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Insect Bite Remedies

Aug 15, 2016


What Is an Insect Bite?

From ticks to mosquitoes and even bees, several different insects bite or sting. Often these bites and stings cause an immediate skin reaction. Generally, a bit from a fire ant and sting from a bee, wasp or hornet causes pain. A bite from a mosquito, flea or mite, however, typically causes more itching than pain.

Most people experience minimal side effects of a bite or sting. The common symptoms of an insect bite vary depending on the insect and individual. Nonetheless, most people experience pain, redness, inflammation and itching. Some slight burning, numbness and tingling may also be experienced. In some rare instances, individuals experience a life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis which requires immediate emergency care. Anaphylaxis causes chest pain, facial or oral swelling, difficulty swallowing, trouble breathing and even shock.

When an insect bites or stings an individual, the insect typically injects some type of venom or saliva into the individual. As an individual’s body reacts to the foreign substance, the characteristic insect bite appears – red, inflamed and even heated bump or lump at the site of a bite.

Natural Insect Bite Remedy

Most insect bites require little medical attention. However, these bites are often itchy and sometimes even painful. Applying a natural, topical treatment can help relieve itching and soreness. Tiger balm, aloe vera and apple cider vinegar can be applied to a bite to relieve the symptoms and reduce swelling. Additionally, Echinacea, bentonite clay, charcoal and even aspirin used as a poultice treat common insect bites. Preventing insect bites is also fairly easy to accomplish naturally. Brewer’s yeast, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 taken several days prior to insect exposure help prevent mosquito bites. Likewise, avoiding sugar before and during outdoor activities and exposure to mosquitoes helps keep bites at bay. Continue reading below for many more home remedies for insect bites from Earth Clinic readers!

Remedies for Insect Bites




Alphabetical Popularity Recent Post
Aloe Vera22014-07-22
Apple Cider Vinegar12016-07-30
Apply Heat72016-08-10
Aspirin52016-07-07
Avocado12012-04-11
B Vitamins22013-07-19
Baking Powder, Ammonia, Meat Tenderizer12007-06-30
Bentonite Clay, Silver Ointment12016-08-06
Brewer's Yeast as Repellent12012-03-28
Chigger Bite Remedies12014-07-01
Chlorophyll12011-03-28
Clear Tape12009-09-01
Coconut Oil42009-09-13
Cucumber22009-08-02
Dishwashing Detergent, Garlic, Apple Cider Vinegar12008-03-29
Fels- Naptha12012-08-30
Flea Bite Prevention Diet12016-08-10
Garlic22008-08-04
Geranium Oil12010-06-04
Iodine12008-11-02
Joe-Pye Weed12007-09-05
Lavender Oil12010-06-04
Limes12011-04-18
Listerine12008-04-02
Mosquito Bites12011-08-14
Mud, Garlic or Charcoal12008-03-06
Oil of Oregano and Coconut Oil12016-06-25
Onion12012-05-04
Oregano Oil22012-06-07
Over the Counter12008-10-31
Peppermint Oil22011-09-21
Saliva, Salt Water12012-08-26
Salt32009-08-02
Summer itchy bug & spider bites12015-07-21
Tea Tree Oil32015-03-18
Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus Essential Oil12014-09-04
Tiger Balm42008-06-29
Tobacco Poultice12012-04-30
Vicks VapoRub12014-08-03
Vinegar for Biting Flies12008-04-09
Vitamin C22008-12-14
Vitamin C, Apple Cider Vinegar12011-09-26
White Bread and Milk Poultice12015-06-29
White Vinegar22008-09-04
Whiteflower Oil12012-02-08

Aloe Vera  

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Posted by Milaine (Nyork, US) on 07/22/2014
5 out of 5 stars

My son has been bitten today on his arm, so I just put aloe vera on his arm, and after less than 5 minutes, he stopped scratching himself.

Replied by Katarzyna
Poland
08/13/2014
I also recommend that: http://www.listonic.com/protips/get/blpouzzurd . Worked so well when my daughter was bitten.

