Insect Bite Remedies

Baking Powder, Ammonia, Meat Tenderizer

Posted by Gary (Claxton, Georgia) on 06/30/2007
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Baking Soda and Aspirin Paste

Posted by Delia (Springfield, Mo) on 06/17/2017 1 posts
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Bee Remedies

Posted by Bonnie (Fairbanks Ak, Alaska, Usa) on 06/09/2011

for people bothered with bees on their patio:

I lived in arkansas they have lots of rice patties there so the bees are really really harmfull to kids'. they showed me how to make it safe for me and my family and dogs to set outside with out being bothered. take a small bucket with a handle put enought water in the bottom to just enough cover the bottom place a wire around the center of the handle hanging down. half way down to the botton on the wire push a ham hamhock cheap one with lots of fat on. the bees will eat so much they fall in the water and drown.

hang the bucket at least 10 feet away from the deck in a tree branch. Up high enough kids can not reach it. It really works.

ps my friends used empty gal milk jugs put water just to cover bottonwrap two slices of baccon wrapped tight around the wire even a little sweet on it helps. Slide in hole threw the opening return lid leave enough wire to hang it from a tree limb. now take a phillips head screw driver push holes half way around the milk jug. this way the bees can get in but not out they will eat and fall and drown

throw away jug and start a new one. where the bucket you you have to wash

hang where chidren play and dogs rest. it really works I had them by my front swing so I could set out at night'

ps do not set where flowers pollen they need the bees to grow.

summer tips to make summer more enjoying

on the bucket handle wire a wire about in the middle of the handle let it hang half way down in to the bucket.

Replied by Lisa
Rabat, Morocco

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.

Replied by Carly
Seattle, Wa - Usa

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.

Replied by Cheryl

I was just about to write the same thing....those "meat eating" "bees" are not the ones we need to worry about b/c they are not the ones pollinating our food. The ideas and suggestions above sound great for handling those horrible wasp pests though!

Replied by Lou
Tyler, Tx

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!

Bentonite Clay, Silver Ointment

Posted by Selena (South Tx) on 08/06/2016
5 out of 5 stars

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..

Bleach Bath

Posted by Jennifer (Texas, US) on 10/10/2014

I'm all about the most holistic approach, But when I got chigger bites while doing yard work I wanted a fast fix. My friend's mother told me to take a warm bath with bleach & before I could even adjust to the temperature of the bath they were gone. I soaked for about 5 minutes & problem solved.

Castor Oil

Posted by Kathy (Chicago, IL) on 06/19/2009

hi e mailed you with a question but think it was misunderstood. had a flea infestation and revieved several bites which have turned brown and look awful. question was referred to pet section. didnt want to know how to get rid of fleas wanted to know if any remedy for the brown spots. have been bit before and never had this happen. thanks for any help


Posted by Cindy (Illinois, Usa) on 08/09/2020 201 posts
5 out of 5 stars

I got bit by something extra tiny that hurt like the dickens the other day!

I put EVERYthing on it - cayenne, DMSO, coconut oil and something else, I don't remember what, but it stopped hurting with the first bit of cayenne. With the pain and the size - which was too small to even see what kind of critter it was, it scared the dickens outta me so I threw everything at it! LOL! It was right over a vein, just up from the wrist. I'd never had that kind of pain from a bite or a sting! I remember what the other thing was - it was ascorbic acid paste. I'm guessing it was a spider of some sort as I've been stirring up unattended corners around the house but it was so tiny that there was nothing left of it after I slapped it. I had a little red spot for a few days but, initially, the bite was so small there was nothing to see. The red spot got to about the size of a pepper corn, but it's gone without a trace now. I think that was Monday or Tuesday and it's Sunday but was still a little red yesterday so that's quite a while for it to stick around with no feeling to it. No bump or itch or anything, once the pain was gone. Just that red spot.

Oh! And borax solution which I'd just made. I forgot I slapped some of that on it.

Chigger Bite Remedies

Posted by Tx Kel (Tx) on 07/01/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Chiggers plague us here in TX. I hate them! I'm also allergic. Each bite swells up and looks infected. I've tried chigger ointment and nail polish. Nail polish works pretty good, but you have to apply it daily. I can still end up with infected looking bites.

I know the goal is to smoother the little guys until they die.

