Jul 30, 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
Replied by Katarzyna
Posted by Cocoandrico (Kingston, Ny, Usa) on 07/11/2011
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/
Posted by My2cents (Sc) on 07/30/2016
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?
Posted by Lokismum (Banbury, England) on 09/26/2013
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
Posted by Sealion (Alexandria, Va, USA) on 05/10/2013
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
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
Replied by Molly
Corte Madera, Ca
Replied by Wahine23
Orange County, Ca
Posted by Jodi (Wisconsin) on 07/07/2016
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
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
Replied by Tinam
Posted by Sylvia (Wilmington, NC) on 05/20/2008
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
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
Replied by Daisy
Posted by Pixie (Jakarta, Indonesia) on 04/11/2012
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!!!
Posted by Hercy (Brownwood, Texas, Usa) on 07/19/2013
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
Replied by Jholl
Posted by Gary (Claxton, Georgia) on 06/30/2007
The recommended first aid is: wash the sting area with copious amounts of warm soapy water then wash the bite site with household ammonia, scrubbing vigorously with a sponge to get under the skin flap to the poison.
Make a solution of baking powder, meat tenderizer, and ammonia, i.e. 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon meat tenderizer, and 1 cup ammonia. Scrub this solution into the wound.
The ammonia and baking soda return the body's acid/base balance to normal neutralizing most of the effect of the poison injected into the skin by the insect. The meat tenderizer's enzymes help break down the protein aiding the solution in neutralizing the poison.
I keep a pint jar of the solution stored at room temperature. It's very effective.