Spring has finally sprung here in the Atlanta area and along with blooming trees come annoying insects. I am compiling a list of natural remedies for insect bites to help soothe the sting when they finally find me. I know it’s only February but the trees and flowers are already blooming here in the south and I need to get started on yard work and gardening. That means plenty of fire ants, mosquitos and other biting insects who seem to think I am the tastiest thing they have ever discovered. If you are looking for natural remedies for insect bites, here are a few that I have discovered so far.
Natural Remedies for Insect Bites
Green Tea: Soak a bag of green tea in ice water for a minute or so. Then, apply the cold, wet tea bag to the bite or sting. The cold temperature helps numb the pain and the green tea acts as an anti-inflammatory to take out the itch and redness.
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Oatmeal: Oatmeal is incredibly soothing to the skin. Make a paste with ground oatmeal and a little bit of water. Apply this to the bite. Here is an affiliate link for Aveeno Oatmeal Bath if you need a whole tub full of insect bite relief.
Honey: Honey has been used for eons as a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory agent. Put a dollop of honey on your insect bite and help sooth the sting. This is also a great natural remedy for insect bites if you are worried about a possible skin infection.
Aloe Vera: Keeping an aloe plant in your home is incredibly helpful when it comes to insect bites. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, so this could help soothe the itch. For even more relief, keep aloe vera gel in the fridge, since the cold will also help with the itchiness. Learn how to get aloe from your aloe vera plant (when you need a LOT!) or use this affiliate link to buy organic aloe vera gel on Amazon.
Meat tenderizer: I am never really sure what is IN meat tenderizer but apparently it is great for relieving the pain of insect bites. Apply it right after you’re stung. It contains enzymes that break down the venom, reduce swelling and lessen the inflammation. In a small bowl, combine a few spoonfuls of meat tenderizer powder with enough water to form a paste. Then smear the paste on the bite and leave it on for an hour.
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Basil: Basil is great at repelling mosquitos but it also has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Rub a basil leaf on your bite for a bit of itch relief.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply to your bite. It will help remove some of the redness and swelling.
Ice: Plain old ice will do a great job of numbing the pain and reducing inflammation. Use an ice pack wrapped in a thin cloth to protect the skin and leave on for about 20 minutes or so.
Papaya: Okay, I don’t keep a lot of papayas laying around the house but if you do have one they are great natural remedies for insect bites. Lay a slice of papaya on the sting for an hour to neutralize insect venom.
Baking soda: Mix baking soda with a skin lotion, then apply it to the bite. The baking soda helps relieve inflammation while the skin lotion keeps it in place. You can also mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a small amount of water, let it dissolve, and apply the mixture with a cotton ball. After 20 minutes or so, rinse the area with cool water.
What other natural remedies for insect bites have you tried?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.