It’s summertime, and there are so many things to look forward to: longer days, more outdoor activities, picnics and outdoor parties, popsicles, the beach and pool, fresh-squeezed lemonade and vacations—you name it! But, one thing we can bet no one looks forward to during summertime: bug bites!
Bug bites are almost an inevitable part of summer. You can purchase over-the-counter sprays to help combat bites, along with scented candles to put on tables at outdoor parties. However, the majority of these products are filled with artificial fragrances, dyes, and many contain ingredients that may aggravate allergies.
Luckily, you can keep a handful of affordable and effective natural products at home to treat bug bites. Keep these five ingredients on hand all year long so you’re always prepared when those summertime pests start making their way around!
Oats contain natural compounds and properties that relieve itching, redness and irritation, so they’re a great home remedy to relieve bug bite irritation.
How to make an oatmeal bath
Oatmeal baths are commonly used to alleviate the itching and redness associated with chickenpox, eczema and other skin ailments. They’re a good option if you have many bites on a large area of your body, such as your legs or lower torso. To begin, run a bath made with very warm water (not scalding hot or room temperature) and 1 cup of finely ground oats. Stir the mixture and soak for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Repeat daily until bites begin to heal.
How to make oatmeal paste
You can also make oatmeal paste or mask if bites occur in smaller areas or on your face. Simply mash 2 Tbsp. of quick or instant oats (since they’re smaller) with 3 Tbsp. warm water and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. (The salt can help fight infections naturally.) Mix into a paste and apply to the affected area. Leave on at least 30 minutes and wash off with warm water and a cloth. If you’re celiac or sensitive to gluten, be sure to use gluten-free oats.
2. Aloe Vera Gel
There are many benefits of aloe vera! A natural anti-inflammatory agent, aloe vera can be used to relieve a variety of skin issues, including burns, bites, scrapes and other minor wounds. It can even be used internally.
How to use aloe plant
Open up an aloe vera leaf, scrape out the gel and apply the clear gel over the infected area. Allow it to dry and leave uncovered.
Aloe vera gel
When you’re out and about, apply bottled aloe vera gel to bites and wounds.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural alkalizing agent, making it a perfect option to fight inflammation. Baking soda works especially well on mosquito bites that swell, become red and itch profusely.
Baking soda for bug bites
Mix 3 parts baking soda to 2 parts water (a good amount for one bite is 3 tsp. soda and 2 tsp. warm water). Stir it with a spoon until it forms a paste, apply it on the affected area. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Apply daily until the bite is gone.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
What can’t this magical elixir of life do? Apple cider vinegar with “mother” is a wonderful natural remedy to fight inflammation. It’s full of acetic acid which can combat infections.
Apple cider vinegar uses
Simply rub a little apple cider vinegar over the bug bite right after they occur. Choose vinegar products that still include the “mother” since this probiotic-rich bacteria can help enhance the benefits of healing.
Black soap is a beauty and healing treasure that originated in Africa and can be used for so many skin issues, including acne, redness, eczema, and, yes, even bug bites. It can also help cleanse the infected area without irritating it and relieve redness.
Keep these ingredients on hand so you’re always prepared to combat pests. Want tips on keeping pests away altogether this summer? Check out how certain essential oils for summer may help you do just that!