This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

20 Home Remedies for Bug Bites and Stings that Itch & Swell

It’s that time of year again! Along with fun in the sun, one often ends up dealing with insect bites and stings from mosquitoes, bees, wasps, spiders and all things creepy crawly. These home remedies for bug bites and stings are easy to use and feature common household items. You’ll be free of itching and swelling in record time.

When I got stung by a wasp, I shared my favorite home remedy for bug bites on our Common Sense Home Facebook page. So many people chimed in with their favorite remedies that I decided to put together a post to share them all.

20 Home Remedies for Bug Bites and Stings

Home Remedies for Bug Bites and Stings – What gets rid of bug bites fast?

When you get bit or stung, your immune system reacts to the saliva or venom of the insect or arachnid, causing itching and swelling. Thankfully, most reactions are temporary. All of these remedies are reader tested, and work to reduce itching and inflammation fast.

Try not to scratch your bug bites or stings! The more you scratch, the more histamines your body releases, increasing the itching and swelling.

If you have a severe reaction with hives, difficulty breathing, swollen throat, or swelling that spreads well beyond the contact area, please see a trained medical professional ASAP.

#1 – Ice and Benadryl (diphenhydramine)

Note: Most of the time I only use remedies that are applied directly to the bite/sting, but taking oral diphenhydramine in addition to topical treatment may be helpful for severe reactions.

Susan B. says, “Try elevating your hand with your hand wrapped around an ice pack (just icing the finger probably won’t help and may actually make it feel worse… ice pack in hand works better).

I get allergic reactions. I ALWAYS take Benadryl (diphenhydramine) if stung by anything. But even if you aren’t, it will reduce the histamine reaction caused by the sting and it will help with the pain and swelling.”

#2 – Hot Compresses

Some people prefer heat over cold. Linda noted on Facebook, “A hot compress applied several times stops the sting. Some people heat up a spoon and apply to bite.

Two of us got bit by a hornet. I applied hot cloth and other person used an ice pack. Mine stopped swelling and stinging within minutes and I am allergic.”

#3 – Plantain (Plantago species)

Common Plantain and narrowleaf plantain are excellent home remedies for bug bites and stings of all sorts. Simply find a leaf, chew it up (or otherwise mash it to release the juices), and apply it to the affected area.

Alternatively, you can infuse the leaves in oil and use the oil for treating larger areas, or make it into a salve for portability.

I use fresh plantain leaf for individual bites or stings, and I’ve used the infused oil on my backside when it got covered in mosquito bites. I keep a small container of the salve in my purse.

Tina Jo uses sage to treat bug bites in a similar manner.

One thing I’ve used that works well for me is sage. The method is just like the one for plantain. Get a leaf, chew or mash it up, and apply to the bite or sting. Dried sage works as well, crushed up, though it will have to be remoisturized in some fashion.

For myself (and my family), I just spit on it enough to make a paste. Mixing it with water works too, but, personally, I think saliva works better.

lavender and clay for bug bites and stings
Lavender, clay, and simple homemade salves help reduce inflammation and relieve swelling

#4 – Essential Oils

Laurie G. says, “Lavender oil is the best remedy for bites and stings! When I owned a lavender/herb farm, yellow jacket stings happened frequently! Put one drop on bees stings, mosquito bites or any other bite or burn. It relieves the pain and itch fast!”

Modern Essentials:  A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils suggests the use of basil, clove, tea tree oil and lemon essential oils as topical home remedies for bug bites and stings. They can also help you avoid bug bites when diffused in a carrier oil and applied to the skin.

Try Nature’s Willow Bug Bite Balm, Natural Insect Bite Pain & Itch Relief for portable bug bite relief.

#5 – Ammonia

Bobby L. says, “Use plain old unscented ammonia. It’s the best sting reliever in the world!”

Patricia W. agrees. “Get some ammonia on it ASAP. It will negate the venom. Even Windex with ammonia will do in a pinch.”

#6 – Sugar

Rhiannon M. shared, “My daughter was stung on her foot while we were camping. Another camper brought her a damp paper towel with a mushed up sugar cube on it and that took the sting away as soon as it was applied.

After holding it on for about 10 minutes she could take it off and there was no sting. A few weeks later I was stung and tried the same thing, and it worked like a charm.”

