9 Surprising Home Remedies for Insect Bites and Stings

Take Charge on 05.30.12
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Photo: photogirl7.1/Creative Commons

Despite our best efforts, we all get insect bites. The good news is there are some quick ways to ease the sting and most of them can be found right inside your house. From the "ounce of prevention" department, it's good idea to make sure kids don't go to bed with food or candy residue on them since sweets especially attract insects. However, if they do get bitten these handy tips will help soothe the itch.

1. Banana Peel

banana Photo: richard_north/Creative Commons

Use this or a plantain peel to take away the sting and itch. Peel it, then place the inside of the peel directly on the bite; after about 90 minutes, wash the area and apply hand sanitizer to it to ease the itch.

2. Ice pack

ice pack Photo: Moff/Creative Commons

Remember what mom said? "Get some ice on it!" You can use an ice pack alone or in conjunction with any of the methods listed here as cold helps reduce the inflammation of a sting.

3. Baking soda

baking sodaPhoto: Dulamae/Creative Commons

Make a paste with baking soda and water, then apply it to the bite; you can add it to a warm bath if more than one insect was feasting on you. One note: skip this if the wound is open.

4. Natural Oils

oilsPhoto: bweeta/Creative Commons

Lavender and Tea Tree oils can be applied to the area with a swab. The Lavender oil is a natural anti-inflamatory and Tea Tree oil disinfects.

5. Toothpaste

toothpastePhoto: wwarby/Creative Commons

A little toothpaste on the sting helps take away the pain. The fluoride acts as an antihistamine and helps in minutes.

6. Preparation H

Prep HPhoto: sparktography/Creative Commons

It's designed to relieve pain and swelling so if you have some on hand, break it out. It will also take away the itch from that nasty bug bite.

7. Mouthwash

 mouthwashPhoto: saltydogbrand/Creative Commons

Soak a cotton ball with mouthwash and apply. Use one with antiseptic and it will also help keep the area from becoming infected.

8. Mud

MudPhoto:Dru!/Creative Commons

Make a paste with mud then put it on the sting and let it dry. Rinse the area and the itch should be gone afterward.

9. Aspirin

aspirinPhoto: kingjannik/Creative Commons

Aspirin doesn't just work on headaches -- the anti-inflamatory properties will work in this case too. Crush an aspirin, make a paste, then apply it to the bug bite. Cover it with a bandaid overnight and in the morning you are itch-free.

These are some quick fixes that will hopefully help keep you and your children feeling a lot better if they happen to get bitten or stung. Have a great summer!

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