The Tick and Mosquito Project


How to Treat Mosquito Bites

One of the most irritating parts about trying to enjoy the summers is the presence of mosquitoes, if you live in an area that is conducive to mosquito populations.  Even in areas that don’t have hoards of mosquitoes, you can often get a small number of mosquitoes that are quite aggressive when they find you.

The best way to prevent a mosquito bite, of course, is to prevent mosquitoes.  However, that sometimes is not feasible if you are in a mosquito-prone area.  Still, take steps to keep mosquitoes off of your skin.  The most common way to do that is to use mosquito repellent.  Another method we like is to wear mosquito-resistant attire, such as a good bug or mosquito shirt.

The bites can be downright unacceptable and the chances of getting bitten by a mosquito are extremely high.  It can hardly be helped.  Once a mosquito bites you, the itching is bound to drive you insane, and it is for this reason that we have developed a list of twelve great ways to treat those pesky mosquito bites.

OTC Remedies for Treating Bug and Mosquito Bites

There are many ways to treat a mosquito bite.  You can treat the initial bite to reduce itchiness and the uncomfortable feeling, but giving the bite good attention can also be important to ensure you don’t end up with a mosquito bite scar later on.


Over the counter remedies for bug and mosquito bites are usually found in the first aid aisle of your local drug store or market.

Perhaps the most trusted go-to solution for us is a product by Neosporin.  The Neosporin Pain, Itch, and Scar product (find it here) is so effective because it offers three things that are helpful for a severe bug bite.  First, it offers the anti-itch qualities which might be the most immediate and pressing need. An itchy bite is just asking to be scratched, which can cause other problems such as the introduction of an infection from outside germs.

The second thing we like about the Neosporin product is that it is an antibiotic, which will help keep an infection away in case it is a severe bite, or if you might be prone to infection.

The third thing we like about Neosporin is that it reduces scarring.  Scarring is usually not a problem for such a tiny abrasion as a mosquito bite, but if you get a bad bee sting on the tip of your nose, it might be something you are concerned about.

Find it here on Amazon.

Calamine Lotion

Calamine lotion has been around for decades, and any kid who grew up in the 70s and 80s probably remembers the smell well.  Calamine is the swiss army knife ofcalamine mosquito anti-itch and anti-pain lotions and rubs, working great for everything from bug bites to poison ivy to sunburn.  Many hikers and campers make sure to have calamine lotion in their backpack or first aid kit.

Simply rub the calamine lotion on and around the bite, and you will likely notice an immediate sense of itching relief, and you may also notice less redness around the bite.  Find it here on Amazon.

Home or Natural Remedies for Treating Bug and Mosquito Bites

Home remedies are often an option when it comes to treating skin irritation, itching, or even slight swelling. Disclaimer: Most of these methods are not clinically-tested, so we cannot tell you with certainty how well they work. But they have been passed down for generations as potential ways to soothe the sting of a bug bite.


If you notice a single bite on your body, you can apply a tiny amount of vinegar on it to feel relief. We recommend making use of apple cider vinegar. If you notice a multitude of bites, you can take a hot bath with 2.5 cups of vinegar added to the tub.  Cider vinegar has a much smoother scent than regular old white vinegar.

Aloe Vera

The gel from a fresh aloe leaf will help provide instant relief once it is applied to a mosquito bite. It also helps in easing the

mosquito aloe
George’s is among our top choices for aloe gel for treating mosquito bites.

swelling. The cooling sensation you will feel after applying the gel o r even organic aloe juice will prevent you from wanting to constantly itch your bite.  Our favorite is George’s, which works well on mosquito bites.


Huh?  Toothpaste?  Yep.

The menthol in toothpaste is a cooling agent, and when you apply toothpaste directly to your mosquito bite, your mind is distracted from the itching, and the cool feeling that is created replaces the itchiness from the bite. The astringency element that toothpaste has will also help in reducing the swelling by preventing the build up of fluids.

Vapor Rub

One of most versatile medicines we always travel with, the camphor oil and menthol based ingredients found in vapor rub – that’s right, good old Vick’s — make it quite efficient in treating mosquito bites. All you have to do is apply it directly to the bites, and you will feel a cooling sensation which will suppress your urge to itch.  Vick’s has many uses (you can even use it to get rid of the skunk smell) but this is a great one.


Honey is a natural antibiotic, and if you use fresh honey to apply to your mosquito bite, you will feel the swelling and itching go down. Honey is very effective in treating mosquito bites which have opened as well, because in addition to being an antibiotic it can keep the bite moist and sealed from outside contaminants.

Yeah, it’s a little sticky on your skin.  That’s the downside.

Make an X

You can use your fingernails to make an X on your mosquito bite. This helps to make the itching finish while also ensuring that you do not have to constantly itch your mosquito bite to relieve the pain and create the risk of infection. Remember not to press too hard as that will pierce your skin.

One theory is that this method will encourage blood flow to the bite area, and the blood helps dilute the effect of the sting more quickly.

A Dry Bar of Soap

You can rub a dry bar of soap on the mosquito bite. However, this only provides temporary relief from the itching, and it takes a while to show effect. Also, you need to remember to wash that area thoroughly once the itching sensation fades away.baking soda mosquito bite

Baking Soda and Water

You can also make a thick paste using baking soda and water, and once you apply this generously on the mosquito bite, you will notice the itching sensation and swelling go away. However, make sure that you create a thick paste. Otherwise, it will not work as effectively.

Generally speaking, keeping baking soda around is good policy.  It is so versatile.  You can use it on everything from grease fires to unwanted scents.  In fact, we buy the shaker bottles in bulk so we never run out.

Lime and Lemon

Rubbing lime or lemon juice directly on the mosquito bite helps a lot. You can even run the peel of the lime or lemon.  This is a nice option for young children as it is totally natural, and you need to use repellent sparingly on babies.  You will be gaining relief from the itching sensation while also preventing your wound from becoming infected with all the itching and exposure to your nails.

Salt Paste

Take finely ground salt and mix it in a tiny amount of water until you have created a thick paste. Rub the paste directly on the mosquito bite. You can use any salt, but it is important to ensure that the salt is finely grounded so that you can create the paste easily.

Essential Oils

Tea tree, rosemary, lavender, witch hazel and cedar oils are only some of the essential oils which have been proven to be affective against mosquito bites. Take a small amount of any essential oil, dilute it with water and rub it on the mosquito bite; you are bound to feel instant relief.

You can use essential oils as tick repellents too, so there are multiple uses for them.


Rub a clove of raw garlic on the mosquito bite as a way to relieve the itching. This remedy will cause a short burning sensation, but it will bring instant relief once the burning is over. It has been advised to avoid using this remedy with children.

Cold Compress

A towel or cloth dampened or saturated with cold water, or thrown in the freezer for a few minutes, can be applied to the skin around the area of the bite. It will relieve the itching and any irritation for a period of time, and is nice in that it leaves no residue on your skin.  It also doesn’t require any supplies that you probably don’t already have in your home. This is great if you need quick relief and have a feeling the bite will feel OK in a few minutes.

These remedies have been proven to be quite effective in curing mosquito bites according to popular opinion, and if you make use of any one of these, you will find it to be quite sufficient in tackling your mosquito bites, itches, and swelling.  Note that these are only intended to treat the irritating part of the mosquito bite – itching, etc.  They do not treat diseases transmitted by mosquitoes such as West Nile or Zika.  For those, the best cure is prevention, and if you are worried that you have contracted a serious mosquito-spread disease, by all means see a doctor!

Leave a Comment