Top 5 Natural Home Remedies for Bug Bites You Can Try

Updated on November 19th, 2019
bug bites

With these easy and all-natural home remedies, however, you can beat the irritation and itch quickly.

Don’t we all just love all things about summer? The scenic hikes, picnics in the park, backyard barbeques, and just lounging and napping in the sun! But if you are somebody who spends a lot of time outdoors, you would also know that the fun and games only last until those pesky summer bugs come along.

Come repulsive roaches and bugs, and you are doomed to spend the rest of your time swatting and zapping them away. And despite all your best efforts, it is quite likely that you are going to come back home covered in itchy bumps, welts, and rashes.

According to a study(1) conducted in the US, from 2001 to 2010, an estimated 10.1 million people visited hospital emergency departments for non-canine bite and sting injuries. Insects or bugs accounted for 67.5 percent of these sting and bite injuries.

While most stings and bites cause minor discomfort, in some people, the reactions can become extreme. But with these handy home remedies for bug bites, you don’t have to worry about those painful bee stings, nasty mosquito bites, and recluse spiders crawling over you anymore. They are easy, less expensive, and safer than most medicated treatments.

Did You Know!

Itching when a bug bite is your body’s way of mounting a defense against the intruder. When a bug bites, the body recognizes the saliva of the biter as a foreign substance and floods the area with histamines to fight off toxins. This causes itching and swelling around the affected area.

Bug bites can be a nightmare. They make your skin itchy, scratchy, and inflamed. While there are plenty of over-the-counter medicines, prescription ointments, and drugs, that you could use to deal with painful and itchy bug bites, many of them come with their own unpleasant side effects. So it’s best to toss those medicated treatments aside and try these all-natural home remedies for those swollen and itchy bug bites. Home Remedies for Bug Bites

1. Apple cider vinegar for bug bites

home remedies for bug bites

Apple cider vinegar (2)has long been touted as a miracle cure for a number of ailments. Well, the good news is that it is a miracle remedy for bug bites too. This antibacterial and antiseptic liquid will not only cleanse the bitten area but will also provide quick relief from itching and inflammation as the malic acid contained in it can heal and balance the skin’s pH.

 How to use?

Dip a cotton ball in a small amount of apple cider vinegar and place it on the sore or bitten area. You should start feeling better within the next 15 to 20 minutes. If, however, you have bites or welts all over your body, add two cups of the vinegar to your bath and soak in it for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Baking soda for bug bites

Woke up to some itchy bug bites? Just head to your pantry for the remedy. Yes, the humble baking soda can be an effective ally for treating those painful and itchy bug bites. Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is power-packed with antibacterial properties and can help to soothe inflamed skin quickly.

How to use?

To use baking soda to treat bug bites, mix one tablespoon of it in a bowl with just enough water to create a paste. Apply this paste to the affected area and leave it on for at least 10 minutes before washing it clean.

[Also Read: 9 Incredible Essential Oils for Mosquito Bites]

3. Epsom salt for bug bites

epsom salt benefits

Epsom salt is a healing agent that unfortunately doesn’t get as much love as it deserves. The salt is loaded with medicinal properties that can work wonders for a whole lot of problems and ailments and bug bites in particular. Epsom salt also called magnesium sulfate and has an abundance of magnesium. This essential mineral has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can work to soothe irritated and inflamed skin effectively.

[Also Read: Natural Cures to Treat Chigger Bites]

How to use?

To use Epsom Salt for bug bites, mix 2 tablespoons of the salt with one cup of water. Dip a cotton washcloth in this solution to make a compress and place it on the affected area. The salt will draw out any toxins from the bug bite and quickly reduce the pain and inflammation. You could also take an Epsom Salt bath by adding 2 cups of the salt in your bath. Soak in this for at least 12 to 15 minutes for best results.

4. Coconut oil for bug bites

Another quick remedy from the pantry, coconut oil(4) is stacked with invaluable medicinal and healing properties. The fatty acid constituents of coconut oil, such as Lauric acid, Capric acid, and Caprylic acid have potent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. This can kill any harmful bacteria or pathogens that may have entered the body through a bug bite and defend the body against infections.

How to use?

Treating bug bites with coconut oil is fairly simple. Do a skin patch test to check for possible allergies before you try out this remedy at home though. If you have no adverse reactions, then slather a generous amount of the oil on to bitten areas. You should be warned, however, that coconut oil is absorbed very quickly by the skin. You may, therefore, want to keep a washcloth or cotton ball soaked in coconut oil bandaged or taped to the affected area. Using extra virgin coconut oil is recommended for the best, visible results.

[Also Read: Essential Oils to Treat Bug Bites]

5. Witch hazel for bug bites

Witch hazel
Image: shutterstock

Ever heard of Witch Hazel? It’s nothing short of a miracle herb and makes for quite a stunning ornamental tree too. This all-natural bug bite remedy is native to Eastern America and works perfectly to treat skin irritations, bug bites, and bruises. The herb contains powerful compounds such as natural tannin and gallic acid that can help to soothe irritated and itchy skin. Tannin is also effective in fighting-off harmful bacteria and relieving red, inflamed skin.

How to use?

To use witch hazel for bug bites, apply a small amount of the oil on a cotton ball and dab it on the bitten area. This remedy can be repeated as required. As witch hazel is essentially water distilled from the leaves and stems of the plant, it does not need to be diluted in a carrier oil before application on the skin. Leave the oil to dry after its application.

Rest assured, there are a number of remedies you could try to treat your bug bites naturally. However, if you experience any symptoms of a systemic allergic reaction such as wheezing, nausea, swelling in the lips, face or tongue, vomiting or weakness, it could indicate something more serious, and you should seek professional medical care immediately.


1. What are the common reactions to bug bites?

Some common symptoms that may emerge after a bug bite include itching, swelling, redness and/or a mild stinging or burning sensation around the bitten area.

2. Are there any complications associated with bug bites?

Symptoms of a bug bite if minor typically disappear within a day or a few hours. However, in some cases, a bug bite may lead to more serious complications, such as allergic reactions like hives, facial swelling, and nettle rash or other secondary infections.

3. What can be done to prevent bug bites?

There are many things that you can do to prevent bug bites. Covering up your arms and legs with a long-sleeved shirt and pants is one of them. You could also burn some herbs such as dried rosemary, frankincense, and cloves as they help to keep bugs at bay. Bugs also tend to live and breed in dirty and damp areas, open leach drains and septic tanks. Keeping your garbage cans clean and ensuring that there are no stagnant water bodies around the area that you live can also, therefore, help you successfully fend off bugs.

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