Remedies for Insect Bites Summer is now upon us, and with that comes a multitude of nasty little insects that like to chomp on our skin. Before you go...
Yeah Madge, these remedies really do work!
Summer is now upon us, and with that comes a multitude of nasty little insects that like to chomp on our skin. Before you go and buy treatments at the chemist for bites and stings, have a look around your house as there might just be some things you can use that will work well and save on time and money.
- Ice/Cold Compress – This works well for any inflamed bite/sting from ants, flies, mosquitoes, bees and wasps as it slows down swelling and relieves pain by numbing the area. Ice or cold compresses should be applied for no longer than 10 minutes at a time (less for babies and young children) and never apply directly to the skin as it can result in ice burn – always wrap it in a piece of cloth (like a tea towel or washcloth) first.
- Aspirin – To control inflammation and pain from an ant, mosquito, fly, bee or wasp bite/sting, wet the area with water then rub an aspirin tablet over the bite/sting.
- Milk Paste – To soothe itchiness from mosquito bites, you can make a paste with 1 part powdered milk to 2 parts water and a pinch of salt. Apply it to the bite – the enzymes in the milk powder help to neutralise the venom from the insect.
- Tea Tree Oil – This wonderful essential oil has properties which can alleviate the pain and itch from many insect bites/stings. All you need to do is put a few drops of 100% pure tea tree oil on a cotton ball then dab it on the insect bites/stings (don’t rub it in) every couple of hours. It is one of the few essential oils which is OK to apply undiluted to the skin (and is safe for babies and children in very small amounts).
- Lavender Oil – This is another oil which is safe to apply directly undiluted to the skin. It has properties which not only alleviate swelling, inflammation and itching of insect bites/stings, but it also acts as a terrific insect repellent. Check out our natural insect repellent in this post Getting Rid of Creepy Crawlies. Just dab a few drops of 100% pure lavender oil onto the bites (don’t rub in) every few hours.
- Vinegar – Apply vinegar to any insect bite or sting and it will relieve stinging, inflammation and itching. Apple cider vinegar is said to be the best to use, but if you have any other type of vinegar, that will also work.
- Bicarbonate of Soda – Make a paste with some bicarb and water then apply it directly to the insect bites and allow to dry. You can also add some salt to the paste.
- Onion – Cut an onion in half and rub some of the juice onto the bite/sting.
- Vicks Vaporub, Calamine Lotion or Mylanta Antacid – These over the counter medications are all proven to relieve itchiness and stinging of insect bites and stings – just apply a small amount of one of these to the area.
Please refer to our post on Essential Oil Safety
when using essential oils – do not use them if pregnant!
Please remember that these are home remedies widely recommended from a number of reputable health sources. Use them at your own risk. If you have any signs of allergic reaction (or anaphylaxis) or other medical problems from any insect bite or sting (including extensive rash, severe swelling, extreme pain, difficulty in breathing or swallowing, or loss of consciousness) you must call 000 or go to your nearest Emergency Department immediately. “Stay At Home Mum” takes no responsibility for the misuse, or any injury or illness caused by the misuse of these remedies.