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Home Treatment for Insect Bites

insect bites

Most insect bites merely cause minor reactions and can be treated at home but they can cause aggravation and inconvenience on the part of the person bitten, especially for children.

Here’s a guide for dealing with those nasty bug bites:

1. Identify the insect.

It’s important to look for clues on what caused the bite and then determine if the insect is venomous or not.  Bites from the following insects are usually benign:

  • Most species of mosquitoes
  • Bedbugs
  • Fleas
  • Lice
  • Dust mites
  • Some species of spiders

For other insects, especially most spiders, and pests like rodents, or if you’re not sure what caused the bite, consider it venomous and get medical treatment immediately.

2. Symptoms

Common symptoms

  • Redness
  • Minor pain in the area
  • Swelling around bite
  • Itchiness


Blisters will often subside on their own, with new skin forming under the blister and the fluid being absorbed by the new skin.  If your bite turns into a blister, cover it with an adhesive bandage to keep it from bursting and becoming painful.


Get medical treatment immediately if the bite becomes infected:

  • Pus develops around the bite
  • Pain and tenderness in the area
  • Swelling and redness in the area
  • You feel feverish
  • Your glands are swollen

Allergic Reactions

Some people develop allergic reactions to insect bites.  The most severe cases even lead to fatalities.  Get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling on other parts of your body
  • Skin rashes
  • Itchiness on other parts of your body
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing

Insects that usually cause moderate to severe allergic reactions:

  • Wasps
  • Bees
  • Hornets
  • Fire ants

3. Treatment

  1. Remove the stinger. Use your fingernails, tape or a brush to gently scrape the stinger from the skin.  Don’t pull it out with tweezers or you may spread the venom.
  2. Wash the bite area with soap and water.
  3. You can place a cold compress, such as an ice pack covered with cloth, or cloth soaked in cool water, over the area.
  4. To prevent itching, rub mild hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion on the area.
  5. Take paracetamol or ibuprofen for the pain.
  6. If the victim is a child, remember to consult a pediatrician before using any cream or giving medicine