Thursday, September 21, 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 on the mosquito bite for relief. Keep it on the affected area for several minutes.

Some store-bought remedies

  • A few of the 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.



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.


  1. I’m surprised you didn’t include our tried and true method. I thought it was common knowledge: meat tenderizer. Put a few drops of water on any bug bite, sprinkle on a little meat tenderizer and gently rub it in. Instant relief.

  2. Teething gel is the best for me, It comes in gel or liquid and the liquid is the best. It’s cheap and a small container.

  3. I’ve always had a vey bad problem with itching, swelling, and welts from mosquitos attacking me and yet they always ignored my husband sitting beside me. Last year I read in People’s Pharmacy where taking Vitamin B1 could possibly alleviate this. This has been a lifesaver for me. So far no bites this year!

  4. Lick the tip of your finger and touch the mosquito bite. I tried this one time and it stopped itching! It’s worth a try!

  5. Me too Gail! Recently met a river guide from Big Bend NP, summering on the Northshore of Mn, who said that moist baking soda, placed on the bite, stops the itch and draws the irritant out. Also have had a doctor suggest taking a dose of vitamin B6 one hour before going out as a natural deterrent. I personally have seen this work…just was not prepared the mosquitos this year. 2 years of going north for summer, (21 on the Northshore and 22 the Rockies) we have not used a drop of Off or our Termacell…but this year…they are out with a vengeance!

  6. I have used baking soda water paiste applied to the site for relief. looks a little strange but it works. Thanks, Mom


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