Treating Insect Bites and Stings

Category Home Remedies
You can use products readily available in your home to treat insect bites and stings. This is a page about treating insect bites and stings.


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We always have bad mosquitoes in Houston; even in the winter. I've tried literally every recipe on this site, with no luck. They bite me even when I'm wearing Off (without Deet). My husband told me a way to make the bites easier to bear - I didn't believe him at first! He said to put white vinegar on the bites. I didn't have white, so I used apple cider vinegar.

I was almost out, so all I had was the "mother" of this vinegar. That's the cloudy mass at the bottom of the bottle of apple cider vinegar. I got this bottle at Whole Foods Market, a very pricey health food store. I noticed that the one I buy at my grocery store has no "mother". I used the mother and applied it with a q-tip and, sure enough, the welts started to go away and so did the itching. The next day all I had was three small marks where the welts were. They also stopped itching completely.


I have used it on my 2 year old Grand-baby who is a redhead and very fair and it worked on her too. Maybe this will help someone out there too - I hope so!

By metroplex from Houston, TX

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We always put vinegar on itchy bug bites. Apply a little vinegar to a cotton ball and dab on the bites. Works like a charm almost every time, taking the itch away within a view minutes. We've never had a bad reaction. I think it neutralizes the pH balance of the bite, but most importantly, it worked really well when my kids were young, saving a lot of misery for all of us!

Source: My grandma

By Sharon from Silver Spring, MD

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In case of an insect sting, apply ice for one half hour and then try one of these remedies for one half hour. Caution, apply "around" the stung area. Do not put directly on broken skin:


This should help relieve pain and keep down swelling.

Source: Bottomline Publishing: Household Magic

By Macie4 from Walnut Creek, CA

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May 19, 2010

Put non-sudsy ammonia on a cotton ball and apply it to mosquito bites and bee stings. The ammonia somehow neutralizes the venom and poof! No more itchy bites.

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I read on about rubbing a slice of cucumber on any insect bites. I love cucumbers! I also looked in the ThriftyFun database and there are a few uses of them to get wasps away from picnics.


That is something I would very much like to do.

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June, July and August are warm days of summer for people and a smorgasbord of human legs and arms and bodies for bugs.

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June 24, 2004

Take a small bottle or lip balm tube, stuff it with cotton and saturate it with vinegar. It applies easily to insect stings and bites, can be used on scrapes, scratches and sunburns as well. Keep several in car, tackle box, backpack and don't forget the garden or back yard. By Dr. Jose

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April 28, 2005

Put liquid antacid products on insect bites to relieve the sting and discomfort.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

February 11, 2007

Can you have an allergic reaction to a ladybug bite?

Janice from Stafford, VA


February 12, 20070 found this helpful

Most definitely you can! I'm extremely allergic to the bites of any pest.


It is most likely a potato bug that bit you [they look almost identical to ladybugs, just a bit more orange in color].

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February 12, 20070 found this helpful

Well, you can have an allergic reaction to most anything. because people are different etc. but ladybugs themselves don't bite. either. There is another type of bug in your surroundings or it is the potato bug as joandogs said. I have many ladybugs in my home all year. They never bother me, but an ant, flea or mosquito will seek me out.

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By Sheryl (Guest Post)
February 12, 20070 found this helpful

Asian Lady bugs certainly do bite.

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By Trix (Guest Post)
February 13, 20070 found this helpful

Sheryl is right - Asian ladybugs DO bite! They aren't the red ladybugs that are more common in NA, but instead are orange-yellow. Unfortunately they were brought to my area in order to get rid of aphids (a stupid idea - anyone who's taking a biology/environmental issues class can tell you that) and now we're stuck with them.


The bites hurt, but if you have other reactions later like swelling etc. then check with your doctor.

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By Tess (Guest Post)
April 4, 20070 found this helpful

I have had lady bug bites just a night ago and i feel awful! I have little bumps that look like bites every 6 inches or so, and i am itchy on my SCALP too! I was surfing the web to see any advice.

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By Christine. (Guest Post)
October 8, 20070 found this helpful

They do bite. I got bit 3 times this summer at an outdoor camp where I worked at.
And they itch too..although that depends on the person. For me, the spot where i got bit itches.
I agree with Trix.