We just discovered duct tape!!! Just cut a small silver square to cover the bite. Leave it on for 3-4 days. Peel it off and bite is gone! Works great on kids because it sticks through a shower. Plus most bites are where you can't see them, so its easy to leave the duct tape on.

(Here in the USA, duct tape is a wide silver tape that is very very sticky. It is used for repairing things. It seals very well and is somewhat water proof. It has fibers in it, which makes it easy to tear.)

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

HI U TX, , , , , , , , , , ,

Hard to believe that a Texan does not know how to handle a red bug. Go to your Farm co-op, buy 10% Permitrin, paint your problem.


Posted by Gardengirl (Gallatin, Tn) on 08/31/2013

Sulfur works on chiggers... Can buy it at some drugstores or maybe at at farmer's co-op. Take about 1 teaspoon of sulfur, add a little water to make a paste then apply it to the bite or bites. It will work the first time. Works for my grand-daughter (15) too!!!

Posted by Cindy (Cochrane, Wi) on 06/26/2011

Does anyone have remedies for keeping chiggers off from you or how to help when you get bites? I'm almost ready to give up gardening! Thank you

Replied by Geneva
Paragould, Ar.

I paint the bites with clear nail polish. It kills the chigger and the pain goes away. Hope this help you.

Replied by Lou
Tyler, Tx

Try adding baking soda to your bath! Probably about a cup.

Replied by Jean Stroud
Farmerville, La

Chigger Bites.... To prevent, bathe with Avons Skin So Soft.... also helps to soothe if you already have them.

Replied by J
Wilmington, De

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

Replied by Mcphyster
Eastland, Texas, Usa

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.

Replied by Charles
Richmond, Va

I had an old farmer live next door for many years and when I got chiggers from cuttting fire wood one fall he told me to rub the bite with Campho Phenique and it would kill the chigger in one application. (and it did) It comes in a small green bottle for few dollars and last a long time, CVS normally carries a few bottles but any drug store should have a bottle on the shelf. Actually it works for all insect bites, I just dip a cotton swab in the bottle and rub it gently on the bite, the odor goes away in a little while. God Bless

Replied by Zdavid

I am very sensitive to chigger bites. One or two bites on my feet or lower legs will keep me awake at night for a couple of weeks. I've found nothing will stop the itch, except scratching, which only lasts as long as you scratch it.

The best remedy is prevention. I buy an all-natural spray containing natural oils like cedar and eucalyptus and apply, religiously, to my feet and lower legs before going outside during the summer. I also spray my garden shoes every time. It works, and beats itchy and scratchy any day.

Replied by Lou
Tyler, Tx

To stop itchy bites, I use a lotion called Sarna. I think I bought it at Walgreen's or CVS. Also, Amazon sells a cream containing sulphur. That may work as I saw it on another post about sulpher.

Clear Tape

Posted by Brenda (Converse, Tx) on 09/01/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Mosquitos get me really bad, and I used to finish those Anti-itch creams having to re-apply every time. My dad heard this somewhere and though it sounds weird, it really works!. Just cut about an inch or so of clear tape (yes the kind you use for paper) and stick it right on the insect bite. Within a minute or two the itch is gone and there is no need for more tape. I use this site all the time, it is the first place I look for help. Thank you Earthclinic and all the people that provide feedback.

Replied by Doug
Show Low, Az

Even better for mosquito bites is vitamin B1. Insects hate the smell it makes your skin have. although it is not noticeable to humans.

Replied by Connie
Manitowoc, Wisconsin, USA

Do you apply it or ingest it?

EC: Typically you would ingest it.

Replied by Paula
London, England and Poitiers, France

I tried B1 for insect bites but it did not agree with me. The most incredible treatment for them that I've EVER used is fresh lemon juice it immediately removes the pain and itching. If the bite is big you may have to reapply but it works amazingly on other spots and cuts well. i found that oil pulling with olive oil seems to stop one being bitten.

Replied by Dara
Cork, Ireland

What is clear tape? Is that like Sellotape or Scotch tape, I don't know what you call it in the States? The clear sticky strips for sticking things to the wall for example?

EC: Yes, what people seem to be talking about in this home remedy is any sort of see-through, plastic-like tape. It would go by many names and come in different qualities, but any kind of tape made out of polypropylene or cellophane should do the trick.