#7 – Copper Pennies

This may be the strangest of our home remedies for bug bites and stings, but copper is naturally antibacterial. Missi Z. recommends, “Put a copper penny on the bite. It worked for me, and I’m allergic.”

#8 – Baking Soda

Lisa G. says, “Make a paste of baking soda and water. It will draw out the poison and take away the pain.” Baking soda has a long history of use as an anti itch skin care treatment.

Jo S. remembers, “I got stung by one in elementary school. It was “hat day” so of course the little bugger got up under my hat. I never cried so hard in my life – it hurt like hell! Baking soda will ease the pain.”

#9 – Activated Charcoal

Hilary S. commented,  “Activated charcoal works wonders!” has a whole page of testimonials from people who have successfully used charcoal to treat stings from hornets, yellowjackets and honey bees, such as this one:

“My oldest daughter got into a wasps nest and had over 35 stings on her legs, by the time I got her home (5 to 10 minute trip) her legs had swelled and welts had formed all over her legs, she couldn’t walk.

We slathered her down with a charcoal paste out in the sun and let it dry, and then rinsed it and slathered her down again, after the second time when we rinsed her legs off there was no swelling and no welts could be seen.”- Marianne, 6/06

#10 – Meat Tenderizer

Pamela S. agreed that getting stung on your fingers was a bad idea, and getting stung other places didn’t feel any better.

“Another tip…while bending over weeding or pruning always keep an eye on your rear end…OUCH! If by chance you have meat tenderizer…make a paste with a little water and apply and hold on. It neutralizes the venom.”

Would you like to save this?

We'll email this post to you, so you can come back to it later!

#11 – Onion Poultice

Gardenhappyacres suggests, “Onion poultice – the pain is gone the minute it touches the sting area!”

To make an onion poultice, chop your onion finely and cook with a little water until tender (not brown). Wrap warm onion in cheesecloth, medical wrap or flour sack towel and apply to affected area.

Roxanna says that she use just plain, chopped onion for stings, especially yellowjacket stings. “People are stunned at how well this instantly reduces swelling!”

#12 – Epsom Salts and Honey

Liz M. shares her favorite remedy for sting:  “Pulverize Epsom salts and honey together to make a thick paste. Rub it on and leave it. When it wears off, repeat as needed until the swelling nd itching goes down.” Honey has natural antibacterial properties, so it also reduces the risk of infection.

#13 – Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is great for treating burns and sunburn, but you can also use it as a home remedy for bug bites and stings. Slice open a leaf and apply the gel from inside directly on the bite. For extra anti itch relief, chill the leaf before use.

#14 – Aspirin

Try mixing a crushed aspirin with enough water to form a paste and applying it to the sting or bite to reduce pain and swelling.

mud for bug bites and stings
Mud is great for getting rid of the itch from mosquito bites

#15 – Mud

Lin from Yellow Springs, Ohio recommends mud on Earth Clinic: “Mud has cured my family’s external bee stings for over 35 years. Wherever you are, there is mud, all you need is a little water. Just make a paste and slap it on.

I’ve used it for a one year old baby whose piercing screams stopped within seconds, for a panicked customer in a store to our dog’s paw just yesterday. The mud does it all, draws out the stinger and the poison – fast.

Leave on from 2-20 min. Rinse off, then wash with soap and water. Relax and have a glass of water.”

#16 – Raw Potato

From Auntie Maime: “Many, many moons ago, when I was a girl, we had an apple tree that we were able to share with an Amish family. While helping them pick, I was stung by a couple of yellow jackets.

The young mother saw and told me to quickly get a potato, cut it, and hold it on the stings. It worked great! Takes the pain out and holds down the swelling. Used it ever since if tobacco and baking soda were not handy.”

#17 – Living Clay

Sheila likes living clay. She notes,”My favorite home remedy for bug bites and stings is “living” clay, sprinkled on as powder or mixed with water into a paste. Taken internally and/or used externally, it’s amazing how well it works.

It’s a wonder product that has replaced most other options for me, my family and pets… I try it first & rarely need go to anything more. Try it.”

(They carry Living Clay Detox Clay Powder 8 oz. All Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay on

#18 – Apple Cider Vinegar

For spot treatment, soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and hold it on the bite or sting. You can also mix equal parts of flour and ACV to make an easy to apply paste, or add several cups of vinegar to a warm bath.

