If you stay out in the garden long enough, you are bound to incur a few bites or stings from insects. The worst part about them is that most of the time you don’t realize you have been bit until later. To make that situation even worse, you have no idea what may have bit you.
Bites from insects can be itchy and uncomfortable. Some bites can leave large welts, and can be quite dangerous if not attended to immediately. Fortunately, many of these bites can be remedied with common household products. Here are just a few household items you can use to help relieve those bites or stings from the creepy crawlers.
Note: The remedies below are for informational purposes only. This is NOT medical advice. Consult with your physician before using any of these remedies. If a bite from an insect shows any signs of swelling, fever, allergic reactions, redness, pain, pus, red striations around the wound, or any other symptoms of infection, seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY.
Home Remedies For Insect Bites
- First off, whenever you receive an insect bite, always wash it with warm, soapy water to cleanse the area. This will usually help to relieve itching. You can also use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to disinfect the area.
- Soap – A bar of soap can be used to alleviate itching with most insect bites. Dampen the affected area with warm water and run the bar of soap over it. Some rub the area with a dry bar of soap as well. Both methods can work.
- Ice – Applying ice wrapped in a clean washcloth can help relieve itching and reduce any swelling.
- Baking Soda & Water – This is one of the oldest and most popular insect bite remedies. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda to a glass of water. Use a clean washcloth and rub the mixture on the bite. This will ease itchiness. Another method of using baking soda is for aiding bee stings. Add just enough water to a tablespoon of baking soda to moisten it – creating a paste. Apply the baking soda paste to the bee sting, and let sit for 10 minutes. Wash the paste off with clean water. The baking soda paste will help to bring out the poison from the bee sting.
- Toothpaste – Toothpaste can also help aid itchiness in some insect bites. Just place a dab of toothpaste on the bite, wait about 10 minutes, then wash off with warm water. Peppermint and Spearmint toothpastes seem to work better than others.
- Lemons, Limes, & Banana Peels – Rubbing a bite with a lemon or lime slice can help to sooth itching from an insect bite. Lemon or lime juice can be just as effective if slices are not available. The inside of a banana peel is also known to help relieve itching with mosquito bites.
- Lavender or Lavender Oil – Fresh Lavender or Lavender Oil can be used to relieve itching for mosquito and other insect bites.
- Vinegar – Dampen a washcloth with vinegar to sooth itching from spider and mosquito bites.
- Garlic & Onion – Cut a clove of garlic or an onion wedge and place on the bite. This will also help to reduce swelling.
- Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera can sooth itching and burning from an insect bite, and help the wound heal quicker.
- Salt – Salt helps to stop itching from mosquito bites. Damped the bite area and rub with table salt.
- Tobacco – Use moistened tobacco from a cigarette or snuff, and place on a bee or wasp sting and most spider bites. Place the moistened tobacco on the sting for about 10 minutes. You can use medical tape or a band-aid to hold the tobacco in place, if needed. This helps to ease the pain and reduce redness.
- Scotch Tape – Use Scotch tape to pull the stinger from the skin. Just put a strip of tape over the sting, leave on for a couple minutes, then pull off. The stinger should come out with the tape.
- Glue – You can also use glue (such as Elmer’s) to pull out a bee stinger. Place a dab of the glue on the affected area. Let the glue dry, then gently pull off the skin. The glue will stick to the stinger and pull it out of the skin.
What home remedies do you use for insect bites and stings?