14 DIY Remedies for Treating Bug Bites

14 DIY Remedies for Treating Bug Bites

During the summer, it is inevitable that your children will get bitten by bugs – at least once. You may even get a few bug bites yourself. When you or a family member gets bitten by a bug, there is no reason to rush out to the store and pick up commercial products. With a few simple home remedies, you can deal with bug bites at little cost.

The first concern is usually dealing with the skin irritation. If you can keep yourself from itching the bite, it should heal quicker. If you were bitten by a bee or a wasp, you may also need to deal with swelling and possibly removing a stinger or eliminating venom from a sting. The following DIY remedies for bug bites cover all the bases.

Getting Rid of Skin Irritation

First, you need to learn how to treat skin irritation. Keep yourself or your children from scratching at a bug bite. Here are a few home remedies for relieving itchy skin:

bug bite rubbing alcohol
 Rubbing Alcohol

Applying a small dab of rubbing alcohol to a bug bite should help get rid of the skin irritation. Use a cotton swab to apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the infected area. Do not rub it into the skin.

bug bite nail polish

Nail Polish

Nail polish can also help relieve itchy skin. Use clear nail polish on a bug bit to prevent scratching. This will also seal the bite, keeping it from opening up or becoming infected – making a good option for spider bites.

Glass of aloe vera juice on wooden background
 Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties that will help to relieve itchy skin. Apply topically to the bug bit to relieve skin irritation. For added relief, store your Aloe Vera in your fridge.

Jar and spoonful of baking soda for multiple holistic usages
 Baking Soda

Make your own baking soda paste to relieve skin irritation. Combine a small amount of baking soda with just enough water to create a paste. The mixture should be thick and not runny. Apply the paste to the bug bite and allow to dry.

Fresh green basil leaves closeup

Basil can help deal with itchy skin, providing minor relief from skin irritation. Basil has anti-inflammatory properties that can limit the skin irritation and may even help repel mosquitos.

plaster on the forefinger
 Tape the Skin

Use a small strip of tape to cover the bug bite. This is similar to using a bandage to cove the bite, but more affordable. Before taping the skin, use one of the other remedies to help relieve the skin irritation. This will keep fingers from itching the bite, limiting the chances of infection. 

Stopping the Swelling

Depending on the type of bite, you may also have swelling to deal with. This is most common with stings from bees or wasps, but could also occur if the person is allergic to the type of critter that bite them. Take a look at these easy DIY remedies for preventing swelling:

white witch hazel blooming after rain in the spring
Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is an oil with anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce swelling. Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel and then apply it to the bug bite. This should help with both skin irritation and swelling – shrinking the bug bite and allowing the skin to heal quicker.

bug bite ice
 Apply Ice

Applying ice to the skin is always a good way to reduce swelling. Fill a sealable plastic bag with ice. Wrap the bag in a towel and apply it to the skin for ten minutes or more to reduce swelling. This will also help numb the skin, relieving skin irritation.

bug bite essential oils
 Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used to relieve skin irritation and limit swelling. Oils, such as tea tree oil and peppermint oil, both contain anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Not only will they provide relief from skin irritation, they can help prevent infections and reduce swelling.


Raw Honey

Using raw honey, you can gain relief from both swelling and itching, but at the risk of attracting more bugs – especially bees. If you use honey for your bug bites, avoid going outdoors until you have rinsed the honey off your skin.

Cream on the women hand.
 Use Preparation H

The popular hemorrhoid cream can be used to relieve skin irritation and prevent swelling. Place a dab of cream on the bite and massage. This should provide instant relief from the pain, irritation, and swelling.  

Removing Venom from a Sting

When you are bitten by a bee or a wasp, the skin irritation and swelling and persist, until the venom from the sting is dealt with. Use these DIY remedies to get rid of the venom or help remove a stinger:

Apple cider vinegar over white wooden background
 Apple Cider Vinegar

The active compounds in apple cider vinegar can help remove the sting by neutralizing the venom from a bee or wasp sting. Soak a towel in the vinegar and wring dry. Apply the towel to the skin and leave on for twenty minutes.

bug bite banana peel
 Banana Peels

The banana peel contains a high level of antimicrobial compounds. These compounds, combined with beneficial antioxidants, can help neutralize any venom and limit the chances of an infection occurring.

Woman smearing mud mask on the body on the beach
 Apply Mud

If you need to remove a stinger, try applying mud to the skin and allowing it to dry. After the mud dries, you may be able to simply pull the stinger out with the mud. If the idea of putting mud on your skin or the skin of your children does not sound appealing, you could also use a beauty mud mask. Use the same process – allow it to dry and then see if you can pull the stinger out while removing the dried substance. 

Consult Your Doctor for Serious Bug Bites

These solutions are time-testing, but are only provided as a possible option. For detailed information, or when these solutions do not provide relief, consult with your doctor for specific treatments and methods of dealing with bug bites.

Dealing with bug bites does not have to be difficult. The main issue is dealing with the itchy, irritated skin – since most bug bites do not pose a serious medical concern. Consider using some of the DIY remedies mentioned to relieve itchy skin and limit the duration of the irritation.

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