#19 – Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal baths are the classic anti itch treatment. Place one cup of oatmeal into an old sock and tie the end closed. Place the oatmeal filled sock in a bathtub of warm water. As you sit in the bath, squeeze the sock to release the soothing oatmeal “juice” into the water and onto the itchy spots.

This is great way to get the soothing effects of oatmeal without clogging your drain with oatmeal chunks. When you’re done, simply empty the sock into the compost.

#20 – Household Bleach for Fire Ant Bites

For fire ant bites, Ike recommends, “household bleach, immediately, or as soon as possible. Use a q-tip to apply it to the bite. The fire ant bite contains formic acid, and bleach is an anti acid, which reduces inflammation.”

Note: It’s probably best to dilute the bleach with water before application. Mix half bleach and half water.

Bonus Remedies

Our readers shared some more of their go to remedies for bites and stings.

Jan B. says, “I have found a couple of wonderful soaps from Farmer’s Almanac that really help with mosquito bites. The first one to use, right after being bitten and sucked on, is Poison Ivy Soap. It takes the itch away. The other one, to use for washing the bites going forward, is Tea Tree Soap, which helps them heal faster. Then I put witch hazel on the bites to dry them up and also help them heal.”

Lexie shared, “I get big welts anytime something bites me, especially mosquitoes and fire ants. I make a tincture every year from goldenrod and last year I did a 1:1 jar of goldenrod and mimosa blossoms. The goldenrod, used shortly after being stung, helps stop the burn and prevent the whelp too but using it with mimosa stops both the sting and the swelling and does so really fast. I also use it for anything I used to take diphenhydramine for and it works well for any allergy symptoms.”

Jen noted, “I’ve used plantain and another local “weed”, jewel weed, to take the itch and sting away.”

What’s your preferred Home Remedy for Bug Bites and Stings?

With all these options, you should be able find home remedies for bug bites and strings wherever you are.

Which remedy do you prefer, and are there ones that I have missed? Let me know, and don’t forget to Pin, Share or otherwise pass along this post. Thank you!

To help avoid bug bites and stings, try:

Originally published June 2013, last updated in 2024.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Hello, I always enjoy reading your newsletter. I’ve used plantain and another local “weed”, jewel weed, to take the itch and sting away.

  2. I get big welts anytime something bites me, especially mosquitoes and fire ants. I make a tincture every year from goldenrod and last year I did a 1:1 jar of goldenrod and mimosa blossoms. The goldenrod, used shortly after being stung, helps stop the burn and prevent the whelp too but using it with mimosa stops both the sting and the swelling and does so really fast. I also use it for anything I used to take diphenhydramine for and it works well for any allergy symptoms.

  3. Hi Laurie! ALL of these are GREAT home remedies. I have found that, applied quickly enough, a black permanent, smelly Magic Marker applied to bee and wasp stings relieves the pain and swelling QUICKLY! Then Benadryl if needed

  4. I use bleach for wasp, red ant bites, bees and it even neutralizes scorpion stings when my son got stung twice (we live in the desert, lots of things to sting you there). It neutralizes the venom. Just apply with a q-tip soaked in bleach.

  5. This isn’t specific for insect bites, but as it IMMEDIATELY cleared up a poison oak rash(on my face!) in just a few hours, (I’m highly allergic) I felt it is useful enough to repeat here.
    I made a paste out of bentonite clay, Act. Charcoal, oatmeal powder, turmeric, a few drops of Tea tree EO, a few drops of frankincense EO, and ACV & water, smeared it on and left it for 30 minutes. (let it dry) I then washed it off, and although it looked better, repeated the process twice more. This was a miracle and a total success for getting rid of the rash and itch! (Just FYI, it will turn GREEN! ….funny!)
    I just made sure all the ingredients were powder, added in the E.O.’s and liquid ingredients, just enough to make a paste to apply.
    I have written up the recipe for keeping and will try it on ANYthing that has a rash or itch to it. I am AMAZED by this simple remedy.

  6. fire ants… household bleach, immediately, or as soon as possible. On a q-tip applied to the bite. the bite is formic acid, bleach is an anti acid.

    1. I often can I apply bleach to currant bites. I got bitten 60times on feet Day 4 I’m going crazy here. 72 ur old woman. No sleep. Please respond

      1. If you’re not getting relief from the bleach, switch to another remedy. I would not advise continued use of bleach, as the bleach itself is an irritant if you use too much. Try something more soothing and drawing, like the plantain, or drawing salve, or an oatmeal bath foot soak.

