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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 guide about treating insect bites and stings.
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By 9 found this helpful
July 21, 2010

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.

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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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By 10 found this helpful
June 24, 2011

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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By 3 found this helpful
July 13, 2012

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:

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This should help relieve pain and keep down swelling.

Source: Bottomline Publishing: Household Magic

By Macie4 from Walnut Creek, CA

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By 6 found this helpful
May 19, 2010

This may sound a little crazy and I am sure many of you have heard it before, but here goes. 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. It only takes a little bit on a cotton ball or swab, don't douse it with the whole container.

By Tracy from Fredericksburg, VA

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July 21, 2010

I read on earthclinic.com 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. I use cucumbers anyway as flavoring for water, I drop a few into a glass of water and then put in ice after a few minutes and now I can use them for bites and prevention of mosquitoes and wasps at picnics! Here is the site on earthclinic.com where I found the tip about Insect Bites:

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EarthClinic.com

By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN

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July 9, 2008

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

Here is what you can do to relieve the irritating itching when too many bugs have bitten and you can't find a remedy in the medicine cabinet. Use your tooth paste. It goes on in seconds, relives the itch in seconds and dries quickly.

I use Colgate Total for fast relief from both bugs and expensive pharmacy creams.

Have a great summer!

By Joseph from St.,Laval West, Laval, Quebec, Canada

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June 24, 20041 found this helpful

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, 20050 found this helpful

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

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August 3, 20170 found this helpful

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

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Questions

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.

By 1 found this helpful
February 11, 2007

Can you have an allergic reaction to a ladybug bite?

Janice from Stafford, VA

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Answers

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.

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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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By steve (Guest Post)
April 10, 20080 found this helpful

I am 57yrs old and was first bitten by a ladybug 35 years ago.Hurt like a wasp and thought it was my imagination. Over the last several yrs been bite 5 or 6 more times. All my friends think I am crazy but after the third bite I decided I must look and taste like a giant aphid. The bites always left a large red bump that looked like a volcano. Itched for days.

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By christina (Guest Post)
July 11, 20080 found this helpful

I was bitten and became extremely ill. I felt nauseous and dizzy. the acutal site never became itchy or raised but i read on other sites that these asian lady bugs secrete a liquid of defense and some folks become ill after being bitten for about two days. So for those who don't think they bite, trust me, they do, and it's very painful.

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By joe (Guest Post)
July 11, 20080 found this helpful

I was bit by a green ladybug it is red and itchy like a giant mosquito bite

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By Sherry (Guest Post)
September 10, 20080 found this helpful

I just googled potato bug, and that def does not look like a ladybug. And, I was just bit by a lady bug today and it hurt. It also itched for like 10 minutes, but then stopped.

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By kacie (Guest Post)
November 2, 20080 found this helpful

I was bit on my arm and I've had it for like 5 days and it iches and hurts and there is like 5 big bumps on my arm just from that one bite! I have to get rid of them soon!

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By Sierra (Guest Post)
November 3, 20080 found this helpful

I have this humongous rash on my leg and it's swollen and bumpy. I noticed ladybugs in my room the day it happened. I'm not sure if this is what it's from. I'm really scared it looks TERRIBLE I'm hoping it will go away because I'm scared to tell my mom because she doesn't know I shave. It could be from something else. I don't know. I need help, I'm so terrified. I hope it goes away.

Editor's Note: Please tell your mom.

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November 3, 20080 found this helpful

to Sierra: Your mom will be more upset if you let something like this go than she will be to find out you shave. She expects that to happen someday and you need to get this tended to. Lots of things bite besides ladybugs.

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By Chris (Guest Post)
November 9, 20080 found this helpful

I just got bit by a ladybug. I'm sure it is one because its red not orange but the bite only pinched for a second and afterward there was no affect (itchy, redness, bumps, irritation, etc.) but I do agree with Sandy63 that everyone's different so reactions will vary. roxchrisrox(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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By Nelly (Guest Post)
November 17, 20080 found this helpful

I thought I had poison ivy. I remember now that I did get bitten by some lady bugs the day they were going totally crazy. Perhaps this is not poison ivy, it does not seem to get out of my system very fast. Used all sorts of methods for poison ivy. Still have some little bumps with fluid. Some other little bumps are popping up on my torso. Hope to get rid of this pesky mess soon.

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By Romadae S. (Guest Post)
December 4, 20080 found this helpful

I was just got bit bye a lady bug and it hurts so bad and swelled up. It didn't have black dots like a ladybugs do though it was just orange. I didn't believe ladybugs bit until now. It felt just like a wasp. How do I know if i am allergic?

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By 0 found this helpful
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

Answers

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.

Charlene

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By 0 found this helpful
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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By 0 found this helpful
June 5, 2016

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

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Archives

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

July 31, 20100 found this helpful

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

Answers:

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, 20090 found this helpful

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

Answers:

Flea Bombs and Flea Baths for Pets

You don't say where you got them. If your pet has fleas, a dip is a great idea. Probably needs to be repeated in a week or so. Fumigation of the house at the same time is in order. You can buy cans of bug bomb. Do this twice also. If animals are confined to the yard, there is a spray for the yard.

