Homemade Remedies for the Relief of Insect Stings and Bites

Homemade Remedies for the Relief of Insect Stings and Bites

Insect stings and bites of all different kinds have the potential to be extremely painful, itchy, and uncomfortable.

These days it can be hard to find something we can feel confident in to put on our skin — something that is effective and relieves the discomfort. But the good news is…there are common items you may have lying around your home, in your kitchen cabinets, or even steps away in the backyard that can help!

Let’s take a look at a few common, homemade remedies that any of us can grab the next time we experience an insect sting or bite.

Natural Treatment for Stings and Bites

1. A slice of onion. Cut a slice of onion and put it directly on to the affected area. Onions contain a powerful healing enzyme that can relieve the discomfort and promote healing.

2. Make a compress. After removing the stinger and washing the skin precede to soak a piece of cotton in lemon juice, witch hazel, or apple cider vinegar and apply it directly to the affected area. Repeat as often as needed. These items will help to reduce the toxicity of the venom and relieve the pain.

3. Aloe Vera. Aloe vera gel can also be a great help. If you have a plant growing at home, simply cut it open and rub it on the affected area as often as needed. Don’t have it fresh? I like this aloe vera gel product.

4. Epsom salt bath. If there are multiple stings or bites, an Epsom salt bath can provide a wonderful bit of relief. Find salts here…

5. Raw Honey. Dab on a thin layer of raw honey and reap the benefits of it’s healing power.

6. Make a paste. This remedy is great for humans and pet alike! Make a paste with baking soda and a few drops of water. Put the paste on the area and let it sit for approximately 15 minutes before washing off. The baking soda helps to neutralize the venom from the sting/bite.

7. Aspirin. Add a few drops of water or rubbing alcohol to a crushed Aspirin and apply the paste to the affected area.

8. Banana peels. The inside skins of bananas — when rubbed on itchy bug bites — can provide immediate relief! You’ll need to peel the banana, cut off a bit of the skin, rub the inside of it on the affected area, let it dry (do not rinse), repeat as often as needed.

9. Essential oils. A couple drops of lavender essential oils are sure to reduce pain and inflammation when applied directly to a sting or bite. Tea tree oil is also very soothing. Find your essential oils here…

10. Herbs. Try your hand at making an herbal salve (Click here for my homemade itch relief stick recipe), poultice, or compress using any of the following herbs for amazing results:

  • Plantain — My favorite way to use plantain is to tear off a fresh leaf, chew it slightly, and then apply the spit poutice to the affected area.
  • Comfrey
  • Calendula
  • Chickweed
  • Lemon balm 
  • If they aren’t growing in your backyard…Find these organic dried herbs here…

And lastly you can always apply an ice pack. Doing so will help to constrict the blood vessels, thereby decreasing the blood flow which should help to prevent any venom from spreading — not to mention, itching is relieved by the numbing of the skin.

What homemade remedies do you use to treat insect stings or bites?

And as always…if you really enjoyed this post I would be so honored if you’d click this link and subscribe to the blog! To those of you who have been committed readers, thank you.

Mountain Rose Herbs


  1. Chewed tobacco (like from a cigar or chewing tobacco) on the sting works really well. My preferred method is a poultice of unseasoned meat tenderizer is awesome. It breaks down the protein of the sting from a stinger and lessens the pain immediately.

  2. Good to know! Thank you!

  3. I have used bar soap on sandfly bites by rubbing the wet soap on the itch. Works every time taking the itch away immediately.

  4. I love your blog, I have learned so much, thank-you 3 x 3!!!! ~Lori oh-I’ll be trying that plantain trick on my next bite. Does it matter if it already has the tall seed thingy growing out of the middle?

  5. Tea Tree Oil works wonders on insect bites. Thank you for your blog.

    • LOVE tea tree oil! So long as you have lavender essential oils and tea tree oil…you’re set 🙂

  6. I love that you have the onion remedy as #1. My great grandmother used that one for stings. She would tell us, “the onion will draw out the poison.” we were told to leave it on till it started to turn green in the veins.

    Love that the old way of doing things is being used again. they may not have known why it worked but they did know it worked. How? by hundreds of years of experience, exactly what modern medicine dose not have. (stepping off the soap box)

    great post as usual FS. Cheryl

    • Agreed! The old ways are so wonderful. I love that we are all part of their revival 🙂

    • My neighbor recently told me her grandma would use a piece of onion for infection, too. I am definitely going to try this.

    • Kentucky Woman says:

      My mother was a Herbilist self-educated by her 1800 generations, She knew what every plant was good for, I still use her onions,plantin,dogfennel etc, for stings, And if you have a stubborn rash crush dirt dobber nest into powder and dust on affected area night and morning.

  7. I also like plantain. I make a salve of plantain where I’ve infused it in oil. My hubby swears by it! Here is a link to my recipe: http://www.bloombakecreate.com/2011/05/plantain-anti-itch-balm/

    Love your blog.


    • Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us Lynda!!! In Phoenix, where I currently live, plantain does not grow well. But this week I’m visiting my sister here in Colorado Springs and yesterday I found the plantain motherload 🙂 We harvested tons of it and I’m so excited to make a salve…

  8. fabulous ideas!

