Mosquitos, spiders, and bees, oh my! It must be summertime!
Picture perfect (albeit hot) weather, beautiful assortment of flowers, and great smelling food on the barbeque. The only thing that could prevent relaxing and having fun is the insects that come with this great season. And when there are insects, there may be insect bites.
Don’t let a few insect bites ruin your summer fun! Educate yourself on treating these bites and stings and learn a few natural home remedies to reduce the pain and swelling quickly, without a trip to the doctor or drug store.
First, let me say that an insect bit or sting may produce a severe or allergic reaction. If so, you may need over-the-counter medication. Taking an oral diphenhydramine (like Benadryl) helps reduce the histamine reaction the sting causes and also lessens the pain and swelling. Natural remedies enhance the results.
If your bit or sting produces more of a normal reaction, here are a few things to try to speed your body’s healing:
Bees, Wasps & Mosquitos
Baking Soda. A paste of baking soda and water will draw out the sting and reduce the pain. No baking soda? Try meat tenderizer instead. The meat tenderizer neutralizes the venom.
Lavender Essential Oil. Just one drop of oil does wonders for bee stings, mosquito bites and even burns. Place the drop directly onto the bite on your skin. Other essential oils that can be used as topical treatments and deterrents to bug stings and bites are tea tree, basil, lemon and clove essential oils. These other oils should not be applied directly to the skin, instead dilute them in a carrier oil such as olive or coconut. Peppermint oil mixed with vinegar also relieves the pain and swelling.
Epsom salt and honey mixed together and dabbed onto the bite will reduce the swelling.
Crush up a sugar cube and place it on a damp towel and cover the affected area for ten minutes. Perfect for a quick fix of a sting on the bottom of the foot.
Wet tobacco dip or juice has been a longtime favorite on farms. The tobacco juice takes away the burning and the itching of bites and stings.
Another farm favorite are the narrow leaf and common leaf plantain. These leaves, whether crushed, crumbled, or chewed up, soothe all kinds of stings and bites. Just make sure the leaves are crushed up enough for the juices to come out. Try adding the leaves to lavender or lemon essential oil to heal larger wounds.
Keep crushed up jewelweed, or wild impatiens leaves in ice cube trays in the freezer. Smear the leaves on mosquito and ant bites.
For wasp and bee stings, apply a paste of non-coated, crushed white aspirin mixed with water (or spit in emergency situations) to stop the swelling in an instant. Activated charcoal mixed with water forms a paste that works well for wasp stings. A paste of mud and water works well for bee stings. It helps pull out the stinger. This is perfect to use on pets that may have gotten stung. Its quick and easy!
For yellow jacket stings, use a plain, chopped onion to reduce the swelling. Hold the onion directly on the skin where the bite is. No onions available? Try using a raw potato cut in half.
For a quick and easy mosquito bite fix, dab a little honey onto an adhesive bandage before the itching and scratching starts. In a few hours, remove the bandage and the bite will be gone!
Spiders, Ants & Ticks
Vicks Vapor Rub® works wonders on not only insect bites, but poison ivy and athletes foot! I had instant relief when I got in contact with poison ivy. My husband uses Vick’s on his athlete’s foot. He says it’s the only thing that has worked for him.
Hedge apples or apple cider vinegar are great for getting rid of spider and brown recluses and for healing their bites.
Black walnut hull powder mixed with water makes a paste to help heal spider or even tick bites. Be sure to rub off and reapply every couple of hours because it hardens.
Benzonite clay mixed with water (and a few drops of lavender oil) also works extremely well on stings and bites, especially spider bites.
Lavendar oil can be applied directly to bite wounds to relieve itching and to heal. Reapply every few hours for one day, then daily until the wound is gone.
Wash area with rubbing alcohol, vodka, or witch hazel. Add apricot kernel oil to keep the moisture on the skin. To reduce swelling, tape a copper penny over the inflamed area. Leave on a couple of hours. The copper reduces the swelling and makes the redness disappear.
As always, notify your doctor FIRST if you got stung or bitten by an insect or spider and plan on using one of these easy home remedies, especially if you have any allergy to Benadryl, bees, spiders, or any other kind of insect or ingredient.
Always wash the affected area before beginning any treatment and follow all directions!!!