Insect Bites
Natural Remedies

Insect Bite Remedies

| Modified on May 26, 2023
Posted by April Dawn (Inland PNW, USA) on 06/13/2022 1 posts

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 :)

Vicks Vaporub
Posted by Art (California) on 08/21/2020 2073 posts

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!


Vicks Vaporub
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 08/25/2020

Hi Art!

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
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 06/25/2018

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~

Tea Tree Oil
Posted by Zark (Emerald City) on 09/26/2022

Tea tree oil worked perfectly for a leech bite.

I had been bitten on the hand whilst gardening and the bite was still intensely itchy and inflamed after a week. The heat cure didn't work as I tried this first. Next day or so I tried tea tree oil and that provided permanent relief to the itch to the area it was applied. Later the periphery where I hadn't applied tea tree oil still itched, so I applied the oil more broadly this time and then no more itch at all. The next day the badly inflamed bite area had calmed down very noticeably.

Alcohol Prep Pads
Posted by Jane Hicks (Midway, WV USA) on 06/23/2022

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.

Eucalyptus Oil
Posted by Rob from Kentucky (Bowling Green, KY USA) on 06/26/2019

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!

Apply Heat
Posted by Libby (Brighton) on 02/03/2022

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.

Rubbing Alcohol
Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 08/25/2020

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~

Vicks Vaporub
Posted by Art (California) on 08/25/2020 2073 posts

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.


Posted by Sofia (USA) on 07/14/2019

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.

Amazing stuff!!!!

Baking Soda and Aspirin Paste
Posted by Delia (Springfield, Mo) on 06/17/2017 1 posts

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.

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

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!

Apply Heat
Posted by Angela Chavez (Colorado Springs) on 05/30/2017

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!

Posted by Mcphyster (Eastland, Texas, Usa) on 06/09/2012

Chigger Bites

Wet the end of your finger, dip it in Boraxo and vigorously rub it on the chigger bite. It not only feels good but will stop the itching usually with only one application. I live and work outdoors in chigger country and this is one thing that I have found that works consistently. I do intend to try the aspirin tho', next time around.

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!!!

Bee Remedies
Posted by Carly (Seattle, Wa - Usa) on 06/09/2011

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."
Hi Lisa - Bees that ingest or go after ham and bacon meat (as suggested in the post on traps for them) are generally wasps, not honey bees. Wasps can be quite agressive - especially in the Fall, and also if one is barbecuing meat. We have had a natural hive of feral honey bees in a huge tree in our back yard for the past 5 years or so, and so far they have bothered not a soul. They are about 40 feet from our back door. It is quite a large hive, and I believe it has split off once since we have lived here. Anyway, point being... If the bees are agressive, or attacking people and pets, chances are very good that they are not honey or mason bees (the ones that pollinate plants). They are most likely wasps - and they are nasty creatures. Just my opinion - now will someone help me down off of my soapbox please. ;-) I just wish I lived where the sun would actually shine enough to worry about the bees at this point. sigh.

Posted by Lana (Valencia, Spain) on 02/20/2022

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.

Oregano Oil
Posted by Redclary (Okc, Ok) on 06/07/2012

My granddaughter had a large, red, swollen spider bite when she came over to stay. It was on the back of her leg. Her father has been spraying for spiders after finding quite a few. I put oregano oil on the gauze pad of a large bandage and put it on the bite. That evening when she took her bath, she took it it off and I was amazed at only a very small red spot left. We rebandaged to sore and the next day it was all gone except for a little darker skin in the area where it was. After 4 kids and many spider bites down through the years I found this miraculous. I highly recommend this remedy. Plus there was no scare.

Bee Remedies
Posted by Lisa (Rabat, Morocco) on 06/09/2011

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.

B Vitamins
Posted by Jholl (Louisville, Ky) on 09/26/2011

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.

Oregano Oil
Posted by Jake (Chicago, Il.) on 09/06/2007

In the Illinois countryside we've never had mosquitos like we've had this summer after 8 or 9 straight days and nights of downpours with little let-up. I invariably have more than a few bites now each time I visit my orchard and garden. The only thing that saves me, although tea tree oil is pretty good too, is wild oregano oil diluted in olive oil - one or two drops per tsp., both seem to work well. Rub it on the mosquito bites or the painful wasp or bee bite and the itch or pain is immediately gone.

I refer to one painful wasp or bee bite that cut short my visit to my orchard and sent me back to the house - the oregano took care of the spreading red of the toxin immediately . The next day there was nothing but a small mark and I had no further pain or itch. I started with the oregano oil for a dark skin patch on my shin and two boil-like cysts that were on my skin for some time. Rubbing hard sometimes to the point of making it bleed, twice a day, and in about 10 days to two weeks the raised dark patch on my shin gave way to pink new skin, the eruption on my upper leg completely disapeared and now finally the eruption on the back of my neck about three inches from my ear is just about gone.