Looking for an insect bite remedy? You’re in luck! Below you’ll find some effective and natural ways to treat bites and stings.
It’s summer time, which means your kiddos are probably spending time outdoors exploring and playing in water. All that warm weather fun is awesome, but what’s not awesome are bug bites and stings. We’ll help you find the right insect bite remedy so you or your kiddo can relieve the pain, swelling, and itching fast!
Bites vs stings
How do you know if you’re dealing with a bite or a sting? The two are often used interchangeably: “Mom, I got bit by a bee!” or “Mom, a mosquito stung me!”
Insects that bite include mosquitoes, spiders, ants, ticks, flies, and chiggers. Those that sting include bees, wasps, hornets, some ants, and scorpions.
Regardless of which it is, you’ll find these natural ways to treat bites and stings will help regardless.
What is the best thing for insect bites?
For a minor bite or sting, a quick application of herbal salve or an essential oil roller can provide instant relief.
You can try this salve recipe which uses both herbs and essential oils. Whip up a batch and store it in a jar or tins to keep on hand for when bug bites and stings pop up.
Good oils to use in roller bottles are Better Than Kisses (get the oil here and the pre-made diluted roller here), basil, and lavender. If you apply an insect bite remedy quickly, the odds of symptoms getting worse go down.
How do you know if a bug bite is serious?
Sometimes, even when quick action is taken, a bug bite or sting can become more serious.
Symptoms you should be concerned about:
- trouble breathing
Although it is not abnormal for a bug bite to have redness and swelling, keep an eye on bites that swell excessively, are hot to the touch, ooze or weep, or have redness that extends from the site of the bite or sting.
How long does it take for an insect bite to heal?
Most bites and stings will heal within a week or two. Using the below tips will help bites and stings to heal more quickly.
Natural ways to treat bites and stings
You know what they say about an ounce of prevention… In order to prevent bug bites and stings, try an insect-repelling essential oil blend like this.
If you forget your prevention and find yourself in need of an insect bite remedy, we’ve got you covered.
How do you get bug bites to go away fast?
The best way to treat a bite or sting and get instant results is to use an essential oil roller or salve. Treating at the site of the bite will provide quick relief. However, it’s still prudent to use internal medicine in order to prevent further discomfort or if symptoms persist.
Best essential oils for bug bites and stings
→ Lavender– a soothing oil that’s known for calming skin irritations like stings and burns, lavender is a perfect insect bite remedy to apply to a bug bite or sting. Get organic lavender essential oil here.
→ Chamomile– like lavender, chamomile is soothing. As a bonus, chamomile can help calm a child who is upset about a sting and help him rest if need be. Get chamomile essential oil here.
→ Better Than Kisses– a blend designed to help soothe bites, cuts, stings, burns, and more, this blend is a must for a mama with active kiddos! It’s a Kidsafe blend that helps to ease pain, reduce redness, and keep the affected area clean. Get the pre-diluted Better Than Kisses roller here or stock up on the blend in bulk to make your own rollers here.
→ Manuka– yes, that plant that provides the wonderful medicinal honey we all love also provides an equally amazing essential oil! Manuka essential oil is perfect for calming red, inflamed areas and soothing irritation caused by nature’s pests. Get the Kidsafe oil here.
What is the best cream for insect bites?
We love a good homemade herbal salve for minor issues like bites, stings, scrapes, and burns. Try the recipe below.
Homemade Salve Recipe
- 1. In a small saucepan, simmer olive oil and dried herbs for about 20 minutes. Use a sieve to filter out the herbs, then return the oil to the saucepan.
- 2. Add the beeswax pellets to the oil and melt over low heat. Remove from heat once beeswax is completely melted.
- 3. Add essential oils of choice and give oil a gentle stir.
- 4. Transfer mixture to a small tin or jar and affix lid. Allow to cool and solidify before using.
Other natural ways to treat bites and stings
If you’re still looking for an insect bite remedy, here are a few more things to try.
Baking soda paste- make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the bite to draw out poison and sooth skin.
Black drawing salve- add a capsule of activated charcoal to the above salve recipe to create a drawing salve, which will draw out the poison from bites and stings.
Chewing tobacco- chew or mash tobacco to make a paste and apply to the sting in order to draw out poison.
Homeopathy as an insect bite remedy
Homeopathy can be a wonderful treatment for insect bites and stings, as it helps the body heal itself. Read more about how homeopathy works here.
- Apis mellifica is good for stinging and swelling, and when the affected area is warm to the touch; it is also good for hives. Get it here.
- Ledum good for bites and stings from bees, mosquitoes, wasps, or spiders; can be effective if bite presents with bullseye rash. Get it here.
- Urtica urens is good for red, swollen bites that itch and sting. Can also treat hives. Get it here.
- Hypericum is good for bites that produce sharp, shooting pains and/or those that occur in sensitive areas, such as at the ends of fingers or toes. Get it here.
- Staphysagria is good for large, itchy bites that may create large welts. Get it here.
You can also get a homeopathic cream to apply topically like this.
Is Benadryl good for insect bites?
It can be. If your child is experiencing swelling that is not going down or you suspect an allergic reaction, Benadryl may help to ease symptoms.
Of course, no over the counter medication is without risk of side effects, so you can always explore natural anti-histamines. We really like D-Hist Jr, a children’s allergy medicine with herbal ingredients like quercetin and stinging nettle, as well as vitamin C and other ingredients designed to break down histamines in the body. Get it here.
How do you stop a bite from itching?
There’s also an essential oil for that. 😉 Try this Kidsafe Itch Away blend.
In addition, making a paste of baking soda and water can soothe itching caused by insect bites, as well as adding baking soda or colloidal oatmeal to a bath.
Of course, the best way to get a bite to stop itching is to not scratch it! Sometimes that’s easier said than done with little ones, so covering it with a bandage along with some salve or an essential oil blend can help to ease the itch quicker.
Why do I have such a bad reaction to bug bites?
If you find yourself responding to bites with an allergic reaction, or if your skin tends to swell more than normal, you are likely dealing with an immune system problem.
If your immune system overreacts to bug bites and stings, you need to look to gut health. Focus on nourishing foods; remove inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy, and sugar.
In addition, try adding a gentle probiotic (totally safe for kids!) like this.
Overreactions to bug bites are your body’s gentle nudge that something is off and should be addressed.