The Best Home Remedies for Itchy Insect Bites

The Best Home Remedies for Itchy Insect Bites

So, the long, hot, glorious days of summer are here. From ice creams to swimming in cool water, it’s one of the best times of the year. Apart from one thing – the bugs. Wherever you go, whatever you do, you can’t ever escape those nasty biting, stinging pests. You can smother yourself in fly repellents, eat cloves of garlic every day, yet they’ll still hunt you down and find you. When you do get bitten, you know you’re in for a few days – or even a week – of relentless itchiness. Plus, if you’ve got somewhere to be, like work, you’ve got to show off your sore looking, swollen bites.

So, stop suffering in silence. Here are some top tips to keeping the itch at bay.

How to avoid getting bitten

You’ve probably tried everything under the sun to keep the insects away from your skin in the summer. However, there are a few things that not even the most ardent bug-avoider has tried.

Firstly, look for super strong fly repellent. Forget the stuff sold in the pharmacy: look for fly spray used in agricultural set ups. Farmers and field workers are outside all day long, and need the strongest spray or cream available. Ask around your local agricultural wholesalers, and see what they recommend.

If you’re suffering while sitting in your garden, look at making fly traps. They’re great for reducing the number of biting bugs flying around in the evenings, and they aren’t that hard to put together. Likewise, lighting anti-insect candles, such as ones with citronella in them, will help a lot.

When you’re out and about, use common sense. Wear light clothes, as insects like horseflies are attracted to dark colors. Then make sure you don’t smell too strongly – or if you do, make sure it’s of fly spray. Try to avoid drinking alcohol, as it’s said to make flies even more attracted to you. You should also try to stay indoors during the early evening, as that’s when biters are most frequent.

If you want them out of your house, but you don’t want the windows closed, then invest in fly nets for the windows. That way you can still enjoy the breeze, but you don’t need to put up with an invasion of biting bugs when you’re trying to sleep.

Then, make sure the problem doesn’t start at home. Sometimes it’ll be an infestation based in your garden or your property that’s causing all of your issues. If that’s the case, get in touch with a pest removal company straight away. You’ll be able to find ones that serve your local area, like Go-Forth Pest Control in Chapel Hill NC, so they can come out quickly and get the job done as soon as possible.

So, if you’re still getting bitten after all of that, here are the best remedies to try:

Elevation

If you’ve been bitten on a limb, you should try to keep it as elevated as possible. Prop it up using pillows if it’s your leg, or hold it above your head if it’s your arm. This will help keep the swelling down, and will mean you can avoid the horrible tight feeling that comes with swollen bites.

Ice packs

Ice is your best friend when you’ve been bitten. Apply ice cold packs, or crushed ice, to the area for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for up to six hours immediately after the bite. Make sure you wrap any ice in a cloth – don’t apply it directly to your skin.

Oatmeal

Believe it or not, oatmeal has some special qualities that reduces itchiness and irritation. So, make a paste using warm water and oatmeal flakes. Then apply it directly to your skin, using the back of a cloth to hold it on. Keep it there for around ten minutes, then wash off the area. If you’re covered in bites, then escalate this: put a cup of oatmeal or oats into a bath of warm water, and sit in it for 20 minutes. You can use some of the oats to rub into your skin while in the bath.

Honey

Honey has some incredible healing powers – from keeping wounds clean to making hay fever stay at bay. If you don’t mind feeling a bit sticky, try dabbing some natural raw honey onto your bites. The natural anti-inflammatory properties will reduce the inflammation and itchiness.

Basil

This Italian herb isn’t just great with pasta – it’s also brilliant for calming down itchy mosquito bites. For this to work, you need to make a basil-based solution. Boil a couple of cups of water and add half an ounce of basil leaves – preferably dry – to the water. Let the mixture cool, then when this is done, gently dab it onto your bites. Or, if you need more immediate relief, chop up fresh basil leaves and rub them into your skin.

Creams and ointments

While not a home remedy, it’s always good to have antihistamines in the house. Keep them in both tablet and cream form, and you can attack any insect bite as soon as it appears.

Stop the scratching

If you can’t stop yourself from scratching your bites, you need to find a way to put yourself off. Putting a bit of tape over your bite is a good way to protect it, and to stop you scratching away.

Vinegar

The low acidic levels in vinegar help to counteract the itching caused by a bite. Either dab it onto your bites, or if you’ve got lots, add a few cups of it to warm water and soak in it. You can use normal vinegar, but apple cider vinegar can be more effective.

When should you seek emergency help?

Sometimes, it’s not worth taking the risk. If you’re not sure what bit you, but it’s not improving, you should take yourself off to the doctors. Likewise, if the swelling is growing, or your skin is getting redder and hotter, get yourself checked out. Some bites can turn into blood poisoningso it’s better to be safe than sorry.

If you’ve been bitten or stung by a scorpion, certain types of spiders, and some caterpillars, then you need to head straight off to the hospital, where they can administer the right anti-venom. While unlikely to be fatally poisonous, they can make you feel rather unwell.

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