8 Home Remedies to Treat Bug Bites
Mosquito bites are a frustrating part of summer. Confrontations with these pesky predators happen to the majority of us during the summer months. While insect repellent can be an effective solution for warding off some bug bites, it doesn’t always work for all.
Here are some easy home remedies to recover from insect bites.
#1: Essential Oils
Some essential oils like lavender oil, tea tree oil, witch hazel, and coconut oil can be effective at soothing itchy bites and relieving pain and swelling in the affected area. Tea tree oil is one of the best thanks to its antiseptic properties which can help relieve pain and itchiness, while preventing infections. When purchasing an essential oil, remember to check the label to ensure it’s safe to apply directly to your skin. If not, dilute it with a carrier oil before applying it to your bite. Then simply dab onto your bites for quick relief!
Ice is an easy yet effective remedy for mosquito bites and insect stings. It works by constricting the blood vessels, reducing the spread of histamine which causes an allergic reaction. Plus, it quickly cools the area, reducing redness, pain, and irritation. You can either apply an ice cube wrapped in tissue paper or a washcloth, or an ice pack for about 10-15 minutes every few hours. Re-apply as needed.
#3: Baking Soda
You probably already have baking soda stowed away somewhere in your kitchen. Next time you get a bite, grab your box of baking soda, make a paste using a little water, and apply directly to your bite. It’s an excellent itch relief remedy. Let it sit on the skin for 10-15 minutes, then rinse. You can re-apply the paste a few times a day to relieve discomfort from bug bites. It really is a quick, easy, and affordable natural remedy that anyone can try.
#4: Green Tea
Green tea has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that will help your bite disappear faster. If you’re looking for a quick trick to get rid of mosquito bites, green tea is your go-to. Keep a stepped green tea bag in a small plastic bag in your fridge, and apply it as a compress after getting a bug bite. It’s worth keeping a few of them in the fridge so you always have them on hand when a bite pops up. Between the tea’s anti-inflammatory properties and the cold from the refrigeration, it should quickly soothe itchy bites. Re-apply several times a day to make your bites go away faster.
#5: Apple Cider Vinegar
Another wallet-friendly treatment for mosquito bites: apple cider vinegar. You probably already have a bottle of this lying around somewhere in your kitchen. The acidity in apple cider vinegar neutralizes venom from bees and wasps, calming wasp and bee stings.
Dilute apple cider vinegar with the same ratio of water, and apply it directly to the affected area with a cotton ball. While vinegar is particularly effective for stings, you can also use it to prevent bug bites.
#6: Aloe Vera Gel
You probably already use aloe vera gel to soothe sunburn and rashes. Packed with anti-inflammatory properties, aloe vera can also help relieve skin irritation and itchiness from bug bites and stings. If you’ve got a bottle of aloe vera gel in your beauty cabinet, apply it to clean skin directly to the bite. You can also use the aloe vera plant for quick relief. Simply break off a leaf and massage the flesh on the itchy spot to quickly calm redness, itching, and general discomfort. It should provide a cooling sensation, which feels great on the skin!
#7: Basil Leaves
It might sound like an unusual remedy, but basil leaves can be helpful at eliminating the itch from mosquito bites. Basil is loaded with menthol, which create a cooling sensation on the skin that helps to minimize irritation. Simply crush basil leaves into a paste and apply it to the bite. Once you’ve covered the area in the paste, cover with a bandage. Try to leave it on for as long as possible for speedy healing and relief. Then rinse off with cold water and re-apply the paste. Continue until your bite goes away.
Do you put toothpaste on your pimples to dry them out? You might want to try dabbing them on your bug bites, too. Toothpaste is an effective remedy for itchy insect bites. That’s due to its menthol content, a natural analgesic that quickly minimizes pain and itching. Menthol also boasts anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling. The great thing about this bug bite hack is that everyone has toothpaste in their home. Just reach for your tube the next time you get bitten, dab it onto the bite, and let it sit on the skin for 20 minutes, before rinsing off with warm water. It couldn’t be easier!
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
While these home remedies can be extremely helpful for bug bites, you still need to pay attention to how your bites look and feel, as well as how the rest of your body reacts to a bite. Some over-the-counter options include antihistamines and hydrocortisone.
If you’re experiencing hives or you recently experienced a painful spider bite or tick bite, seek medical attention straight away. Tick bites can contribute to lyme disease, so it’s always important to let a professional remove the tick or examine the bite. Never remove it yourself.
HOW TO PREVENT BUG BITES
The best way to prevent mosquito bites is to cover up in light breathable clothing, and use a mosquito repellent. You can also try dabbing peppermint oil onto your skin to ward off different insects, thus reducing your risk of getting bitten.
Bug bites happen to all of us. Try one or more of the natural remedies above if you’ve just got bitten, and you should feel instantly more comfortable while speeding up the healing process. In the meantime, try covering up, keeping the windows closed, and investing in insect repellent to prevent bug bites in the first place.