Summer and warm weather means spending time outdoors this summer. Unfortunately, it also means the bugs will be numerous and hungry! It is almost impossible to avoid getting bitten at least once during the summer months, whether it be a mosquito, bee, or other creepy-crawly.
The good news: you can still enjoy your time outdoors – even if you get a few bug bites. Try these simple, natural remedies for treating bug bites and bee stings to keep the itching, swelling, and irritation away.
One of baking soda’s many benefits is its ability to neutralize the acid from a bee sting. Just apply a paste of alkaline baking soda to the sting. If you don’t have baking soda, toothpaste will work, too.
Lavender or Peppermint Essential Oils
Both lavender and peppermint have soothing properties that can calm an itchy, irritated bite. They also act as a disinfectant! These oils can be applied directly to bites and stings, but always perform a patch test first, as essential oils are potentially irritating when applied topically.
Calendula or Chamomile
Herbal creams or lotions containing one or both of these ingredients may help soothe a bug bite or sting. Both encourage healing and reduce inflammation. Calendula is especially helpful when it comes to itchy chigger bites.
Rubbing a piece of lemon on a bite or sting can help soothe any pain and itching. The acidity of the lemon seems to counteract the venom in bug saliva and stop any allergic skin reactions.
Dabbing vinegar on a wasp sting, which contains acetic acid, can help neutralize the effects of the sting and provide quick relief.
Plantain (the herb, not the fruit) is a well-known bite and sting remedy. Crush or chew the leaves and apply directly to the site of the bite or sting (especially bee stings). The herb is thought to pull the toxins out of the skin upon contact.
Slice open an onion and rub it on the bite as often as needed for relief. The sulphur compounds found in onions are detoxifying and can reduce inflammation by neutralizing the bug’s poison.
Perhaps one of the most common and effective remedies for bug bites and stings is ice! Applying ice quickly numbs any discomfort caused by the bite.
Bonus: Mosquito Repelling
Mosquitoes can quickly ruin a lovely summer evening. Rose-scented geraniums, lemon balm, catnip, basil, lemon thyme, lemongrass, soybean oil, citronella, garlic, clove, pine, and rosemary have been known to naturally repel mosquitoes.