11 Home Remedies for Bug Bites and Stings

Try These Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites


Let’s face it, no one likes to be bitten by a creepy crawly critter. The itching, stinging, burning, painful response our bodies have to bites and stings can even be uncomfortable. I had never been stung by a red wasp until three years ago and boy did it hurt! I was glad to have a few home remedies for bug bites and stings on hand.

My husband is like a mosquito magnet. We can be outside and they send out signals to let all their buddies know he’s out! Sounds funny I know, but I may get a couple of bites when he gets covered in them. We use natural remedies for bug repelling, but when you work outside in the deep south, you have to keep reapplying. Sometimes that’s just not possible to do soon enough. He gets bitten.

Red wasps seem to think he’s numero uno on the hit list too. Years ago we lived in a small Mississippi town. Granny Edna was the hippie lady in the community who had all the old-timey treatments for things. She taught me to make what she called, The Recipe. It’s good for all kinds of bites and stings. The boys had gotten into a huge fire ant bed and had many bites. It took the fever, swelling and heads down quickly. It’s so simple to make.

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Ingredients & Instructions

One bottle of 91% rubbing alcohol – We use wintergreen.

25 uncoated aspirins

Add the aspirins to the bottle. Shake well until the aspirins dissolve. I let mine sit for a few hours, shaking it when I walk by it until the aspirin dissolves. Shake before each use.

Over the years, I’ve compiled quite a few home remedies for bug bites. It seems some work better on some people than others. I don’t know if it’s skin types, oils or just what it is that makes it so, but it is. These are the ones my family and friends use.

Water and Milk Method

This is a very old method that doesn’t seem to work with anything but whole milk. It’s said to help prevent infection, relieve inflammation and speed relief to the bite.

The milk protein and fats are the ingredients that do the trick. Mix equal parts milk and water. Use a cotton ball or small clean cloth to apply it to the affected area.

Wash the area with warm soapy water after the treatment. Pat dry. You can do this as often as want.

Aloe Vera

The wonders of aloe vera medicinal uses are without question. The vitamins and amino acids it contains are nothing short of miracle workers. If you don’t want to or aren’t able to grow your own plant, the gel can be bought. Many people even drink the juice of the plant for its health benefits.

Apply the gel directly to the skin. It’s great for burns as we all know, but it encapsulates any bite or sting area. This protects, provides soothing relief and promotes healing. You can repeat the application as often as needed.


As a retired nurse, I think ice is good for many things. Putting ice on a bite or sting immediately numbs the area. This allows the body’s immune response to take over without the discomfort of the histamine reaction. Ice reduces inflammation, itching, and swelling.

Coconut Oil

Many people wonder what is coconut oil good for? We use coconut oil as part of our daily health routine with oil pulling. It’s also a good home remedy for bug bites and stings. Just rub a little onto the affected area. The itching and burning sensation will stop almost immediately.

Banana Peel

Especially helpful for mosquito bites. Of course you peel the banana, then rub the inside of the peel on the bite or sting. It gives instant relief. The only problem I have with this remedy is I don’t always have a ripe banana around. If you get bitten or stung and you have a ripe banana, it’s a quick way to get relief. Some people use it as a tooth whitener. I haven’t tried this on my teeth yet.

Sweet Basil

The healing herbs list is quite long, but one of my favorites is sweet basil. There are many basil health benefits from the vitamins it contains including vitamin C, potassium, omega 3’s, folate and iron to its ability to help you fight a cold. It’s also a great way to treat a bite or sting. Fresh leaves of the basil are what is used. You can crush the fresh leaves and rub them on the bite area. You can also crush the leaves and add a little water to them to make a paste of sorts. Apply this directly to the area.


