Aspirin did the trick for me! One area had two bites that were about a week old and had been scratched raw several times (usually in the night) and the other area was a really large red area where I was bitten two days ago. In the past I've tried silver ointment, hot spoons, essential oils, Calamine lotion, PawPaw ointment, Bag Balm, isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, clay poultices, baking soda. None of these remedies worked, either at all or for any duration. The hot spoon trick worked for about an hour to stop the maddening itch.
TODAY THE ASPIRIN WORKED! I dissolved one aspirin tablet with a tiny bit of warm water from the tea kettle and rubbed the paste into the bites. RELIEF!! I'm looking at the worst (freshest) bite and the horrible redness is almost completely gone. As a test, I scratched just it and it did start up with that deep itching that comes with deep-set insect bites, but I reapplied the aspirin paste and it is no longer bothering me.
As a preventative, I plan on consuming Brewer's Yeast and giving it to my family, as it is known to be a powerful deterrent to biting insects. Since we have a camping trip in two weeks, this will be a great test! The dosage is a mystery, but I plan on researching on here and other sites to glean as much knowledge as possible to make an informed choice. If I can remember, I will post results. But I will definitely be taking aspirin along on the trip just to have on hand if the Brewer's Yeast doesn't work :)
Since we are only just past the middle of summer, it seems worth mentioning that Vicks Vaporub can be used to take the heat, inflammation, itching, and burning out of gnat and mosquito bites as well as other insects and speeds the healing process. It can also act as an insect repellent, but I never use it as such because I don't want that much Vicks on large areas of my body, but that's just my choice.
For a repellent, I use different essential oils mixed with vodka and simply shake the spray bottle and spray it on. I don't mind the smell of clove oil, so that is what I use as a more human friendly insect repellent, but some other essential oils can work also.
I have written about this before on EC.Other uses for Vicks gathered from the web are toenail fungus (multiple studies), topical pain reliever, antiseptic due to its essential oil content, pimples, mild psoriasis and eczema, but I would never consider it for large areas, only for a few small spots as too much can enter through broken skin and cause health problems, sore muscles, relieve bruises and speed the healing process, to repair cracked heels, warts, apply to feet before bed and put white cotton socks on to help relieve a cough due to a cold, for squeaky hinges if you don't have oil handy, to help deal with strong odors that might otherwise make you sick, apply a little around the nose openings, but not inside the nose as some police do when having to work around a dead body, helps relieve athlete's foot, ringworm and minor burns.
In any case, Vicks Vaporub can be useful for short term use, but I refrain from mid and long term use and would never recommend that anyone use it other than for short term use as I believe the essential oils in it could allow the other ingredients or the oils themselves to be over absorbed and this would not be good. Vicks Vaporub has been around for many decades so it appears to have a decent safety profile, but a little caution with its use won't hurt!
We have been using a home made version of Vicks this week for chigger bites! The relief lasts for hours.
For those who like to DIY, here is how I make my own.
- 1 cup olive oil infused with lobelia and mullein*
- 1/2 Tablespoon menthol crystals
- 1 Tablespoon peppermint essential oil
- 1 Tablespoon eucalyptus essential oil
- 4 Tablespoons Beeswax pastilles
Warm infused oil. Melt in beeswax. Stir in essential oils and menthol crystals. (Don't get your face over this. The oil fumes will burn your eyes! ) Mix together.
Pour into small jars. I like the 4 ounce ball canning jars for this. Store in a cool dark place.
We use this on the chest or back for a cough. I use it on bites or swollen lymph nodes. I also use it for sore muscles and joints. I use it on the face (carefully as it can irritate the eyes) for sinus infections.
*You can make this with just olive oil instead of oil infused with mullein and lobelia. If you want to make the infused oil, put 1/2 cup dried mullein leaf and 1/2 cup dried lobelia into a canning jar. Pour 2 cups of olive oil over the oils. Put the lid on the jar. Let this sit for 2 weeks. Stir or shake every couple of days. Use an old t shirt to strain out the plant matter. The resulting oil is your infused oil. (You may end up with more than 1 cup. Use just one cup worth in the above recipe.) Mullein is good for cough and pain. Lobelia has a relaxing effect.
~Mama to Many~
Tea Tree Oil
My family got into some tall grass a week ago. In the middle of the night, I woke up itching and learned that many in my family did. We each had multiple bites that were red, itchy and swollen. We finally realized it was chiggers. I tried many different remedies. My favorite turned out to be tea tree oil.
I put a drop of tea tree oil onto a pea-sized amount of plantain salve (which helped by itself, but not as much as with tea tree oil! ) and put this on bites 2-3 times a day. I think coconut oil with tea tree oil would work just about as well.
~Mama to Many~
Alcohol Prep Pads
When working or playing outdoors for extended time in summer months I try to remember to keep a couple alcohol prep pads in my pocket in case I get a mosquito bite. Apply the alcohol pad to the bite as soon after being bitten that you can. The alcohol will dry up the venom before it settles deeper into the skin. Next morning there is usually no appearance of the bite.
Spent 2 weeks at the beach house in Clearwater Fl and we got bit all over our legs by Chiggers. Yes, sand chiggers.
People are bringing firewood from deep inland and the chiggers catch a ride on the wood so now for the past 3 years, we are getting eaten up with bites. My girlfriend's skin is super sensitive and when she gets a chigger bite, the red inflamed area stays on her for months.
This year I dabbed a drop of straight eucalyptus oil on all her bites (and mine) and the itchy, inflammed bites started to disappear in record time. My stopped itching instantly and were gone in 2 days and hers about 4 days. So now you know. Put Eucalyptus oil in the travel first-aid kit!