        If pain worsens or there are signs of infection, please see a medical professional.

  7. Wonderful tips….thanks for sharing….!
    Recently a street pup bit my grown up daughter ,24yrs old. She had gone out to feed it as it was trying to eat up its own right paw as that leg seemed to b paralysed….another pup came there to have share food of that injured pup. My girl turned back to shoo away that pup so that this one could eat..but this one bit her only… She washed the wound squeezing blood out n applied ACV n then again washed n applied dettol…I took her to doc ,who gave turns n asked to buy anti rabies vaccine n get injection.. this happened early morning at 4am….by 5-6pm I sent that pup to an local the morning they informed me it died…. Now they are saying symptoms are of Rabies…n dog was rabid… vaccine was given to her with in 7 hrs b of bite…I m terrified….

  8. I have made a paste with olive oil and cloves, Its numbs the sting and draws the poison out, leave on 10-20 minutes. Also witch hazel works well, I always keep some in a spray bottle, cleans the sting or bite, stops the stinging and stops the itching. These can be use with any insect sting or bite.

  9. I found your article is interesting until you said to take benedryl. I also am allergic but i am also allergic to benedryl ! I think that you should have said that if possible take benedryl. or something of the like so that people would not think that that is the only thing that works. I use Pau D’Arco for spider bites, Tea Tree oil for others it even works great for bug bites or stings on a joint. for itching i use Redmond clay it also works great. joyce

  10. I have Red Bugs all over my arms, chest and back. I have run the gambit on trying everything to get rid of these creatures I mean everything! nothing seems to work, the only thing I haven’t tried yet is gasoline and an ice pick, believe me I have consided it. I have never experienced anything like this in my life. Poison Ivy you can’t hold a candle to Red Bugs. Anyone got a cure?

    1. Thankfully I’ve never experienced them. Boys’ Life recommends:

      Chigger wounds are a complex mixture of mechanical damage to the skin (the drilling), enzymatic disruption of the skin (the digestion), and your body’s own attempt to get rid of the parasite. Consequently, the most important thing to do is to prevent chigger infestation. Avoid camping in warm, moist temperate climates of high mammal density, including livestock pastures, natural parks and preserves.

      If the area is infested, get out of there quickly and wash your skin vigorously with soap and water. Itching is best alleviated through the use of topical corticosteroids (either over-the-counter hydrocortisone 1% ointment or prescription strength from your physician) and anti-histamines like Benadryl. Watch out for severe rashes that can become secondarily infected with bacteria; in these cases, consult a doctor immediately.

  11. I was at my brother’s Apiary in Northern Ontario and his wife showed me a pamphlet on urine therapy as we were chatting about an Indian Prime minister who drank a bit every day for good health. I got stung by a mosquito and it was itchy and hurt. I went into the bathroom and put a few drops of urine on a wad of toilet paper and dabbed the bite. In minutes the pain and itch disappeared and I thought what a simple thing to do and remember when camping or away from handy remedies.

      1. there was a time when i was 13 years old i was bitten by some insect that i dont know..i didnt notice the bite until my thumbs were swollen..i use my own urine to cure like magic..

  12. I don’t understand why Tea Tree Oil is not mentioned! I use it immediately for anything from wasp stings to mosquito bites and it works IMMEDIATELY! Since it is antiviral, antibiotic, antifungal, …and what ever it would be termed to be considered “anti-venomous” (at least the bug venoms), Tea Tree Oil should be at the TOP of the list! Some how it neutralizes the venom from the insect and even though it may take more than one application depending on how much venom has been released, there is NO doubt it works! I don’t go for anything else because it works every time and very well… usually the incident is even forgotten within minutes.

  13. Great list! I have tried many of these remedies and they work. So glad to have more remedies to add to my arsenal as spring and summer are near. One more I’d like to add is hot water. Run “as hot as you can stand” water over the bite. The heat breaks down the poison and then the body has nothing to react to. I have personally used this on wasp and scorpion stings. It took about 5 minutes of hot water running over it and they disappeared! You never know what you may come in contact with or what you’ll have on hand. It’s nice to have options, thanks again!

  14. I use Vicks vapor rub on all insect bites and on my feet with socks after a long time standing at work, softens them nicely too!!!!

