March 20th, 2012

7 Natural Ways to Treat Bug Bites

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mosquito biting

This past Sunday was a gorgeous day in Boston. People were venturing out of their homes to spend the day outside. Bikes were out, skateboards were everywhere and our dog was basking in the warm sunshine.

Our dog in green grass

We were all hanging out outside until around 6 pm; then it got ugly. The mosquitoes swarmed-and I mean swarmed. When we all couldn’t bare it any longer we went inside to deal with the massive amounts of red bumps that were covering our bodies. Mosquito bites.

Why mosquitoes bite

Did you know only female mosquitoes bite? Proteins in human blood are necessary for the female mosquito to produce fertile eggs. Their male counterparts don’t lay eggs so there’s no need to bite.

Back to the red welts…….

I happen to be one of those people that mosquitoes can’t live without.  I’m usually bitten several times in or around the same spot. The bites turn into big, red welts that are incredibly itchy. I then force my children to use their nails to place a big X over the bites-remember that trick? It works, but unfortunately the bites start to itch again after a few seconds.

Solutions for a bug bite itch

There are quite a few non-toxic remedies for an itchy bug bite.

  1. Make a paste of baking soda and water and put a little dab on the bug bite.
  2. Apply a cold compress-either an ice pack or a washcloth doused in cold water.
  3. Put a little toothpaste on your bug bite.
  4. Rub a piece of sliced onion on the bite. You might need to shower after this remedy!
  5. Apply apple cider vinegar on a cotton ball to the bite.
  6. Rub a bar of wet or dry soap over the bite.
  7. Place cool mud on the affected spot or spots.

If the bite gets infected be sure to contact your physician.

If you’re going to use bug repellant when you venture outside this spring and summer, make sure it’s DEET free.

What tips do you have for itchy bug bites?

 

© Sergey YAkovlev – Fotolia.com

This week I’ve linked up with The Green Backs Gal and I Thought I Knew Mama

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21 Responses to “7 Natural Ways to Treat Bug Bites”

  1. My daughter is a mosquito magnet! She will come in with several bites when no one else has been bitten. And they are nasty.
    Lavender essential oil works for a while for her. This summer I’ll be checking out more homemade bug sprays. I’ve pinned a few to try. We’ll see how it goes.
    What DEET free sprays do you use?

  2. Thanks for the tips! I usually just scratch! lol

  3. We put therapeutic grade lavender oil undiluted on the bite as soon as possible. Make sure you don’t use a lavender scented oil that will not help at all. Real lavender essential oil is anti-inflammatory and good for burns as well. I also use a Young Living essential oil blend called Purification that works amazingly well even on bee and wasp stings, the pain and swelling are gone within minutes.

  4. Thanks for the tip Susan. I haven’t tried lavender oil. I might pick up Purification to have around in case a sting hits over the summer (very likely!).

  5. I do a lot of scratching too Stephanie!

  6. I can relate to your daughter Kristina. You are the second person to suggest lavender oil. Here’s my list of DEET free repellants: http://groovygreenlivin.com/2011/06/4-deet-free-bug-repellants/

  7. I use pure tea tree oil, and a gel version of it…that actually work in prevention AND when you do get a bite!

  8. I am glad you mentioned mud. I thought I was the only crazy one who put it on their poison ivy. Honestly, it is one of the few remedies that I find helps.

  9. Mud for poison ivy-brilliant Anna! My son had poison ivy head to toe last year. A mud bath would have been perfect!

  10. Michelle, do you apply the tea tree oil directly to the bite? How do you use it for prevention?

  11. These are some great suggestions! My son and I seem to always get the brunt of bites and any remedies we use don’t seem to work. This will be helpful especially for this year… the insect population is supposed to be out of control (due to no freeze this winter)!

  12. Hi Jessi, we are already swarmed by mosquitoes! Try some of these remedies the next time you and your son have bites. Let me know how they work.

  13. Thanks for the tips! I’ve heard this will be a brutal year for mosquitoes and ticks in our area :-(

    Thanks for participating in the Green & Natural Mamas Bloghop!

  14. Am I the only person who is scared that the bugs are already out? Do we need any more evidence that global climate change is occurring when our winters are so mild and spring comes so early that mosquitoes swarm in mid-March? Scary!

    My tip won’t work for kids, but for us adults who might have a little more impulse control, I’ll say this: avoid the initial scratching frenzy and the overall level of itching will go down pretty quickly and not last as long. When I give in and scratch, my bites continue to itch forever. When I don’t, I get relief pretty quickly. But it’s hard not to give in!!! Try occupying your hands with something so you don’t instinctively touch you skin.

  15. I will definitely try the lavender oil this year — even it if doesn’t work, I’ll smell nice :-) My son & I are also bug magnets, and they’ve been bad for a few weeks now here in the Philly/South Jersey area. I can’t imagine what it will be like in August!

  16. Hi Isabelle! Lavender is one of my favorite scents (with vanilla running a close second). The bugs seem really awful already this year. Hopefully one of the natural alternatives will help you and your son. I can relate-I’m a bug magnet too!

  17. [...] a cold washcloth on his legs in the middle of the night and he was able to fall back asleep. HERE are a few more natural bug bite [...]

  18. [...] paste made of baking soda and water works well for itchy bug bites and the same is true for poison ivy. A  Turmeric paste is also helpful. Turmeric contains a [...]

  19. A great way to prevent mosquito bites is taking a dryer sheet and rub your legs then put it in your pocket.. It works even though it sounds funny

  20. I am so glad I read this post just in time for backyard cook outs and fun in the sun. One of the plagues of hanging out my family’s yard is the curse of mosquito bites. I am definitely going to try these natural remedies this season especially clear solutions like apple cider vinegar, the ice pack or cool wash cloth. However, I will try anything to stop that torturous itching, even mud!
    Deborah Davis recently posted..Wondering About A Vegan Diet? PETA Infographic Tells AllMy Profile

  21. […] paste made of baking soda and water works well for itchy bug bites and the same is true for poison ivy. A  Turmeric paste is also helpful. Turmeric contains a […]

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I like to make noise and stir the pot especially when an issue hits home and effects the health of our families. Join me as I make some noise and share along the way tips for living a green and healthy life. Read more.

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