My mother in law was telling me a story about when she was a little girl. She was at a family reunion on a farm in Stuart's Draft, Virginia. She wandered off and found the pigpen. There were cute little piglets and she was playing with one. Well, the piglets had fleas. She ended up covered in flea bites. She remembers the itch and how miserable she was even after 75 years. She said her mother put rubbing alcohol on it, and it helped. I asked her if it stung. She didn't remember it stinging...but maybe whatever the result was better than the itch!
~Mama to Many~
M to M,
Thank you for the recipe! I have also had success with the Vicks like products that are sold at many 99 cent type stores for way less than the Vicks product. The ingredients look similar to the Vicks product and seen to work similarly, at least for insect bites.
Baking Soda and Aspirin Paste
I had what looked like two bug bites about 3 or 4 inches apart come up on my leg Monday evening. I am sensitive to bug bites so I am used to wierd reactions and have learned how to deal with them. These bites were different from anything I have ever had before (I am thinking it might have been a house scorpion sting). One Tuesday there was just a giant red area and it started itching like crazy. Normally running hot water over bites really helps, so I tried that but it just made this worse. I used hydrocortisone cream and diphenhydramine cream at the same time and that would take care of the itch for a while. Cold compresses helped some with the redness and swelling. Kept doing that through Wednesday day morning but it was just getting more swollen, red, and itchy. By Wednesday evening it was really starting to spread. It was looking rather scary so I decided to look for stuff to try on here overnight and if there was no improvement by morning I'd go see the doctor.
I started taking two diphenhydramine tablets every four hours and read through all the remedies for bug bites. I remembered my mom putting a paste made of baking soda on bee stings when I was little so I tried that first. It helped a bit. I decided to try adding crushed up asprin to the baking soda paste. When I went to bed I just covered the whole area in the asprin/baking soda paste and slept with a towel under my leg. When I woke up at 3:00 to go to the bathroom, most of it flaked off. When I got back in bed there was still some of the dried up paste left on my leg. I used some hydrocortisone cream to rehydrate it and went back to sleep.
When I woke up it was looking a lot better. I was fortunate enough to be off Thursday, so I stayed home and kept the asprin/baking soda paste on all day. I reapplied the it several times and ocasionaIy put a little cortisone on to rehydrate it, still taking 2 diphenhydramine every 4 hours. I slept with the paste on my leg again Thursday night and by Friday morning it was almost completely better. I was able to get through work just taking diphenhydramine and using the hydrocortisone cream. I went ahead and did the paste over night last night and all that is left is a few small red blotches that itch every once in a while. Am gonna do the paste overnight again for good measure. It seems no matter what goes wrong I always find a remedy on here that works. I don't have health insurance and am allergic to the cheap antibiotics so this has saved me a lot of money.
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!
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!
Lisa said:06/09/2011: Lisa from Rabat, -, Morocco writes: "Why would you want to kill the bees? Haven't you heard of colony collapse disorder? If all the bees disappear then we will disappear also! Bees are our friends. I would respectfully suggest that you find a better way to deal with them, or better yet learn to live with them."
Applying Heat for Insect Bites
Thank you for all the thumbs up for this..it 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.
Why would you want to kill the bees? Haven't you heard of colony collapse disorder? If all the bees disappear then we will disappear also! Bees are our friends. I would respectfully suggest that you find a better way to deal with them, or better yet learn to live with them.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Did you know that the original Vick's formula contained turpentine? Yep! Good ‘ol turpentine. I was lucky enough to find a couple of old jars (cleaning out a home after an elderly gentleman died). The jars still contained the VapoRub. One of them was still new in the box! Age didn't seem to have any affect on freshness and potency. Good stuff!
I did not know that! Very interesting. Also fascinating that the properties appear to be preserved!
Thanks for sharing!
~Mama to Many~
DMSO at 99% works like a charm 100% of the time. I'm the queen of bug bites - especially mosquitoes and fleas. Nothing ever really worked within 5 min. 1 drop on bite, rub in (make sure your hands and bug bite area are really clean with soap and water) - within mins, the itching stops.
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...
Bentonite Clay, Silver Ointment
I don't know what the heck bit me on one wrist area and the upper arm on my other arm but man, these bites were like golf balls under the skin and the itch and pain, redness and severe swelling was unbearable..
What always worked on "bites" in the past-crushed garlic/lemon juice, real iodine solution like lugols, or baking soda and vit c on and on did nothing and the area looked now like a reddened burned area and I felt really really ill and feverish and took aspirin and started to drink water nonstop..
I remembered I had some real betonite clay up in a cabinet and mixed a thick paste and made a cast on these areas -instant relief from the itching and after about an hour, i could see these areas literally oozing through the clay and the pain lessening..
So I made the clay paste and used it 4 times that day, about every 4 hours and the swelling and redness was decreasing-.
Then I remembered i had a over the counter silver ointment and put a little bit on the areas and instant relief from the itching-.
So I can definitely "vouch" for betonite clay application for a severe type of bite to reduce the swelling and draw out toxins and then the over the counter silver ointment to keep it clean and protect the skin and promote healing as it certainly did look like a scalding type of a burn on my arms..
The skin did not burst, there was no bleeding or bruising, and I am now 4 days post bite..
Still itches like u-know-what but I am definitely on the mend/resolution phase..
I still cannot figure out what bit me-but man, what a reaction I had..
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.
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!!!
We had a terrible wasp problem. I found a couple of ways to prevent them from coming around. 1) Stuff a brown paper bag full of smaller paper bags or newspaper. Tie a ribbon around the neck of the bag and hang it where you see wasps. They think it is a wasp nest and won't go near it. 2) Get the Hot Shot no pest strips at the major hardware stores. Hang them in the attic and the garage attic. Problem solved!
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).