Itchin’ and bitchin’ from bug bites? Here’s how to get rid of them ASAP.

If you’re caught without bug bite cream or ointment, don’t worry — plenty of simple home remedies can provide quick relief. From soothing aloe vera to the calming effects of oatmeal, discover easy solutions to alleviate itching and inflammation so you can sleep peacefully.

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Photography by Juan Moyano/Stocksy United
  • crushed ice
  • heat
  • aloe vera
  • baking soda
  • basil
  • vinegar
  • onion
  • thyme
  • peppermint oil
  • lemon balm
  • witch hazel
  • arnica
  • chamomile tea
  • garlic

Crushed ice

Just as you’d ice an injury, icing a bug bite can help decrease inflammation and temporarily numb the pain.


If icy cold treatments aren’t your vibe, you can apply heat instead to soothe your bump.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera gel does more than soothe sunburns! It can also help ease bug bites and help them heal.

Baking soda

Baking soda can remove the itch. To make a paste, mix 1 tablespoon of it with a splash of water (not too much). Apply it to your bite as you would zit cream. Keep it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.


Did you know basil (yes, like the kind in your pasta) has a rich history as a skin infection remedy? It contains antioxidants that may bring down bug bite inflammation.

To whip up your own basil rub, boil a couple cups of water with 1/2 ounce of dried basil leaves. Cool the mixture before applying it to a washcloth and gently massaging it onto the bite for sweet relief.


You already know apple cider vinegar (fermented liquid from apples) is a huge player in the natural remedy world.

Some people use it to clean due to its antimicrobial effects, and others mix it into food or drinks for its possible health benefits (like helping with blood sugar issues).

Its beauty with bites is that it can help ease burning or stinging while disinfecting your scratchy little bump.


Onion juice (while not delicious) has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which could possibly help ward off infection. Plus, it could make your bite sting less. Just dab a bit of raw onion juice onto your bites. The downside? We’re not sure how well it works … and it’s kinda stinky.


Thyme has been used to help with skin concerns for a long time. You can use it to help decrease irritation by chopping it up and applying the teeny leaves directly to your bite for 10 minutes. You can also boil thyme, soak a cloth in the cooled liquid, and wrap it around your bite.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil may work as an anti-itch agent. Mix it with carrier oil (like olive oil) before applying it to your skin, though!

Lemon balm

Another natural anti-itcher and astringent, lemon balm, may be helpful. You can either apply a lemon balm cream or chop up the leaves and apply them right to the bite.

Witch hazel

Witch hazel is a natural wonder with many uses for skin concerns such as acne and psoriasis. It can tackle inflammation and burning while helping your bug bite heal.


This herb may work, but the science is a little dicey. On its own, arnica is toxic, so any over-the-counter products you find have been carefully diluted for your safety.

Chamomile tea

The yummy tea that calms and soothes at bedtime has many other uses, including potentially calming an irritated bug bite. Steep the tea bag for 20 minutes before squeezing it out and applying it to your bite once it’s cooled.


Blend minced garlic with petroleum jelly or fragrance-free lotion. Place the mixture on your bite for 10 minutes before removing it and applying a cool cloth.

How do you make mosquito bites go away immediately?

Icing the bite for 10 minutes and then placing a mixture of baking soda and water on it for 10 minutes is a strong choice.

What does Vicks VapoRub do to mosquito bites?

Though not tested for this purpose, some people turn to Vicks to soothe mosquito bites. It’s possible that its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties could help heal and soothe mosquito bites. But FYI, this product isn’t considered the best defense against mosquito bites.

What does toothpaste do to mosquito bites?

Some toothpastes are cooling, so that sensation may offer temporary relief. Some people use toothpaste on insect bites since many toothpastes contain astringents, which can help shrink tissues.

How do I stop mosquitoes from biting me?

Using repellent to prevent bug bites is a good idea. PSA: DEET and lemon eucalyptus oil are safe ways to repel insects.

Mosquitoes are low-key little monsters that cause the most insect bites worldwide. Most bites aren’t serious, but mosquitoes can potentially carry diseases.

Ointments, creams, or simple home remedies can help stop the pesky itch after bites. But remember that some natural substances can cause allergic reactions. That said, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test first.