Meanwhile, take large doses of Vitamin C. Take a pill or two each hour until the itching stops. Then you can cut back a little while they heal. (05/20/2005)

By Barbaral

Aloe Vera and Vitamin B-1

Aloe vera right from the plant or purchased in a bottle (use plain aloe vera) works good for bites, also take vitamin B-1 daily, it seems to respell biting insects. (05/21/2005)

By Anna

Pan of Soapy Water

You can set a pan of water (like a round cake pan or pie pan) with dish soap on the floor with a light shinning in it at night, the fleas will go to the light and jump into the pan, they can't get out and drown. (05/21/2005)

By regena

Carpet

You didn't say where you live, or if you had recently moved, but if you have carpet that's probably the culprit. I ran into this in CA. When an apt I moved into proved to have sand fleas in the carpet. The management had to remove the carpet and fumigate the apt to get rid of them. You also may be having an allergic reaction to the bites.
(05/23/2005)

By Susan Sanders-Kinzel

Diazanon and Nail Polish Remover

My husband was a flooring contractor for many years. When he would encounter a flea or roach problem, the best treatment was Diazanon, which thankfully was a treatment given to us by a professional landscaper. It's fairly inexpensive since a small bottle, which can usually be purchased for about $5 at a K-Mart or WalMart, and then dilute it.

As far as the itching, the best remedy in the world for any itching due to bites is just a tiny dab of nail polish remover applied with a Q-tip to the bite(/b). It will sting a little for just a sec but will completely stop the itch IMMEDIATELY. This works great for chicken pox and hives too, without any side effects, because the amount you're using is too small, and is basically acting as an antihistamine. (05/23/2005)

By TIGERGOLD

Toothpaste

A teen age friend gave me this tip to stop the itch of an insect bite. Simply rub a small amount of toothpaste (not gel) on the area. So far it has worked every time.

By Aprilmay (07/20/2005)

By Susan Sanders-Kinzel

Chemical: Diazonon

I agree that Diazonon; is the best! But, here in Canada it has been taken off the market. Thank goodness I was able to purchase a large bag of granules before it was taken off the shelf. It is the only chemical that I have found to effectively kill ants. If you can still purchase it where you live, great! (07/20/2005)

By brenda newton

Meat Tenderizer

Use a paste of meat tenderizer and water. Put on any insect bite several times until itching stops. This will work very well. The bite will flatten out within minutes and the itching will soon stop. Always keep some handy in your kitchen. Works great! (07/20/2005)

By Dee

Saliva

As a small child, I found out placing a small amount of my saliva (spit) on my finger and then on the itch from the bite caused it to cease itching. Don't know why this works and it only works if you don't scratch it first. Just intuitive I guess. (07/20/2005)

By Joan

Editor's Note:

People have mentioned that putting scotch tape on the bites helps. (07/16/2007)

Toothpaste

I too had been attacked by sand fleas. I can hardly stand the itch. It kept me up awake at night. I researched all the remedies. I tried Cortisone, Benadryl, nail polish remover, even Purell to stop the itch. Nothing worked. I saw Aprilmay's suggestion of putting toothpaste (not gel) on my itch. Amazingly it worked! Thanks I was able to get some sleep. (08/01/2007)

By sunset

Protection and Treatment for Insect Bites

I would just like to say that the scotch tape does not work for me. However, I do have a very bad reaction to insect bites, they get very large red and itchy. Nail polish remover helped a little, and toothpaste helped a little. I am going to also take an antihistamine pill, because I know that will help a little. Hopefully anyone out there like me with bad reactions to bites will find some of this useful. (02/09/2008)

By mandy

Salt Granules for Bites

I was SO tired of flea bites from my yard years ago and making scabs from the scratching, I decided to wet my bite area and put Salt on and rub to relieve the itch so my skin wouldn't get scabbed. To my amazement, the itch and flea bite went away in 5 minutes (mosquito bites take about 10 min). I have never had another scab from scratching those kind of bites again. In summer it's a good idea to carry salt packets with you when going on an outing. (06/12/2008)

By Elly

Zyrtec

I recently played sand volleyball with a friend and have well over 60 bites on my feet, ankles and legs. They itch so bad that even taking two Benadryl, I could not fall asleep. My friends dad is a nurse and said to take Zyrtec (it has a different compound than Benadryl) and to rub cucumber slices on it. I haven't done the cucumber slices yet.

I have done a combo of:
Zyrtec (amazing)
Ibuprofen
Hydricortizone cream
spray on Benadryl
Oatmeal bath

Working together they keep the itch down. Just try not to touch them otherwise it can become more irritated. (09/02/2008)

By Kelly

Neem Oil or Powder

check out Neem oil or powder all natural stuff Neem/coconut oil:mosquito repellent

By viv

Onion

Try applying juice from a small piece of cut onion (applied at least 3 - 4 times day) at least for mosquito bites. It works great! The more often you apply, the sooner the bite disappears (usually in a few days). (06/19/2009)

By Shelli Martin

Vacuum

I've recently found an instant solution to insect bites. My fiance has been overwhelmed with insect bites that develop into severe welts accompanied by itching which is almost unstoppable. I'm a believer in the baking soda, vinegar, Benadryl remedies, but all had virtually no effect. I remembered my [automotive] vacuum pump and within 1 minute, the insect venom was removed. No venom = no welt, no redness = no itching. So now I take it with us in the car and apply immediately when finishing our walk. The insect injects and I remove.

By Cajun

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July 21, 20100 found this helpful

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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June 12, 20100 found this helpful

Recently I noticed that my daughter had what appeared to be insect bites. However, when I looked closely I noticed that they have a black dot in the center and little red bumps all around them.

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May 19, 20100 found this helpful

When you get a mosquito bite or a bee/wasp sting, use household ammonia to get rid of the itch or sting.

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