  9. You know I use home remedies!

    Got stung by a wasp just Friday and decided to use my new herbal knowledge instead of reaching for the store creams. Smushed up a plantain leaf from the neighbors yard and within ten minutes I couldn’t even tell where I had gotten stung. This from the person that all bite/stings seem to blow up to the size of apricots or larger! The sting has been itchy all weekend, but I’ve just been keeping your miracle salve on it. I still can’t see where it is though!

    Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge in this blog. I learn so much and always look forward to the new posts you’ll write. It is truly life changing.

    • That’s AWESOME Kira! Not that you got stung…but that you had the knowledge to treat it effectively yourself! It’s so empowering isn’t it!?!

  10. Does anyone have suggestions on how to treat chiggers? My husbands gets them really bad. Thanks for any help.

    • Best thing I’ve ever found for chiggers is a paste of witch hazel and baking soda. I got covered in them on a camping trip once and my great aunt taught me that one. Worked like a charm!

      • We use clear nail polish. My husband is an avid hunter and comes home often with chiggers. Once I was out of clear polish so he walked around for a couple of days with pink polka dots!! LOL!

  11. After applying a baking soda and water paste to my 4 year old niece’s bee sting, I reapplied honey as needed and she was impressed by how quickly the pain went away – instant!!

  12. Brette Blair says:

    How timely! We are leaving soon on a camping trip and I’ll definitely be bringing lavender and tea tree oil with me. Thank you!

  13. I use a poultice of the Horehound Weed. Put a few leaves in your mortar and pestle, crush it up with a dab of oil, water or honey. Put it on your bite and cover with a band aid to hold it there. It draws out the poison. Works great for me and the weed is abundant where I live out in the country. I even dry some for my herbal medicine storage. The dried seems to work as well as the fresh. This is also great to make teas for colds but tastes too yucky for me to get down. http://www.ehow.com/how_5583056_prepare-use-horehound.html

  14. A poultice of wet tobacco takes the sting right out of wasp, hornet and bee stings. Keep a pouch of chewing tobacco around and you will be ready. If you can stand it, chew it instead of using water.

  15. Kathy Knapp says:

    Ammonia, when applied to mosquito bites, neutralizes the anticoagulant that the mosquito injected. It doesn’t sting, if you have not yet scratched.

  16. I use ice as a temporary numbing agent for an itchy bite. It numbs just long enough for you to resist the urge to scratch a bite!

  17. Sherry in Idaho says:

    someone told me that banana peel could help psoriasis. I thought it was silly but what did I have to lose? I had a severe flare on one arm and the banana peel healed it up almost immediately.

  18. Glenhew says:

    G’DAY from Glenhew,

    Banana skin is great for getting rid of warts, place the inside of the banana skin on the wart at night time cover with a piece of tape or wrap and leave on at night, in the morning it will look yuck, keep doing it at night till it is gone, it took approx 2 weeks for my daughters wart to go and one my my twin sons wart shrunk by half in one night.

    Have a GREAT day we are, here on the Sunshine Coast,


  19. The reason I love plantain so much is because of its widespread availability. Not only does it work better than anything I’ve ever used for bites and burns but it is usually growing somewhere very close by. Other remedies may work well but if you didn’t think to bring them with you… look for plantain! We live in Alaska but I’ve found it readily wherever I go, even in Hawaii.
    Andrea, it does like moist soil so maybe you could find a shady, cooler spot in your yard and try growing it there? Maybe under a shrub or tree?

  20. I use plain table salt, I put a 1/2 tsp or so in my palm, add a few drops of water to make it like a paste and rub it on the bite, letting the mixture dry on the bite. The salt will fall off as it dries and the itch is gone as soon as I rub it on.

  21. Hi Andrea,
    Thanks for the great list. Very timely post! We are getting lots of poison ivy this week at camp, so I’m back in the woods searching for jewel weed. I wrote about it on my blog this week: http://www.lonehomeranger.com/2012/07/jewel-weed-natural-poison-ivy-treatment.html

    Happy Summer!

  22. Great list! I always use a baking soda paste for bee stings and recently started using frozen jewelweed tea for other bites or poison ivy. I just freeze in tea in an ice cube tray, put them in a bag so it easy to pull one out to rub on the area. Seems to work really well!

  23. Milk from a papaya, works wonders, any part of the plant, leaf, fruit, etc. It neutralizes the poison from most insect bites. If you don’t have that around, make a paste with ‘Season All’, it has a meat tenderizer in it which also neutralizes the poison. I don’t use ‘Season All’ for cooking but keep it around just for insect bites. 🙂

  24. that was terrific, just applied onion on mosquito bite, it immediately helped my 4 year ol, thanks a tonne!!

  25. These are all great remedies although I never tried the onion one. Love your information. Thanks so much for sharing.

  26. Just a simple Thank U! Love your back to basics discussions, I believe in old time remedies, always have.
    Not only do they work the best, they are cheaper by far.
    I will definitely try the onion thing THANKS AGAIN KEEP IT UP !

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