5 Natural Ways to Treat Itchy Insect Bites

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mosquitoI can't say I was particularly surprised to hear the latest research on over-the-counter insect bite ointments and creams: Most of them don't work. I wasn't surprised because as someone who's super-allergic to mosquito bites, I've tried pretty much every anti-itch/pain/swelling product out there -- and the amount of "relief" they offer is, well, not much of a relief.

I know this is dismal news for my fellow mosquito magnets, but don't despair!

Because I have, over the years, discovered a few remedies that really do help soothe the sting.

But you probably won't find any of them at the pharmacy ...

Personally, I've had more luck at the grocery store. Some of these may sound weird, but trust me -- you won't care how weird they are when that nasty welt on your leg finally stops itching!

1. Place cold cucumber skins on bites to soothe the burn

2. Honey is a natural antibiotic -- apply topically to bites (but don't leave it on and go outside, unless you want a swarm of bees after you!)

3. Use a cotton ball to apply tea tree oil every 2 to 3 hours (my personal favorite! Kind of stinky, but so effective).

4. Cut a knob of garlic in half and rub it on the bite area (again, stinky -- but so effective for getting rid of the itch!)

5. Lime juice or lemon juice are better than nothing, especially if you're at a picnic or barbecue and those are all you have handy

Have you found anything that helps to stop the itch of insect bites?


Image via Colonel Wildturkey/Flickr

alternative medicine, natural health


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nonmember avatar aminah

Mustard oil is commonly used to treat mosquito bites in south Asian countries. Stinky but effective.

Rebecca Peterson

I use rubbing alcohol. Benedryl works too because it's a histamine build up due to an allergic reaction to the spit the insect injects to make your blood easier to drink.

BNT8389 BNT8389

Witch Hazel

nonmember avatar India

Im super allergic so mine swell up and itch terribly, last year while I was at a river side restaurant I got torn up by Mosquitos. Nothing worked I was losing my mind because of the itching! I looked up natural remedies and found 1 that works amazing!! Scotch tape, just a little piece over the bites stops the itching almost immediately.

nursemc nursemc

I too am a mosquito magnet, I've even been hopsitalized after getting 1000's of bites at a 4th of July fireworks display. I couldn't run for cover fast enough, they just swarmed me, I think people around me probably thought I was on drugs. Scotch tape works sometimes, and anything super cold applied to the bite like cucumbers or tomato slices. Anything you have to rub in like hydrocortizone cream makes it itch worse because I'm rubbing it.

nonmember avatar Heather

This treatment works great....heat! Your brain perceives pain as a priority over itching. I get very hot tap water or boiling water in a mug and place a teaspoon in it. Then apply the round side of the spoon for an instant to the bite until you feel the 'zing'. Feels like a little needle shooting into the bite and targeted to the bite. Try it where you don't have a bite and you'll see a difference. Anyhow, when you do this, you have an instant of pain from the heat but then the itch completely goes away! It has to be hot enough to feel that zing or you will only aggrevate the itch further.

nonmember avatar Barbara

Apple cider vinegar...works for bee stings, too!

David Lockard

Toothpaste on a camp out or in a pinch for a handy alternative.

nonmember avatar anna623

What about for a baby? She was tossing and turning and I was holding her for an hour, she couldn't get comfortable n relax so I took her clothes off an seen a spot on her arm.. I don't know what it is but I have quite a few myself.. I'm thinking a flea or something small maybe small house spider.... anyways being a baby she has super soft delicate skin and skin getts irritated with scented things so I don't know what I could use that might really help that I have on hand.... Anyone help?

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