Bug bites and stings are inevitable, especially during the warmer months when you’re outdoors grilling, camping, hiking, or enjoying all that outdoor summer fun. But there are ways to keep those itchy, stinging, red spots at bay with natural remedies you can do in your own home.
Identify the Bug
There are many different insect bites, from mosquitoes and fleas to bees and ticks. Some of them are harmless, while others can cause serious health problems. It’s important to know what kind of insect bites you have so that you can avoid them in the future, and to make sure that you are treated appropriately if you do get them.
A bedbug bite is a common type of insect bite that can be itchy and inflamed for several days after the initial sting. Some people develop a reaction to the bugs’ saliva, which can lead to a cluster of three or more itchy red marks that may look like a skin rash. This reaction is known as an allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
Use a Cold Pack or Cloth to Reduce Pain and Stinging
Itching, swelling, or stinging from insect bites or stings can be painful, but they typically go away in a day or two. To help relieve the pain, apply a cold cloth or an ice cube to the area for 20 minutes. You can also try rubbing baking soda or hydrogen peroxide on the bite to reduce itching and pain.
Another option is to rub a cotton ball soaked in a mixture of water and chamomile tea over the bite. The herb has antihistamine properties and can also soothe itchy skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar
You can also rub a drop of apple cider vinegar on a bite to ease itching and irritation. You can even mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water and soak a washcloth in it to apply to the bite.
If you’re bitten by a mosquito, a teaspoon of garlic can be rubbed over the bite to help it heal quicker. Just be aware that applying cut garlic directly to a bite can cause burning and stinging.
This common plant has many uses, but it’s also used for treating burns. The gel inside can help heal bug bites and stings, too.
A little bit of honey can help reduce the itching and inflammation that comes with a bug bite or sting. This can be a helpful alternative to topical ointments that are often too greasy for some people.
Applying a calamine lotion can also help to stop itching and inflammation, but some people react negatively to the medication. You should always check with your doctor before using any home treatment, especially if you have any questions or concerns.
If you’ve been bitten by a mosquito, a chlorine soaking of the affected area can help to eliminate any infection and heal the bite. Just be sure to rinse off the chlorine solution well afterward.