Posted by Cocoandrico (Kingston, Ny, Usa) on 07/11/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Aloe Vera applied to an insect bite is very soothing and anti-inflammatory, reducing the urge to SCRATCH and risk infection. It's also antibacterial and dries to form a protective barrier, speeding the healing process. Store it in the fridge and it feels even better. For instructions for how to use the leaves of the plant and how concoct a spray with aloe at home, check out: www.aloeplant.info/natures-powerhouse-aloe-vera-for-insect-bites-and-poison-ivy/


Apple Cider Vinegar  

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Posted by My2cents (Sc) on 07/30/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Apple cider vinegar is the BEST mosquito bite cure there is. Take a cotton ball or a piece of a paper towel and tear off a small bit, soak it in apple cider vinegar and place it on the bite for maybe 5 minutes. No more mosquito bite!


Posted by Lrhouse (Mesquite, Tx, Usa) on 10/15/2012

I was just wondering if the ACV would work on Flea Bite Dermatitis I have read alot of the post and a lot on itching. I have tried everything but vet says all it takes is one bite to have a reaction. I dont want to keep her on steriods and am looking for relief for her. She has lost all her hair from the hips down. And yes we have been through all the testing. Yeast, mange and such. But am looking for relief for her. Any suggestions?


Apply Heat  

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Posted by Oceanman58 (Los Alamitos) on 08/10/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I hate fleas. If there was a way, I wish someone would wipe them out. LOL.. Anyway, I got a bite tonight on my arm from taking the dog out for walk..She doesn't have fleas due to homemade ACV spray, spraying each time for each walk. Anyway I took a hot shower and made the hot water as hot as I could stand in the shower and ran it on the new bite and some old ones from a week ago.. Two hours later and no itching. Thank you to everyone who shared about this easy home remedy. Remember, the water has to as hot as you can stand it without burning yourself. Keep the hot water on the bite for at least twenty seconds...


Posted by Lokismum (Banbury, England) on 09/26/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I just got a bite on my foot four days ago which itched so much I nearly scratched myself raw. I had a look on Earth Clinic as I knew the wonderful people who pass on wonderful remedies would have the answer. I tried a lot of things that didn't work as this bite was really fierce with the itching, and remembered I had tried using a hair dryer on a hot setting aimed at the bite until it got too uncomfortable, which had helped when I had a milder bite a couple of months ago. So when I saw the remedy using boiling hot water to soak a flannel and applying that to the bite I wanted to try it. As soon as the flannel hit the red inflamed skin covering half my foot and also half my ankle which was swollen the itching was intense, but strangely comforting. When the itching stopped I took the flannel off, and for the next six or so hours it was absolute bliss. No itching! I woke at three last night with my foot starting to itch, and slapped the very hot flannel on my foot, and once again it worked wonderfully. Thank you so much all of you who recommended this treatment. Colloidal silver sprayed on it several times a day from yesterday evening has taken the swelling down and stopped it looking so angry. I took a tablespoon of silver a couple of times yesterday and today as well, as it was so swollen and itchy yesterday I thought I might have to see the doctor, but I don't want to take anti biotics and it was obvious the foot was infected and that is what the doctor would have prescribed. So once again thank you Earth Clinic.

Replied by Dave
Fountain Inn, Sc
09/27/2013
Hello Lokismum from England: About that bite on foot; from your description sounds like a spider. I'm big on Colloidal Silver (CS) and if a spider was the culprit it might have had numerous pathogens with the poison. A great salve that I learned about for "bites" is the herb Echinacea in liquid form. Dab it on the bite site and let dry, reapply and again reapply. Put five drops in glass of water and drink. Repeat every other hour.

You have to get the poisons out of you so the CS is a good idea but also you can use "clay" bought at most health food stores; a tablespoon in glass of water would help absorb poisons. Do that over five days once daily.

If that's not available, I've recently been reminded of the use of charcoal which is a great cleanser.

You can use all three; Echinacea, bentonite clay and charcoal, any of them, as a poultice on the bite spot itself. Apply and after drying wash off, then reapply and again let dry.


Posted by Sealion (Alexandria, Va, USA) on 05/10/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Worked for me too. Just be careful not to accidentally scald yourself:) Aspirin rubbed in wet worked also but only for about 4 hours and left the bed sheet a little gritty.


Posted by What Worked For Me (Bev Hills, Usa) on 07/14/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Ok I was in soo much pain with itchy flea bites that just got worse after the first day, red inflamed and extremely itchy. I came here and tried a few of the solutions. clear nail polish, nail polish remover, tea tree oil, camphor, deep heat (linement, which worked but only for an hour or so), tiger balm and lime. NOTHING worked...

then I thought oh what the hell and I tried the making an X through each bite with my fingernail then I put a very hot water bottle on each bite (the back of a spoon dipped in very hot water will work too) and wouldnt u know instant relief, they stopped itching straight away. A realy inflamed one I did twice, just held the hot water bottle on it for 2 mins, two times and yep im all good now. I highly recommend this.

