3. Save the banana peel

banana, sweet
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Might as well eat the banana if you're going to use the peel!

4. Rub the inside of the banana peel over the mosquito bite 

vegetable, banana
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Here the "mosquito bite" is just a red dot.

5. Reapply as needed

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There's really no harm in extra treatment. 

Now, your summer preparation is finally complete. Grab your beach bag, tent or grill and enjoy the outdoors! And next time you or someone you know is plagued with one (or several) of those itchy red bumps, grab a banana peel and spout some knowledge about this simple and natural remedy.