    1. Also Vicks vapor rub on feet with socks on will help you sleep like a baby if you have a chronic cough from bronchitis or pneumonia…. My mom tried that and it worked miracles she didn’t cough all night and i got to sleep too lol

  15. I am in Mauritius for a few months, as soon as I arrived I was stung by Yellow fly if anyone has heard of this, it is twice the size of a wasp, which I hasten to add I am allergic to, I have to carry an EPIPEN …….I go unconscious……..I screamed out loud the pain was so intense, friends came running with an onion, they laid it on the bite, the pain which was horrific, by doing this the pain subsided straight away, and went within seconds, I could not believe it, this pain I endured went right into my bone on my wrist, so if this can help anybody I thoroughly would RECCOMEND this. just amazing.

  16. You need Bentonite in this list!
    My 6 year old was recently bit by a Brown Recluse.
    I mixed a tiny bit of water with a little Bentonite powder; turned it into a paste, dabbed it on the bite itself and covered it up. Left it alone for about 5 hours. It was much better, especially by morning. I had to use warm water for the gauze to come off. This Bentonite made the bite OOZ! Which is perfect! That’s what we wanted. The redness and swelling went dowm, the bite itself looked better. I was so relieved.
    But the next day my son was knocked over by a BEEFY weimaranar (almost the size of a great dane) he screamed in agony. He calmed down, we ate dinner (this was a birthday party) but then he started quietly crying that it hurt really bad. It was horrible just taking off the medical tape that was around it! But then it was frightening to see the bite so pissed off! I held off on the ER visit, even though everyone was saying over and over and over “You need to take him!” I was very concerned but I know what the outcomes would be for an ER visit (I won’t go there)
    So we all went home, and I immediately attended to his knee, in peace. I was prepared to take him into the ER if it was to get ANY worse or if he was to start running a fever. But, I just kept changing the gauze every 4 to 5 hours maybe.
    Before Id cover it back up; Id put him in the bath tub with warm water and baby soap. Sometimes we’d take the gauze off in the water so the clay would soften up and release the gauze from the wound. After the bath, we’d let it air for about 45-60minutes. During this break, Id dab Peroxide on it, let it dry, and then spray the Bactine on it every 15 minutes while we watched a movie or something that got us sitting still. The progress wasn’t as fast as the first day of Bentonite (before the dog tackled him). But we kept this all up, and after contemplating it for a few days; today I decided to apply the ‘triple antibiotic cream’ but only around the bite, not on it. That seemed to have helped. The pain was subsiding, and he was beginning to get rowdy again. So his step dad actually got the bright idea for him to be his ‘partner’ in a video game. Brilliant! We do not allow a whole lot of TV or video games here. So my son was very interested and willing to help him kill the monsters. HA worked like a charm. Its hard keeping kids cooped up and calm, even when they have something painful. But tonight, we stayed up later again cleaning it, airing it out. And its looking GREAT 🙂 Hopefully he doesn’t fall on it again. I heard brown recluse bites can take 3 weeks to heal. Its been about a week now since he got bit. I found the spider under his bed. He is dead now, was definitely an adult. That same night I killed two baby ones. Doing so much research on them, found out people kill them all the time in their houses and don’t even know their dangerous, just not aggressive. They hold their title while living with us.

    1. Bentonite is some sort of lava ash for Wyoming I believe…? It’s great for insect bites, acne, and your digestive system, and it’s an antiseptic… ? I do know it’s not hard to get, only on weekends! When all the natural, health, vitamin stores are closed, I happen to meet a stranger who had a pack. Would love to try it for poison ivy! Since there is barely anything that help it. This could very likely cure it! It may not be a home remedy, but it’s definitely a must have. And have you heard of LIMU juice!? I’ve just been introduced to it; still don’t know everything about it. But it’s probably not as easy as Kombucha.

      1. Fels-Naptha soap will kill poison ivy. Just wet down the soap. (I usually cut a small chunk from the bar and keep it in a plastic bag.) Wet the small piece down with warm water and rub on the rash, and let dry. I think I get it if I look at it but this always helps me. I always try to keep a bar in the house for this but sometimes forget to restock after making my laundry soap. Before you get the poison, if you have been working in it, wash as soon as you get done and then you might not even get it.

        1. Fels naptha is toxic. I used to use it too, for poison oak, but then discovered that it contains napthalene, a toxic ingredient, as well as other ingredients that are not good for you. When there are other, non toxic and even healthy remedies, I just can’t use things that have harmful ingredients!