Replied by Lizzie
London, Uk
08/14/2011
5 out of 5 stars
This is true. It's the only thing that actually takes the itch away completly. I used a flannel dipped in very hot water. Place it on the bites, it will sting and be a little unbearable, make it really hot. Keep on there for a few mins. Manadged to go to bed and sleep with absoloutly no itching!! Amazing, at last a cure for the terrible itching!
Replied by Molly
Corte Madera, Ca
04/19/2013
5 out of 5 stars
Yes! Heat is the best. Whenever I get poison oak or a batch of bug bites while vacationing, hot showers are the only thing that brings total relief. I take a shower as hot as I can stand. The heat releases all the histamines that cause the itch. If I can't shower for some reason, I'll carefully use a blow dryer in short blasts. The blow dryer gives you less ability to control the heat or keep the heat on the area for an extended time. The hot shower feels great, and you get 5-8 hours of relief before you need to do it again.
Replied by Wahine23
Orange County, Ca
03/01/2015
5 out of 5 stars
I am so excited that I found this simple solution. I am very sensitive to bites and for whatever reason, fleas find me once a year and I do not own any pets.

Long story short, I suffered from 10 bites from fleas and they run up and down on my stomach onto my lower chest area. This itchiness was unbearable until I found that applying heat worked like a charm.

I heat up my tin bottle that I use at the gym using a pot of hot water over the stove. It gets really hot, so be careful. When it heats up enough or cools down, just apply on the bites. I don't burn my self, I just leave it on for a second and work my way through each bite. Worked like a charm, never had the urge to scratch it again. I do this once a day before going to bed. Apply more if you have a severe case.

When you are desperate, this is a very simple solution. Those anti-histamine cremes did not work for me.


Aspirin  

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Posted by Jodi (Wisconsin) on 07/07/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Try using aspirin dissolved in apple cider vinegar for insect bites. I have bad reactions to bug bites and it works for me.


Posted by Ann (Deer Park, WA) on 06/26/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had multiple mosquito bites and checked earth clinic for relief. Found a remedy of wetting the bites and rubbing in an aspirin. (I also wet the aspirin.) Immediately the burning and itching was gone and the bites healed so much faster than previous episodes. Also,the bites didn't swell anywhere near as much as previous bites. My arm was so full of bites that it was red from the wrist to the elbow. The first time it took two aspirins, but as the bites healed one did the job. The aspirin left a white gritty residue, but that was a very small payment for great relief. Thank you!

Replied by Star
Stamford, Ct
08/04/2009
5 out of 5 stars
I get beaten by mosquito quite often even with insect repellent. I have bad reaction to mosquito bites, the area will swell up and get very itchy, it will take weeks to calm down and leave a mark on my skin. My doctor prescribed me with cortisone and it speed up the healing process. In an outdoor BBQ last week, I got 2 bites and as usual had bad reactions. I applied the prescribed cortisone, it gave me some relief on the itch for a short while and it did not calm down the swelling. I remembered reading about the aspirin remedy last week and decided to try it. It worked right away when I rubbed it onto the swelling spots, it calmed the itchiness and I can see the inflammation starting to heal, I left it on overnight and they were much better the next morning. I told my doctor about it, she said you need to be sure that you are not allergic to aspirin and be carefully if you have anemia. Thank you for sharing the remedy, I now have a speedy way to clam the bites!
Replied by Tinam
Brisbane, Queensland
04/13/2011
I unfortunately am allergic to mosquitoes and the swelling and itching is severe and painful at the same time. The bite will usually be bad for 2 weeks and then slowly fade. I was bitten on the foot last night which now is so swollen I can hardly walk on it. I tried the aspirin remedy, but unfortunately it did not work. I have tried tiger balm in the past which does not work either. I use Olive Leaf Extract on the bites, which takes the itching away, but only lasts for a short period, and doesn't help with pain and swelling. I think the remedies work, I just think my bodies reaction to the mosquito bite is too severe. I started taking a vit B supplement which is great. I get bitten very seldom. Thanks for the remedies and suggestions everyone.

Posted by Sylvia (Wilmington, NC) on 05/20/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I tried the aspirin on a mosquito bite and it worked well, the itching left. Thanks.


