It’s mosquito season and I have buffalo sized ones zipping around the backyard as I type this.
Thanks to their first feast on my ankles tonight and an earlier comment from Kim , I was inspired to dig through every tip I had regarding mosquito bites and relief from the itching. Scritch Scratch.
I haven’t tried most of the suggestions below, but I’ll note which ones have worked for me.
Here are more than 40 tips organized in one neat file, each bullet point is a single method:
- Rub a bar of soap over the itch. I just tried this (Ivory soap) and the relief was near instant. I used a dry bar of soap directly on the skin, but I also have notes that you can spritz with water first and then run bar of soap over area–or use a wet bar of soap.
- Place a piece of scotch tape on the bite; or dab rubbing alcohol or ammonia on the area first then stick on a piece of tape.
- Hot water: Take a hot shower, or a hot bath, or apply a hot compress. As hot as you can stand it without burning you.
- Ice cube, ice pack or very cold water
The quicker you can apply one of the remedies below, the faster the relief. These are topical suggestions, apply directly to the area.
- Nail Polish
- Strong tea mixed with rubbing alcohol
- Toothpaste (works for me)
- Vinegar (apply directly or take a hot bath with 2 cups of vinegar in the water)
- Underarm deodorant (solid or roll-on) – apply directly to skin
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Tea: Use a hot tea bag or a cotton ball soaked in hot tea to dab on skin
Mix these fresh then apply as soon as possible. The consistency should be nice and thick so it won’t run, yet will still stay in place on the affected area. You could also spritz bite with water then apply grains/powders directly (generously) and rub them in.
- Baking Soda & Water (works for me)
- Meat Tenderizer & Water
- Salt & Water (works for me)
- Epsom Salt & Water (could also do this as a foot soak if it’s the ankle/foot area affected)
- Tums Tablets: crush and add a few drops of water
- Aspirin: crush then add a few drops of water
- Aspirin – crush then apply a few drops of rubbing alcohol
Commercial Product Lotions, Creams & Applications
- Calamine Lotion
- Benadryl Cream
- Vicks VapoRub (works for me)
- Preparation H (works for me)
- Lucas Papaw Ointment
- Tiger Balm
- Bag Balm
- Gold Bond Medicated Cream (or the Gold Bond Medicated Powder)
- Mylanta (heartburn relief product)
- After Bite
Apply full strength. Edit: There are concerns about using essential oils on children and pre-teens, especially repeated use.
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Witch Hazel (astringent)
- Cedar Oil
*Crush the fresh leaves roughly then apply
- Plantains (Plantago)
*Use fresh fruit & apply directly to skin
- Lemon Juice
- Lemon Slice
- Lime Juice
- Lime Slice
- Banana Peel (rub with the inside of the peel)
Whew! Big List! If I’ve missed your favorite remedy, please add them below.
- If a remedy doesn’t provide fast relief, don’t despair. Give it another try, sometimes it will take 2 or 3 applications before it kicks in.
- The itch is a reaction from the saliva of the mosquito that it injects into you as it feasts on your blood. There are several dozen different species and you may react to some species bites more than others.
- If large swelling occurs (like welts), contact a doctor or pharmacist for suggestions (especially if it’s a child with a strong reaction). It could be an allergy to the bite. It’s important to watch the throat for swelling and get treatment asap.
Update: You’ll find tips on repelling mosquitoes here .