8 Most Effective Home Remedies for Bed Bug Bites

Be careful. This article can read minds.

Here’s what you’re thinking: bed bugs are bugs, right? After all, it’s right there in the name. And what do you use to stop bugs from biting? That’s right, bug spray. So can’t you just keep bed bugs away with a good old dose of DEET?

It sounds smart but it’s a bad idea for several reasons. The truth is, DEET is repellent to bed bugs, just as it is to mosquitoes. But whereas a mosquito that encounters a person who reeks of DEET can just fly off and find someone else to bite, the same isn’t true of a bed bug.

They don’t like the smell or taste of DEET, but that doesn’t mean they won’t put up with it in order to feed. It’s kind of like Arby’s. It’s repellent to most humans, but anyone who gets hungry enough will eat there if they have to.

So if you can’t use bug spray to keep bed bugs from biting you, the best you can hope for is to treat the bites themselves while you work on a plan of attack to drive the six-legged enemy out of your home.

It’s worth noting that the itchiness associated with the bed bug’s bite is not caused by the bite itself, but by the body’s histamine reaction to the bite.

Reducing the itchiness of the bed bug’s bite relies on treating this histamine reaction. So corticosteroids and even antihistamines such as Benadryl can be effective at reducing the itchiness of bed bug bites. 

But these medications have side effects. Better, if you can, to try something more natural. Maybe even something that you already have lying around your home.

We are here to help. Here are the 8 most effective home remedies for bed bug bites.

Baking soda

Aficionados of home remedies will have noticed that baking soda seems to have a thousand uses around the home. Well, here’s another one to add to the list: it makes a great bed bug bites remedy.

Making a paste using baking soda and water and applying it to the skin where you have been bitten can help to ease the etching of a bed bug bite. Let the mixture dry completely before wiping it off.

Sure, you’ll have some weird white smears on your skin for a little while. But it’s a small price to pay to get rid of that infernal itching.

Aloe vera

The clear gel inside the thick leaves of this succulent plant is a useful medicine for all kinds of skin conditions, such as sunburn, rashes, and, you guessed it – bed bug bites.

If you have a plant, all you need to do is slice off one of the leaves and apply the gel that comes out directly to your skin.

As an additional bonus, aloe vera plants are the ideal houseplants for people who aren’t really into taking care of houseplants, since they’re practically un-killable.

But if you don’t have a plant, lotions made with aloe vera are available in pharmacies and grocery stores everywhere to be used as an all natural home remedy for bed bug bites.

Lemon juice

Not only does lemon juice have natural antibacterial properties, but it’s also an astringent that can help to dry out rashes and irritations, including bed bug bites.

Even better? This home remedy for bed bug biteswill also make you smell like a citrus grove in the Mediterranean, which can only be a plus.

Witch hazel

This uniquely named concoction is derived from a plant you’ve probably never heard of. But witch hazel is known to have natural anesthetic properties that will help to dull the itching of bed bug bites.

Apply it directly to the bites and laugh maniacally as the itching fades away. Or not. I’m not here to tell you what to do.

Toothpaste

Weird, right? Sure, toothpaste is known as a home remedy to dry out pimples but a bed bug bites remedy? Who’d have thunk.

But the menthol in toothpaste is claimed to relieve itching on contact. If nothing else, it will make you smell like a freshly cleaned mouth. Just make sure you use mint toothpaste. None of that cinnamon nonsense.

Cinnamon and honey

This may be the most delicious bed bug bite remedy of all. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties, whereas honey helps moisturize the skin and offers antibacterial protection.

You’ll want to be sparing with the honey, though, unless you want to be a magnet for flies and wasps. A few drops of honey mixed with two or 3 tablespoons of cinnamon powder is all you need.

If nothing else, this mixture will make you smell amazing. Although people may be disappointed to find you’re not making them some delicious baked treat but are instead treating your bed bug bites.

Banana peels

Once you’ve gotten your daily intake of potassium, don’t throw that peel away. Rubbing the inside of a banana skin against bed bug bites can help reduce the itchiness of your skin.

Just be careful where you put the peels once you’re done with them to avoid any Three Stooges-style mishaps.

Teabags

A soothing cup of tea might be just the thing to calm the stress of realizing that you have bed bugs. But once you’ve made a cup, don’t throw that bag away – teabags are one of the best all natural home remedies for bed bug bites there is.

Place a wet teabag in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Then apply it to bitten skin and keep it there for at least 15 minutes. This gives time for the tannins to do their work and soothe your irritated skin.

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