Mosquito Bite Treatment

child with a mosquito biteNo matter how careful you are, if you live where there are mosquitoes chances are eventually you'll be bitten and suffer the unpleasant consequences - the redness, the swelling, that miserable itching that lasts for days! Fortunately, there are a number of things you can try, home remedies and over-the-counter products, to tame the itch and help heal mosquito bites.

Mosquito bite home remedies

  • Never scratch a mosquito bite - it will make it itch worse!
  • Wash the bite with soap and water as soon as possible. Rubbing soap directly onto the bite may help reduce the itching.
  • Old fashioned brown soap - the kind which also relieves poison ivy - is said to be particularly effective for banishing the itch of mosquito bites. Brands still available today include Fels Naptha.
  • Heat breaks down and neutralize the substances in mosquito venom that produce the itch.- try holding a warm washcloth on the bite for a few minutes. Or better yet, check out the FDA approved, portable Therapik device. Works on jellyfish stings, bee stings and fire ant bites too!
  • Baking soda and water - make a paste and apply it to the bites.
  • Hold an ice cube or ice pack on the bite - it will numb the area temporarily.
  • Rubbing alcohol often relieves the itch and swelling.

By far the weirdest mosquito bite remedy we've ever heard of can be found in the 1652 book "The Ladies' Dispensatory", where author Leonard Sowerby advises his readers to soothe stings and bug bites by using "caterpillars applied with oyle."


(In case you're wondering, we do NOT recommend that!)

Drugstore mosquito bite treatments

  • Calamine lotion
  • Topical Anesthetics intended to relieve bug bites
  • 1% Hydrocortisone cream - this may not be appropriate for everyone, read the label directions and warnings carefully.
  • Herbal remedies which may contain Tea Tree Oil or Lavender Oil - again, read the label carefully and follow the directions.
  • Antihistimines like Benedryl can help relieve severe reactions.

For some popular commercial herbal, homeopathic and cortisone-based products which soothe and heal itchy mosquito bites, see these insect bite remedies >>

Tips for parents

We adults know (or quickly discover) that scratching a mosquito bite is one of the worst things to do. Try telling that to your kids! If it itches they're going to scratch at it, not only further irritating the bite but increasing the risk of infection. If you don't have any itch-relief remedies on hand (see above) what you can do is teach your children to slap the bite instead of scratching it. Slapping the mosquito bite area won't irritate it and the sting will take their mind off the itch for a little while - hopefully long enough to stop the vicious itching-scratching cycle until you can apply something more effective.

Related: Mosquito Bite Prevention , Mosquito Repellents , Insect Bite Relief Products