Insect Bites
Natural Remedies

Insect Bite Remedies

| Modified on May 16, 2022
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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!

ACV + Tea Tree Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Michael (Westchester NY) on 08/15/2019
5 out of 5 stars

Recently had this bug bite on the top of my foot ankle. Not sure what kind of bug, but it itched for 4 to 5 days. My mistake was to scratch it which made it worse and turned it into a bright red dime size mark.

After reading some remarks on this site I did the following. Washed the area with warm soap and water, applied apple cider vinegar with paper towel let dry for 30 min. more ACV then applied Tea Tree Oil with Qtip and sprinkled some foot powder on top of the TT Oil. I started this 1 hour before bedtime. In the morning the itch was gone and the red mark turned dark reddish brown. I think this helped the healing process.

Aloe Vera

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

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

I also recommend that: . Worked so well when my daughter was bitten.

Aloe Vera
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:

Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

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!

Apple Cider Vinegar
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

10 User Reviews
5 star (10) 

Posted by Libby (Brighton) on 02/03/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Applying Heat for Insect Bites

Thank you for all the thumbs up for has worked for me brilliantly. Bitten to pieces and I was scratching endlessly, nothing else worked. It lasts a long time too before I have to repeat, and things seem to be clearing up too now. Thank you again. My daughter says she does the same for her eczema on her hands and that works for her.

Apply Heat
Posted by Barbara (San Luis Obispo, Ca) on 11/27/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Insect bites treatments using a blower dryer to heat the bite on the skin. It denatures the painful proteins. I got about 50 bites one evening bird watching in Florida swamp. Blow dryer took the pain way down to where I didn't scratch and I slept through the night. Next morning I felt fine! Wave the hot air back and forth across the painful area keeping it pretty hot, but using care not to burn your skin. Highly recommend!

Also, life guards use hot, hot water for sting ray hits. They have tubs at the life guard stations and tea kettles. They pour the boiling water from the tea kettle into the tub and mix with some tap water. You put your stung foot into the tub for half and hour until pain is gone. They add boiling water occasionally to keep the water as hot as you can stand - works like magic!

Replied by Angela Chavez
(Colorado Springs)
5 out of 5 stars

Thanks for the hot water solution. My insect bite was severely itching for 2 days, after trying almost every suggestion I tried the hot water and it took away all the itching and within seconds the itch was gone.... for good! Thanks again!

Apply Heat
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...

Apply Heat
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)

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.

Apply Heat
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.

Apply Heat
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)
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)
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)
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.


7 User Reviews
5 star (7) 

Posted by Hope (Sacramento, CA) on 05/13/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I just used aspirin on an insect bite the had been itching badly and had a rather large red ring around it. It immediately stopped itching and it also looks like the swelling is going down a bit!

Replied by Madelyn

Please get this checked out. A red ring around an insect bite is associated with a tick bite. The earlier you catch and treat Lyme disease infection the better.

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 J (Wilmington, De) on 08/07/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Aspirin for Chigger Bites

It is a myth that chiggers burrow under your skin, they bite and irritate like any other bitting insect, asprin on bite works wonders.

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)
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)

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.

Replied by Lana
(Valencia, Spain)

What doctor - aspirin is prescribed every day without checking for allergies but when you apply it topically you should check for allergies and you can get anemic 😂 Sorry but your doctor is a clown and needs to go back to medical school.