16 Ways to Naturally Treat Bug Bites, Insect Stings, and Their Annoying Itches

Prevention is always the best way to treat bug bites and stings. Check out how here (link to Natural Bug Repellent Ideas). But a few of those little biting pests may make it through your defenses now and again and that itching will slowly drive you mad. You’ll need a few natural ways to get rid of it before you do too much damage to yourself with your fingernails, sandpaper, or tree bark. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

There are plenty of lotions you can pick up in the drug store, but let’s say you are nowhere near one or you don’t like the additives in those products. You have options, but remember that if you start having a more severe allergic reaction than a simple itchy red bump, you should consult a health care professional and take care of it fast. If you are stung with something that leaves behind a stinger, like a bee, remove the stinger immediately. Breaking from myths, it doesn’t really matter much how you remove it, just do so as quickly as possible. The longer it stays, the more venom is pumped into your itchy, burny problem.

Ice – Most of us have ice handy in our freezer all the time. We often have it on hikes and campouts too. A blast of cold takes the itch away and reduces any heat, pain, and inflammation that comes along with the bite.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Many of the insectoid compounds that cause the itching and burning are proteins. The acid in vinegar can neutralize or denature these proteins so the itch goes away. Rub it in, wait a few minutes, and rinse it off. It’s that simple.

Mint – Mint grows along rivers and creeks in the wild or in open fields that get decent sun and water. Make sure you know what you’re picking though. Once you’re sure you’ve found mint, crush a few leaves and place the pulp over the bite. It will create a cooling sensation, ease irritation, and reduce inflammation too.

Basil – Basil is related to mint and has many of the same properties. It’s harder to find in the wild, but you may have some growing at home.

Banana Peel – Cut a piece of the peel and tape it over the bite or sting. Remove it and rinse about an hour later. People swear by this one even if it sounds strange. Plantain peels work too.

Tea Tree Oil – This oil helps prevent infection, numbs the skin, cools, and reduces inflammation. Just a drop or two go a long way. Tea tree oil is potent stuff. If you need to calm down the tingling of tea tree, dilute it in a teaspoon of olive, coconut, or grape seed oil first.

Baking Soda – Baking soda helps with inflammation and, due to the alkalinity, can have a calming effect on skin. Mix it with water to make a paste to smear over bites or add a few cups to a cool to warm bath and soak the itching away.

Lavender – This essential oil has a calming effect on the mind and body. Put a drop or two directly on the bite to reduce inflammation and itching fast. You can also add it to baths.

Honey – Honey isn’t just for sweetening teas or smoothies. Honey is antibacterial, so the bites and stings won’t get infected and swelling goes down. Just dab it on and let the sweet healing begin.

Tea Bag – Green and black teas contain tannins that make them an excellent addition to any natural first aid kit. They stop bleeding fast, especially in the mouth. They also act as astringents, drawing fluid out of wounds so inflammation goes down. Wet one with water and place it over the bite for a few minutes.

Witch Hazel – Witch hazel is also an astringent that reduces swelling. Mix it with baking soda to make a dual action paste that does more than either one alone.

Aloe – Directly from the plant is always best, but aloe in just about any form helps remove the sting from bug bites. It cools, soothes itching, and starts the healing process.

Limes or Lemons – Just like with apple cider vinegar, the acidity of these citrus fruits helps neutralize the offensive proteins that cause irritation. Just know that the acidity of these fruits is powerful. Use a few drops of their juice wisely and rinse after a few minutes. The properties that make lemon juice an easy way to lighten your hair in sunlight also affect skin, so you may also want to stay out of the sun while you use this remedy or the bug bites may be the least of your worries.

Salt – A paste of salt and water will also draw out fluid and ease swelling. Use high quality sea salt or Himalayan salt so the minerals can help kick-start healing too.

Mud – In a pinch, mud is a good way to cool itching skin, reverse swelling, reduce inflammation, and even draw out some of the venom from the bite. Plaster it on and let it dry. As it dries it pulls fluid from the wound and can even pull out the singer if you were unable to do so. Try to use clean mud though. It may sound like an oxymoron, but there’s clean and dirty mud out there. You don’t want stagnant mud where bacteria and parasites may be growing.

Aspirin – Crush it or grind it up and make a paste with just a few drops of water. Even if you’re against using aspirin in your body, it works amazing on the skin to reduce inflammation and lessen the pain and itching sensations.


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Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research.. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.

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