Coconut Oil

Posted by Gramma (Raymond, Alberta, Canada) on 09/13/2009
5 out of 5 stars

My husband and I use coconut oil as a rub for aches and pains. Hubby had his right shoulder replaced 10 years ago and coconut oil keeps him pain free. I need back surgery but am too old so I use coconut oil to relieve pain. We also use it to rub arthritic knees, hips, elbows and hands. We were in Majuro for 18 months five years ago and were introduced to coconut oil by the natives when I stepped onto a red ant pile and was severely bitten all over my legs. Instant relief from coconut oil. We don't measure, we just scoop out a little and rub it on. It has to be 100% pure coconut oil to work.

Posted by Kylie (Whitianga, New Zealand) on 08/26/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I've been using coconut oil on my skin & hair for approx 5 months now thanks to all the posts I've read on earthclinic. Taking a couple of teaspoons a day certainly makes your skin soft from the inside out. While up in the Pacific Islands on holiday a couple of weeks ago, I sought out locally made coconut oil and due to daily sun exposure, applied it to my skin each night. I was surprised to find that the mosquitos - which have always bitten me in the past - would hover around me but not land on my oiled skin. I didn't have to use insect repellent once for the whole two weeks I was in Tonga. The local oil was quite smelly (rancid smelling and everyone told me NOT to eat it) and different to the imported oil we get in NZ, so not sure if this makes the difference. I'll certainly be trying this as a mosquito remedy here in the summer.

Replied by Scooter
5 out of 5 stars

I used pure coconut oil for dry itchy menpause skin head to toe, even on scalp. Conditioned my skin and hair and kept mosquitoes off like a dream! Use liberally/rub in. Great hair detangler. Tiny drops rubbed into hair with hands is all it takes to detangle and avoid split ends. Mine was food grade.

Replied by Francisca
Michelbach-le-bas, Alsace, France

Do you rub the oil after drying your hair or before?

Replied by Sp
Nashville, Tn
5 out of 5 stars

Hi Kylie, I read your post and decided to use the virgin coconut oil I already had. I rubbed it on my skin. It really did keep the mosquitoes away from me. Thank you for sharing.


Posted by Lindar (Treorchy, Rhondda Wales Uk) on 08/02/2009
5 out of 5 stars

CUECUMER FOR INSECT BITES! My 10 year lod woke up to find 2 gnat/mozzie bites on her ankle this morning. She put Ttiger Balm on it and it worked well, but hours later while we were out they started to really itech and irritate. Needless to say I didn't have anything on me. BUT we did have the remains of our picnic salad. In desperation I told her to rub it with a piece of Cuecumber, to keep her occupied more than anything. Well it worked a treat, and now several hours later it stil doesn't itch and the swelling has gone down!

Replied by Ranjana
Arlington, Tx
5 out of 5 stars

I got bitten by something all over my arms. Sprayed Benadryl, did not control the itching and swelling. Looked up this post and dabbed all the bites with a cucumber slice, immediate relief. Thanks.

Replied by Raffia

Cucumber worked for me last week, but this time is isn't helping at all. From one (chigger?) bite on my ankle, most of my foot is swollen and red, with a kind of thick part around the bite. Skin is also kind of bumpy, almost a rash. Maddening. Have tried hot water just now. Tried ice earlier. Also echinacea. Also aspirin. Now to read through the rest of the pages!!

Dishwashing Detergent, Garlic, Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn) on 03/29/2008 512 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Hi Tracy,

I have a couple of suggestions for your mosquito problems. I have read (but haven't checked out) that using a shallow white dish, fill it with water, add a few drops of Joy liquid dishwashing detergent. The one giving that hint said it kills the mosquitos, usually within 10 - 12 feet of getting a drink from it. Makes you wonder how safe it is to eat from dishes washed in it, doesn't it?

Another great bug repellant that doesn't kill them, cook with lots of garlic, it makes you less tasty to mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers.This does work- I went from averaging 15 to 25 tick bites per day to none at all last year. I have started filling empty gel caps with garlic powder and taking 2 or 3 of them each day, however your kids probably won't like them that way but probably won't object to garlic cooked in the food.

Another one that works for my family - Put about 1-2 cups ACV to the kids bathwater each day, or even rub them down with straight ACV (careful around the eyes as even the fumes can make them burn) and let them dry off before dressing and going outside. This even works against those dratted brown flies in Florida (August) that look like our black house flies but are brown and love to bite you. This only works as long as the vinegar is on - if they play in water, or otherwise wash the vinegar off, you'll have to reapply the vinegar.