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Home remedies for Mosquito bites, bee stings and other insect bites

Mosquito bites are a hazard of the warmer weather and you don’t even need to go outside to get bitten.  Even with domestic precautions, it is impossible to completely rid your home, garden or yard of mosquitoes and other biting insects, all you can do is hope to lessen the number of times you are bitten.

quite a painful bee sting on this person's foot!

Most mosquito bites are not just irritating, literally, and only develop into something more serious on very rare occasions.  However, the problem with them is that they can itch like fury and seem to go on itching, sometimes for days.  Woe betide you if you scratch them, it will just make it more angry and inflamed and you run the risk of creating an infection.

Happily, there are loads of home remedies you can keep to hand which will quickly treat bites and stings and provide some immediate relief.

Instant first aid

One of the best things for a hot, angry bite or inflamed, angry skin is ice.  It will cool the inflammation around a mosquito bite or numb the area that has been stung.  Ice just for a short time but for immediate relief from symptoms, there is nothing better.  Just put a little crushed ice in a freezer bag and hold it onto the skin for around five minutes, no longer, or grab an ice cube.  Ice constricts the blood vessels decreasing the flow to the inflamed area and inhibits the body’s natural release of histamine.

If you have been stung, you need to make sure the sting has been removed first before you treat the area.  Try and gently scrape it away rather than pinching it or using tweezers, or use this sting removal tool.  If you squeeze the sting then this will just release more venom into your skin.

remove bee and wasp stings

Bug Bite Thing Poison Remover for Bug Bites and Bee/Wasp Stings!

Home remedies from the larder

There is a range of items that can be found around the home which can provide instant and effective sting and bite relief for all those who don’t want to resort to chemical-based products.  Here are some suggestions from the kitchen:-

  • Honey – drop a blob onto a sting or bite. Honey has mythical powers and has been used for centuries because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.  Plus it makes it impossible to itch or scratch a bite once it is covered in honey so it’s a great remedy for children
  • Baking Soda – mixed into a paste with a little water, baking soda is an excellent remedy for bee stings which can be more sore and painful half an hour after the sting than they were at the time. If you mix the baking soda paste with a little skin moisturizer then it is easier to keep it on your skin for longer
  • Onion – cut and peel an onion half and then rub it gently over the affected area, some people swear by onions for stings. You might not smell very nice but onions contain enzymes that get to work quickly on inflammation
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – a drop of Apple Cider Vinegar can soothe intense itching or relieve the burning sensation from a sting, it also acts as a natural disinfectant but take care not to use it on broken or weeping skin
  • Camomile Tea – stand a teabag in water in the fridge for about half an hour, squeeze the bag dry and then place it directly onto the affected area
  • Milk and water – one part milk to one part water and then dab the mix onto the skin with cotton wool, it’s an old housewife’s favorite but it does seem to work

From the bathroom cabinet

You may have Aloe Vera gel in your bathroom cabinet as Aloe Vera is popular as a skin soother after sunburn and as a treatment for scratches minor wounds. Natural ingredients such as Camphor, combined with benzocaine and phenol can work very quickly to relieve the pain of a bite or sting.

stingeze bug bite / sting relief

 

StingEze ingredients include: benzocaine, phenol, and camphor, to help provide bug bite itch and sting relief.

Witch Hazel which can be found in many medicines chests to relieve bruising has natural astringent properties which can calm irritation and reduce inflammation.  Dab the area with a cotton wool ball soaked in Witch Hazel and then leave on the skin to dry.

lavender oil and bottle

Lavender oil is nature’s soother for inflamed areas and is really refreshing after a cool bath.  Peppermint oil has an instant cooling, astringent effect as well as antiseptic properties.  Apply this to directly to the skin around a bite for instant relief.  Some people use toothpaste to create the same effect.  Tea Tree Oil is a popular ‘go-to’ home remedy for many conditions and as nature’s own anti-bacterial treatment, can help stave off an infection in areas that have been scratched.

Essential oils can be very strong in their undiluted form so always mix with a little water first before you apply to the affected area of skin.

Longer-term relief

Oatmeal baths are very good for multiple bites.  Oatmeal has anti-irritant properties and a warm bath with a cup of oatmeal sprinkled into the water can offer soothing relief for afflicted skin.  Just make sure the water is not too hot as this will encourage blood flow to the surface of the skin and make any inflammation and itching worse.

Sensible measures

If you know you are prone to stings or bites or react badly to them, there are lots of preventive measures you can take within the home and your immediate outdoor environment to minimize the impact.  One of the best things is to wear cool, loose clothing and keep your skin covered.  Mosquitoes, in particular, find it much hard to penetrate loose folds of material.

References and further reading

Home remedies for Moquito bites: Read more…
How to treat bug bites naturally: Read more…
How to get relief from bug bites: Read more…
Advising on insect bites and stings: Open PDF…