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By allison (Guest Post)
October 22, 20070 found this helpful

im so itchy from the ladybug bites

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By Jennifer (Guest Post)
March 17, 20080 found this helpful

I know for sure that lady bugs do bite. My house is full of them. I ended up with one in my night shirt, I then layed on it. I got bit and I pulled it out of my night shirt. There was that classic lady bug smell( when they get disturbed). I looked at what I pulled out and it was definitley a lady bug. The bite was itchy and it became red and swollen with 4 or 5 litlle blistery areas. I have had it for about 4 days now and it isn't getting any better.Does anyone have any suggestions.( I have taken several allergy meds with benedryl).

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By James (Guest Post)
April 7, 20080 found this helpful

I was bit in my nose by a ladybug.

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July 31, 2010

I got bit by some little red ants about two weeks ago, they are now infected and look horrible. What can I put on them to heal?

By jessica from Lubbock, TX


July 20, 20050 found this helpful

I am being bitten by what I think may be fleas. They are painful bites causing swelling and itchy at the site. What can I use or do to protect me that is non-invasive, as well what to I put on them now that I have been bitten. The bite and itch last a long time.


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July 16, 2018

I have flea bites that itch like crazy what do I do?

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June 12, 2010

I am trying to find out what kind of bites I'm getting the same time of the year. This is the 2nd year now. They bite when I'm sleeping, they sometimes appear later at work or when coming out of the shower. They are itchy and are driving me nuts. They swell like a bite, get a clear fluid in the top and will go away. I am even having bites turn up where I am wearing clothes. Any suggestions?

By pna from Findlay, OH

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June 5, 2016

Can you use apple cider vinegar with coconut oil or does it have to be white vinegar?

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August 3, 2017

Yellow jacket stings can be itchy and painful. This is a page about relieving itching from yellow jacket stings.

Close up of a yellow jacket and its nest.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 31, 2010

I have flea bites on my ankles. I need something good for the itching. I have tried anti itch medicine and I take Benadryl, but it makes me go to sleep.
Any other suggestions?

By beverly from Parkersburg, WV


Protection and Treatment for Insect Bites

According to the television show, "The Doctors", if you make a paste of aspirin and rub it on the bites, it takes away the sting and itch. Crush an aspirin and add a drop or 2 of water to make a thick paste and apply as needed. (09/18/2009)

By Dena Roberts

Protection and Treatment for Insect Bites

I do not know how this will work for flea bites, or mosquito bites, but we were in our spot that we call a garden, and my husband got a couple fire ant bites. I remembered the things we had found that responded to Listerine mouth wash, including repelling mosquitoes. I suggested that he put some on the fire ant bites and the burning went away, with no swelling or redness to follow. The ant had done the bite, and was working on the stinging part, which is the really painful, and long-lasting part of a fire ant encounter. This was just another use for Listerine. (09/19/2009)

By Loretta

Protection and Treatment for Insect Bites

I have used plain white toothpaste on my granddaughter who is very allergic to any bite. It keeps the swelling down and she doesn't seem to itch. Also, a banana peel will take care of the fire ant bites, just rub the inside of the skin on the bites and you will not get the pustules or the itching. It also takes the sting out if you do it immediately. Hate those buggers! I also made a paste of baking soda one night when she awoke scratching with a very bad rash. It stopped the itching and she was able to go back to sleep. (09/19/2009)

By Linda

Protection and Treatment for Insect Bites

I have always been susceptible to bug bites; mosquitoes, fleas, chiggers, no-see-ums, you name it and they bit. The best after-the-bite remedy I have found is Walgreens hydrocortisone 1%. I put the tiniest dab on the bite and that's the end of it. If I "think" before I go out, I rub Skin-So-Soft on and the no-see-ums will not bite. Also, to prevent chigger bites, put soap lather on your ankles and lower legs and let it dry. This was a must do before going blackberry picking. (02/19/2010)

By Clynn Altemus

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September 16, 2009

Tips for preventing and treating insect bites. Post your ideas.

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July 21, 2010

I keep a cotton ball in a baby food jar of white vinegar handy for insect bites. It stops the itch instantly.

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