3 Home Remedies for Common Insect Bites

There’s nothing worse than getting a mosquito bite that itches for days, a spider bite that makes your skin swell up, or a bee sting that aches. Many of these can also cause a rash or welts that can be red and inflamed.

Although most insect bites are not fatal, they can be very uncomfortable. If the reaction is severe, you could rush to the doctor or pharmacy for a prescription-strength antihistamine, but oftentimes, you can handle the irritation and speed up your recovery with a home remedy of your own.

There are some things you can do to reduce the swelling, minimize the spreading of the venom, and recover as quickly as possible.

1. Bee Stings

Wasps, yellow jackets, bumble bees, honey bees, and hornets can all deliver a painful sting. Typically, you’ll see the bee before you get stung. Usually, the bee will die shortly after losing their stinger as well, so you can identify the culprit.

If you did not see the bee, you can identify it by the resulting sting. It will usually have a red welt with a white center. In some cases, the stinger will remain.

Some people are allergic to bee stings, which can lead to pimple-like spots spreading over your body like a rash. Those who are severely allergic may also have a swollen tongue, trouble breathing, slurred speech, fainting, weakness, difficulty swallowing, and tightness in their chest. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

There are many home remedies for bee stings. Here are some of the most popular.

  • Baking soda mixed with water to form a paste
  • Cold compress
  • White toothpaste
  • Activated charcoal
  • Honey

Any of these treatments applied for 5-10 minutes can relieve pain and itching. They can also facilitate a speedier recovery.

2. Mosquitoes

Most people have experienced a mosquito bite, especially those who live in areas near standing water where mosquitoes breed. Mosquitos feed on human blood, and when they bite you, they leave a red bump that’s sore, swollen, and/or itchy.

In some cases, mosquitoes can carry diseases and viruses. If you find yourself experiencing a major reaction to the bite or you become feverish, develop a sore or swollen throat, or get a rash, quickly seek medical help.

If you’re simply seeking relief from the constant itching, there are a few home remedies that can do the trick.

  • Oatmeal soaked in warm water
  • Honey
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Baking soda mixed with water
  • Basil boiled in water
  • Witch hazel

Apply any of these ingredients for 5-10 minutes at a time until the itching stops. If it persists beyond a few days, see a doctor.

3. Poisonous Spiders

Spider aren’t technically insects, but they can still bite. Like bees, spiders react when they feel threatened. If you invade their space, they may leave a bite, the results of which will cause redness, inflammation, pain, and itching. Every spider is different, so the symptoms could last for a few hours, a few days, or several weeks.

Some spiders are more dangerous than others. If you’re bitten by a black widow, hobo, or brown recluse, your reaction to their bite can be more severe. In the case of the black widow, a bite can be deadly.

Common reactions to poisonous spiders include severe swelling, intense pain and stiffness, fever, abdominal pain, muscle spasms, vomiting, chills, difficulty breathing, and lightheadedness. If not treated, these bites can also eat away at the flesh and leave a scar. Seek immediate medical attention if you have any of these reactions following a spider bite.

Otherwise, most spider bites can easily be treated at home for pain, swelling, and itching. Here are some of the most common remedies for spider bites.

  • Ice pack
  • Potatoes grated and mixed with water
  • Aspirin ground and mixed with water
  • Baking soda mixed with water
  • Turmeric
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Peppermint essential oils

Apply any of these treatments off and on until the redness and swelling go down and the itching disappears.

Insect bites are simply a fact of life. Knowing how to identify insect bites and treat them properly is one of the best skills to have. Always monitor your reactions carefully, and seek professional help for serious reactions.