          1. Fels naptha does not contain napthelene, or even naptha-

            “Naphtha is the name for a petroleum derived solvent, and includes such solvents as gasoline and kerosene. Originally Fels-Naptha contained benzene, another name for naphtha, which dissolves oil and so is very useful for oily stains. This ingredient is what made Fels-Naptha such a success, making it possible for homemakers to get their laundry cleaner with less effort. However, Fels-Naptha no longer contains benzene.”

            It does contain titanium dioxide, which is also used in natural sunblocks. Titanium dioxide can contaminate waterways. The other surfactants in the soap can cause skin irritation with prolonged exposure.

      1. I think it may be fermented. But I could be wrong, I have yet to learn more about it. I will be in contact with this lady (that drinks a bottle a day) then hope to use what I learn, then to pass around what we do and know. I love to learn and share, but really just want to help, even if its just one person, but the bigger the awareness the better.. There is always someone out there with the same problem looking for a solution. Did you know hedge apples make an excellent spider repellent? Happen to be able to get some from a neighbors tree. Be gone brown recluses!

          1. Okay, I just remembered there was a HUGE spider outside on our patio. I got really close to him yesterday a few time just to check him out. So I figured this could be the test. So I just carried the hedge apple out there with me thinking I would have to place it down by him and watch but I got not even 2 feet away and he BOLTED!!! That was the creepiest thing! I’ve NEVER seen a spider react like that, wow. Gotta be the best spider relent ever, has no smell to it, unless you cook it, so I’ve heard.

            and that Bentonite does work very well. I just rubbed the last application off with Neosporin. It takes a while to rub off. It becomes hard to get off the wound, only to re-apply lol. Now I was thinking, that, if the Bentonite was recommended being mixed with Goldenseal (I did not get Goldenseal, I don’t even know what it is) maybe the Bentonite clay wouldn’t be so tough to remove from the wound. =[ Just a thought.

        1. I put some hedge apples in the corners of my rooms and tiny spiders made their web over and around them so I haven’t used them since. Is there something you have to do to them first?

    2. Brown Recluse bites are very dangerous. I have the scar from one and my friend almost lost their finger from one (and spent 2 wks in hospital). We now have a remedy for them. Black walnut hull powder.. It is used internally for parasite removal but a ND told us to use it as a paste to remove poison from spider bites. We mixed it with natures sunshine black salve to make a paste but anything that makes it into a paste will work.. It has to be changed every couple of hours or it will stick and pull a scab off. keep covered because it stains… The brown recluse bite with black walnut paste immediately on it
      does not ooze and swell and one bite that wasn’t doctored right away and had red streaks already up the leg reduced the red streaks (poison) and the swelling..heals in a weak….we now keep frontiers black walnut hull powder in a mason jar for all spider bites and tick bites.

      We keep plain white aspirin (DOLLAR STORE type , not coated) bottles in all our vehicles and the sheds on our farm for bee/ wasp stings. Used as a paste made with spit or water, it stops the swelling immediately and leaves no mark. we used it on diabetic who stuck their hand in a nest in a door wreath and was stung at least 30 times all over the hand and arm. We rubbed a thin paste all over the hand and arm and by the time she got to emergency room all bite places and swellings were gone (except one in between the fingers which we missed with the paste)..

      we also keep “jewelweed” (wild impatien that grows in wetlands and creek banks) in our freezer in ice cube trays. when the leaves/stems are crushed and smeared on ant bites, mosquito bites or poison ivy/oak, it neutralizes the poison and no whelps or rash will occur. it only works on these poisons tho.. we tried on other insect bites and it has no effect. we covered a foot bit by dozens of fire ants and no bites were visible an hour later. Jewelweed can be identified by it delicate tiny orange flowers in fall. prior to flowering the leaves if placed under water “glitter” like a jewel on the back side (silvery) Usually grows where elderberry does in the south.

      Hope this helps someone…

  17. I have used mud on my bee stings and my kids bee stings for years! If only more people knew about it. It seems no one does and it works soooo fast! You forget you ever got stung almost instantly. My kids stop crying within moments. I’ve seen my friends’s kids not be able to go to school because their foot was so swollen from a bee sting. Mud is the fastest cure!!!!