Posted by Roger (Richmond Hill, Ontario) on 03/27/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Mosquito bites drive me nuts. I'm one of these people who can't stop from scratching. So, living in Canada, there would be some years where I would end up doing a lot of scratching and scarring. When I read this remedy in the Home Remedy Book and it worked, I told myself that the $30 I paid for the book was worth this one cure. It also works for spider bites. It works better if you deal with the bite(s) as quickly as possible.

Wet the area of the bite with water and rub plain ASA onto the area. Because I'm a scratcher, I do it rather roughly. For spider bites I use two applications about a half hour apart. The itchiness disappears in a few minutes and may reoccur the next day. I just do another application and usually the itch doesn't return.


EC: We wrote Roger back to clarify what ASA is....

Replied by Roger
03/28/2008
Just plain aspirin - I use a generic brand - it really works but be generous with the water - my daughter, who is health conscious, uses aspirin on her and her kids - it's saved a lot of hours of sleep.
Replied by Daisy
Jax, Fl
06/05/2015
ASA is the abbreviation for acetylsalicilic (sp?) acid - in other words, aspirin.

Avocado  

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Posted by Pixie (Jakarta, Indonesia) on 04/11/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Around 20 years ago, when my mom was asleep, she was stung by a centipede. It was very painful, and her hand became swollen. So my aunt & my cousin, tried to find whatever herbs they can find outside the house. They tried applying several herbs, but none worked. The pain was getting worst & her hand start to swollen till the arm.

Out of desperation, my mom got an avocado & mashed its flesh & apply it to the swollen area. Finally the pain subside & she can sleep. The next morning, there were no more pain & her hand was back to normal.

Few years after later, my sister was stung by a bee at her forehead while she was riding a motorbike. She was crying & crying & it was already swollen when she got home. My mom had someone to buy an avocado, then applied to my sister forehead. Not long after that the pain was gone & it was healed completely.

So, if you was bitten by an insect & you have an avocade at home, please give it a go. Big yes for avocado!!!


B Vitamins  

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Posted by Hercy (Brownwood, Texas, Usa) on 07/19/2013
5 out of 5 stars

B12 Liquid Sublingual formula with B2, B3, B5, B6 works for me. The first few days a renegade mosquito would go ahead & bite... by the forth day, was free of bites. By night, I required another dose, so the B12 formula only lasts about 8 hours on me. Note: A drop of the Liquid B12 formula applied directly to a mosquito bite will give immediate relief.


Posted by Jen (Danbury, Ct) on 02/02/2011

Vitamins B12 and B6 are listed as the top preventative for insect bites. Can you give me a recommended dosage to achieve this effect? I am a magnet for mosquitos in the summer. When everyone else is unbothered, I am the first one the mosquitos gravitate to. I've tried taking a B complex vitamin in addition to my multi vitamin and this did not do the trick. So I think there probably wasn't enough of B12 and B6 to deter the mosquitos. Thanks!

Replied by Brijorg
New Haven, Ct
02/09/2011
Jen from Danbury, I used to be the same way. I have been using tea tree oil for cuts (and poison ivy, insect bites, etc). The last time I went camping my friend who usually does not get bitten was complaining about the mosquitos which surprised me because I hadn't noticed any. Then I realized I had put on the TTO and the mosquitoes didn't seem to like the smell (many humans don't either though). I read here on EC that most essential oils have this effect (I think the mosquitos cannot distinguish your scent from the oils). So try applying some blend of essential oils you like (add a musk to last longer if you want).
Replied by Jholl
Louisville, Ky
09/26/2011
5 out of 5 stars
Back a few years ago, I had been on a health kick, taking brewer's yeast as a natural source of B vitamins. I didn't think about it much until I went on a canoe trip with a group. The woman I was with, was swarmed by black flies. We counted forty bites! She was a bit peeved at me. They were completely on her, not one came near me. I am certain it was the brewer's yeast I had been taking. I literally took a handful that morning figuring it would give me extra energy for the trip. Later I read the B1 in the brewer's yeast is especially repulsive to insects. You put off a smell they don't like. I like being repulsive to them for a change!

I hope this is hopeful for those reading it. I don't know the exact doses, but I think it is wise to keep taking those brewer's yeast tablets if you know you will be outside where you are likely to be bitten. You can take them indefinitely as far as I know.



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