11 Best Home Remedies for Bug Bites That Itch and Swell

It’s a jungle out there, and no matter where you are, there are creatures great and small that can sting and bite. These bites can range from a minor nuisance to very painful and swollen.

There are plenty of ointments, creams, and sprays you can buy to help. But they’re often filled with harsh chemicals that aren’t ideal for your skin or health.

Take heart, there are plenty of home remedies for bug bites already in your pantry. If you don’t want to suffer from the bites and to avoid chemical treatments, these are for you.

Below are the best home remedies for bug bites that itch and swell to try. You will also learn how to treat insect bites naturally using these remedies to get fast relief.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent so it helps kill bacteria. Some people use witch hazel for acne and blemishes, but it is one of the best home remedies for itchy bug bites.

To use it, soak a cotton ball with witch hazel and dab the affected area. You can also apply a few drops straight from the bottle. It will relieve pain and itching while reducing swelling and inflammation.

Keep a bottle in the fridge if you are likely to need it often. The cool liquid will bring instant relief.

Ice Packs

Simple is often the best and in the case of the common ice pack, this is definitely the case. Ice packs are the best remedy for bug bites to help soothe and heal fast.

You want to do this in a way that doesn’t cause discomfort from the cold pack. The best way is to put some ice in a plastic ziplock bag, wrap the bag in a towel, and apply directly to the affected area. You could also use a bag of frozen vegetables (most of us have peas in the freezer).

The towel will help the skin from getting too cold quickly, which can hurt and maybe damage the skin. Just the right amount of cold therapy will reduce swelling and soothe itching from the bite.

Apply the ice pack for 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off.

Another option is to massage the area with an ice cube for 10 minutes.

Tea Tree Oil

Refreshing and fragrant, tea tree oil is a great for treating itchy, swollen insect bites. Only a little bit is needed. It can be applied directly to the bite or use a soaked cotton swab.

Tea tree oil is antibacterial and antiseptic so will kill any germs and help avoid infection. Because of this, it is the best natural remedy for insect bites so always have a bottle handy.

In particular, use it to treat bites where there is a sting that increases the chance of germs.

Corn starch

Corn starch is one of the most common natural remedies out there. Make a thick paste by mixing a spoonful of cornflour with just enough apple cider vinegar.

As needed, apply a small amount to the bite or sting and rub it all over. This insect bite swelling remedy pulls fluid from the bite, which decreases inflammation and the discomfort it causes.

Bicarbonate of Soda

Bicarbonate of soda (Sodium bicarbonate) will neutralize acidic bee or ant venom. Mix just enough of the powder with cold water to make a paste. Completely cover the bite area and leave it for up to half an hour.

Lavender Oil

Ideal for stopping any itch, lavender oil can be applied directly to the bite area. Dab on one to two drops and allow a few minutes for it to take effect. If the itch returns, repeat but no more than a few drops at a time.


It may sound strange, but garlic is a wonderful way to stop painful insect bites. It contains enzymes that seem to break down inflammatory compounds.

Crush a clove of garlic and rub it directly into the bite. The pain should instantly go away and any swelling will reduce as well.

If the smell doesn’t bother you, this one is a quick fix!

Aloe Vera

If you are fortunate enough to have this growing in your home, snap off a leaf when needed for bites and stings. Slit the leaf, scrape out the gel and apply directly to the affected area. This is how to reduce bug bite swelling, relieve pain and reduce inflammation quickly.

Keep a leaf in the fridge to use as well. The coolness of the gel will help even more.

Peppermint Oil

With a refreshing, cooling effect, peppermint oil can increase circulation to the bite area. This will speed up healing. Apply directly or using a cotton swab, two to three times a day.

If you don’t have peppermint oil on hand, check the list of ingredients on your toothpaste. If it contains peppermint oil, apply a blob to the sting and rub it in.


Pure charcoal can help remove impurities from bites and stings. It draws out remaining toxins and venom that could cause inflammation and infection.

Mix the charcoal with a little water until it creates a fine paste. Once done, rub the paste into the bite, then cover with a band aid, and allow it to heal.


That’s right…mud! Mud is another remedy that is perfect if your bite occurs while outdoors or when camping. Sometimes you just need to go with what is available!

This all natural remedy helps stop itching and swelling. It creates a sort of natural band aid to protect the bite from further irritants. When rubbed into the bite, it brings relief very quickly.

All the above home remedies can help with bug bites that itch and swell. No doubt you will already have some on hand that can be used right away. Some may be more suitable than others, particularly for children.

When it comes to knowing how to stop itching home remedies like those listed above are invaluable.
Whichever remedy you choose, now you can treat any bug bites fast and effectively. No chemicals required.

Home Remedies for Bug Bites That Itch and Swell

6 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Cockroaches at Home

DIY Essential Oil Bug Spray – It Smells Good AND Works


3 thoughts on “11 Best Home Remedies for Bug Bites That Itch and Swell”

  1. Hi Kristy I’m heading North soon and was wondering what would be the best prevention for sand fly bites and cure for when I’ve been bitten as they eat me alive.I have just been ready your other cures and really enjoyed the read. Thanx Barb.

    • Hi Barb, to try and prevent the sand fly bites look for natural repellents with a citronella, lemongrass or some other lemon-scented essential oil. All bugs hate those 🙂 If you do get bitten, try lavender and tea tree oil for relief, along with some aloe vera.

  2. I have one to add if I could. While I am currently suffering with a nasty wasp sting which is constantly burning, I finally decided to put some silver sulfadine on it. Almost instantly the pain of the burn has gone. I also can;t wait to try the cornstarch and apple cider remedy. That is next on my list!


Leave a Comment