  18. After a night out with some friends, my son, age 8, got eaten alive by the mosquitoes. (Poor kid is too sweet like his mama) Unfortunately, my sage isn’t big enough to harvest just yet (see previous comment), but I had some Bentonite clay in my cupboard. I whipped up a little paste with some water and a couple drops of lavender EO and no more itching. At least that’s what he tells me.

  19. Many of the folk or homemade remedies work.. prefer not using MUD… in fact advise against it….
    I think all probably work, my favorite as school nurse was meat tenderizer, fairly fresh… I got new bottles each semester… Use it at home and it works on most bites.. Spider however may need attn other than just getting rid of pain.. antihistamines… don’t scratch…..

    1. What if u can’t use antihistamines. I got stung by scorpio 3times same one he liked me. Didn’t know what to do this was almost 2wks ago still itchin, does it mean there’s still venom still in there was put on Prednisone didn’t help.

      1. recommends”

        Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

        You have signs of infection, such as:

        Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness around the bite or sting.
        Red streaks leading from the area.
        Pus draining from the area.
        A fever.

        You get a blister or sore at the bite or sting area, or the area turns purple.

        If it’s just itching, that could simply mean that it’s taking time to heal. Try any of the topical remedies, including ice. Plantain is generally very good for pain and itching.

        Please see a trained healthcare provider if pain is severe or intended.

  20. One thing I’ve used that works well for me is sage. The method is just like the one for plantain. Get a leaf, chew or mash it up, and apply. Dried sage works as well, crushed up, though it will have to be remoisturized in some fashion. For myself (and my family), I just spit on it enough to make a paste. Mixing it with water works too, but, personally, I think saliva works better.

    Great article!

  21. I just love this site, I tell people about it all the time, if I wanted to make a spray that would work to use before going outside I would like to do the essential oils, how would I do a spray made of Hmm!! my favorites, Lavender, tea tree oil, citronella, how would I figure out what amounts to use in a small spray bottle, I assume I would mix them with water??? or is there something else to mix with? could someone please help me in this, I am kind of new to using the oils, but discovered tea tree oil accidentally in a magazine and swear by it, since I started using it in my laundry no one in my house gets sick any more. if someone could help me with the mixture it would be greatly appreciated, we have discovered that my oldest son is quite allergic to mosquitoes. 🙂

    1. Peppermint oil is good for keeping bugs off of a person to begin with. They don’t like the smell. I use it as a bug spray around the windows and base boards. You can mixed the peppermint with vinegar for the spray. A roll on bottle of peppermint is good to have when you are going to be working outside. Rolaids they say is good for stings but I put lavender oil on my sting and the burning went away right away. I don’t know what stung me, as I just laid my hand on the hand rail and it got me. My daughter used peroxide and a spray but it still was burning and my other daughter, who is into oil, told me to use lavender oil and it stopped the pain.

  22. These are great remedies. There is another option, tho it won’t fall under the category of “natural.”

    There is a great product out there used by massage therapist called “BioFreeze.” I used to use it when i first began working with people, but then learned about parabens and propylene glycol. At that time BioFreeze contained these things. So i stopped using it, but had learned how wonderful it is for the itching and inflammation of bites and stings, especially mosquito bites..

    BioFreeze has reformulated so it no longer contains the bad stuff. I got a sting on my neck yesterday, and applied the BioFreeze twice. Can’t find it at all today, and i generally have severe reactions to stings. I don’t sell the stuff, btw.

    I’m all for natural remedies, that is all we use at home. But yesterday i didn’t have any natural remedies available and i’m so thankful this stuff works!

  23. When you get bit a mosquito, put honey on it and cover with a bandaid, before you start scratching it. It will not start itching, and in about 8 hours you can take the bandaid off and can’t even tell you got bit.

  24. I been using just plain ,chopped onion, for years for stings. No cooking required! Especially awesome for yellowjacket stings.. People r stunned at how well this instantly reduces swelling! (:

  25. all of these work for better or worse, try what’s easy ready & calls to you. My favorite all around fix for hundreds of uses as well as bites and stings is “living” clay, sprinkled on as powder or mixed with water into a paste. Taken internally &/or used externally it’s amazing how well it works. A wonder product that has replaced most other options for me & my family & pets…I try it first & rarely need go to anything more.Try it.

  26. I would like to subscribe to this website. Thanks.. Here’s a remedy for bee or wasp stings. Wash area with rubbing achocol Then tape a copper penny to the area and let it stay there for about 3 hours. It will take the swelling and redness away from the affected area.