Tuesday, November 28, 2023


These are the home remedies we swear by for bug bite itching

Love spending time outside? You bet! Nothing better, right? Well, except for the mosquitoes! I swear these pesky insects ring their dinner bells to alert all their friends the minute I step outside the RV. I’ve learned to liberally apply insect spray before hiking, picnicking, or any other extended outdoor activity. The thing is, I am in and out of the RV several times a day. And I don’t always remember to spray so I end up with bug bites.

Mosquito bites can be especially frustrating. These pesky insects take a sip of your blood and in exchange give you a bit of their saliva. A mosquito’s saliva contains certain proteins that cause your skin to itch and burn (a mild allergic reaction). My ongoing battle against these pests has driven me to find a variety of home remedies readily available to those of us “on the road.” These tips seem to work (most of the time) for me. Maybe they can help you, too.

First, a word of caution

Generally, a mosquito’s bite will result in itching and/or swelling in a small, localized area of the skin. There are times when a mosquito bite can become infected. If the swelling, redness, and other symptoms from a bite do not disappear within a week, have it checked out by a doctor.

As with any sting or bite, see your doctor if you experience shortness of breath, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, hives, or nausea.

Stop the itch

  • Ice is my first go-to for mosquito itch, swelling, and pain. (Wrap the ice in a cloth first to protect your skin.)
  • Toothpaste, especially a minty-menthol flavored kind will help stop the itch and soothe your irritated skin, too.
  • Vinegar is a natural disinfectant. It will reduce stinging and itching. Mix a capful of vinegar with a tablespoon of cold water. Apply to the mosquito bite with a tissue or cotton ball for a few minutes. Reapply as needed.
  • Break a leaf off your Aloe Vera plant. Apply the gel from inside the leaf directly to the bite.
  • Place the inside of a banana peel to the mosquito bite for relief. Keep it on the affected area for several minutes.

Some store-bought remedies

  • A few of the RVtravel.com staffers have used this electronic device before and swear by it. Simply apply it to the bite, and a source of concentrated heat zaps the itch and pain away. It works, we swear!
  • This device works by suction – as in, it sucks the mosquito’s saliva or venom (from other creepy crawlies) right out of your skin. We know many people who use and recommend this.
  • This bug bite balm is perfect to keep in your pocket or purse. It’s small and lightweight, and the itch goes away almost immediately.


Forget insect repellent: Just paint yourself with stripes!


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.



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Richard Hughes (@guest_131928)
2 years ago

I use Abreva, the very expensive, cold sore treatment, on mosquito bites. Like Brylcreem, “A little dab’l do ya.” Note: Walmart now has a generic brand that is exactly the same formula

Wolfgang (@guest_131885)
2 years ago

The best thing to do is use your deodorant stick and go over the itching part. it works on the spot and the itching disappear because the deodorant sucks the poison stuff out of your skin

Ellen (@guest_131870)
2 years ago

We always carry a tin of Bag Balm with us — great for everything! It’s a very old remedy for just about everything. We use it for bug bites, scrapes, sunburn — if it hurts, we put Bag Balm on it. You can find it (usually) at Walmart in the health & beauty section. It’s in a green tin. This old Vermont company started making it to soothe dairy cows’ soreness (yep) and I swear — like aspirin — it’s a miracle cure. (Plus you can use it like any lubricant, which means we keep a container in the storage bin with our sewer hoses to keep the ends lubed for easier change-outs from one place to another…. Didn’t I say we use this for nearly everything?) Gotta love a product that does a lot of things!

Debra (@guest_131458)
2 years ago

I take Vitamin B1 during insect season – for 10+ years now … it does not stop all bites but 90% for sure – cheap and no side effects

Nora (@guest_131454)
2 years ago

Spit… as in saliva
Gold Listerine, in a spray bottle or on a swab… also works on dogs.

David Miner (@guest_131439)
2 years ago

We swear by the hot spoon method (it’s amazing!)
heat up some water in the microwave to almost boiling. Put a teaspoon in the cup of water and allow it enough time to heat up. Touch the back of the spoon to the swollen bite and watch it disappear. Caution: the spoon can be very hot, almost enough to burn. So, be careful.

Last edited 4 months ago by Diane McGovern
Warren G (@guest_131417)
2 years ago

Applying clear nail polish works.

Claudia (@guest_131413)
2 years ago

We swear by Absorbine Jr (if you can find it.) Stops the itch in about a minute after application. I assume it’s the menthol so probably anything that has it would work.

Gigi (@guest_131395)
2 years ago

I use babies teething gel, and it works on chigger bites also.

Dan (@guest_131457)
2 years ago
Reply to  Gigi

Lavender essential oil. You can find this also in a roll on. Also works for chiggers. I just put some on from a couple bites I got this morning. Makes you smell better too!!

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