Lavender Oil

One of my personal favorites. It’s best to put essential oils in a carrier oil like almond or grapeseed oil. I use almond oil for my essential oils carrier. In a small amber bottle I combine almond oil and 15-20 drops of lavender oil. Applied directly to the bite or sting area the relief is instant and I can use it as often as necessary. I have rubbed undiluted lavender oil directly on the area when I didn’t have any mixed up. I’m not saying to do this, I’m just saying I’ve done it and had no problems with it.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar works great to relieve a bee sting symptom. I’m currently writing a book about the many ways I use this wonder of wonders. As part of my home remedies for bug bites, it’s indispensable. There’s usually a little burning sensation when applied to the bite area. It’s not as bad as alcohol on a day old cut though. The relief from itching, inflammation, swelling, and pain is instant. Apply with a cotton ball to the area.


If you enjoy growing garlic, then you’ll be pleased to learn that garlic can be used as a natural antibiotic because of its powerful antibacterial properties. In a situation where you need immediate relief, crush and rub the garlic directly on the area. Then make a poultice using crushed garlic and water or apple cider vinegar (which I use). Rub the area generously with the poultice and cover with a bandage. It will disinfect and relieve pain, inflammation, and itching.


Tea Bags

Tannic acid found in tea relieves muscles soreness, toothaches, brings boils to a head and more. For bug bites and stings, a tea bag will reduce swelling and pain. Soak the tea bag in water to activate the tannic acid then lay it directly on the area.

I like to boil the water as if I’m making tea. Put the bag in and let it sit for just 1 minute. Drip dry the bag so there’s not liquid running from it. If you squeeze the bag you will loose some of the tannic acid, but it will still retain enough to ease the itching and discomfort.

Plantain Poultice

I’m only just beginning to learn in the wide world of herbal medicine. I’m always amazed at the remedies which lie at our feet. This “weed” is one of the best poultices for bug bites and especially for stings.

You can pick it (be sure you know what you’re picking), chew it up and place directly on the the area or you can make a poultice.

In a blender or food processor, combine 1/8 cup of water and 1/2 a cup of fresh plantain. Use the pulse feature to mix until it’s blended but not watery. It should be a pasty texture. If you over-process, add more plantain and mix again. If it won’t hold together because it’s too dry, just add more water a few drops at a time until you get a paste.

Now, generously apply the poultice to the affected area and cover with a bandage. Change as often as you need to.

Every region and group of people seem to have their own home remedies for bug bites. I know for certain this is not every home remedy there is. These are just the ones used by my family and friends.

Be sure to share your own home remedies with us in the comments. Do you have a favorite or one that works best for you?

Safe and Happy Journey,

Rhonda and The Pack

  • Thanks for your excellent advice. Where I live, poison oak is the worst itching curse.
    Native Americans make a very strong infusion of small manzanita twigs, cooked on
    low heat for about 12 hours, with just enough water to cover. If applied within 30 minutes of exposure, the irritants
    cannot bind to skin proteins, and will not be absorbed into the circulation, to spread
    all over the body internally. It also works well for stings and bites. Uva ursi (bearberry)
    also works if you are not in the western U.S where manzanita grows. Even really strong
    black tea can help, but does not contain the high levels of tannin in manzanita bark.

  • During garden time tomato leaves are excellent for bee stings…just pull off the leave, crush it and rub it on the sting. My husband had never heard of such a thing until he got stung a couple of summers ago…now he’s a believer:)

  • I have tried many different natural remedies for mosquito bites, bee stings, et al, and the one that has become my favorite, and I find most effective is tea tree oil, undiluted. It stops the itching, it is anti-bacterial, and it aids in the healing. I have found that it only takes one or two applications to be effective.

  • Great ideas for the sting. I have used essential oils for stings but what about the incessant itchy afterwards? Any suggestions?

  • Hi! Very useful information. But, what is “oil pulling?” I’ve never heard that term.

  • Witch Hazel is my go-to for everything from itching rashes to facial cleansing. I have used it for over 50 years, always keep a bottle in the medicine cabinet as well as one in the refrigerator (amazing cooling-down fix for sunburn).

  • Joseph E.

    It is interesting to see very simple things being used to bites and stings. I will send the efficacy when I prepared and use the regiments. Thanks


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