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How to Treat Bug Bites Naturally

Summer warm weather means that it is a great time for outdoor activities.  Heading into natural spaces for a hike, camping, or a picnic can be a great way to spend the summer weather.  Not only might you be spending your days outdoors, but evening activities such as campfires, grilling, or even watching a movie in the backyard could have you spending the majority of your time outside.  


However, one thing that could spoil the fun of being outdoors is the presence of insects, and their bites.  Causing itchiness and irritation for those who get bitten, bugs can put a real damper on outdoor fun.  If you or your family are prone to insect bites, these natural remedies can help you prevent and treat bug bites. 




Before you head outdoors, use one of these remedies to decrease the chance of bug bites and irritation.  


Vitamin B – Vitamin B can help to moderate inflammatory responses as well as keeping swelling and itching down. Vitamin B can be found in a number of healthy foods such as whole grains, legumes, dark leafy vegetables, and fruits, among others.  Or, take Vitamin B supplements to ensure you are receiving proper levels.  While Vitamin B will not prevent bug bites, it can significantly reduce itching and irritation.  


Essential Oils – Create a natural bug deterrent by creating body rub of essential oils and apply it to the skin prior to going outside.  Oils such as citronella, tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, clove and cedarwood can assist in deterring insects.  Add a combination of these essential oils to your preferred carrier oil and apply it to exposed skin and enjoy nature bite-free.  


Eat Garlic – If you have trouble with mosquitos, you may find relief from bites by eating garlic. Eat garlic regularly throughout the summer, or preceding a trip to the wilderness, to reduce your likelihood of getting bitten. The smell of garlic is known to repel mosquitos, and as you sweat out the garlic odour throughout the day it will repel mosquitos and other bugs.  




If an insect has already bitten you, never fear… there are natural remedies for bug bite treatment, as well!


Oatmeal – Oatmeal has anti-itch properties and is a remedy that is highly recommended for relieving eczema, rashes, or irritated skin.  It can also be used for bug bites. Create an oatmeal compress using a clean sock or other fabric, or apply directly to the skin as a poultice if this is not available.  The oats will help to sooth and heal your bites. 


Stinging Nettle Tea – Stinging Nettle is a natural antihistamine that helps to keep the body calm and interrupt allergic responses to bug bites. Have stinging nettle on hand in the summer days and brew it into a tea that can be consumed or used as a compress after being bitten.  If you are going on a camping trip, brew this tea in advance and keep it iced for a refreshing anti-itch remedy.  


Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to treat many medical conditions.  Vinegar can not only reduce stinging and burning sensations, but can also act as a natural disinfectant if a bite has been itched raw. Dab some vinegar on the bite, or tape a cotton swab doused in vinegar over the bite for a couple of minutes to relieve redness and swelling. 


While the best way to prevent irritation from bug bites is to avoid them all together, these remedies can help provide relief in case of insect bites. Natural medicine can be used to treat a variety of ailments. Dr. Cecilia Ho provides expert naturopathic advice to the Pickering and surrounding regions. Call 905-492-8688 to book your complimentary 15 minute session today.



Dr. Cecilia Ho


780 Kingston Rd
Unit B10
Pickering, ON
L1V 0C5




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