Top 9 Home Remedies For Stings And Bites

2 bumblebees on bright yellow flower

With hot weather on the horizon the likelihood of being bitten or stung will increase dramatically, but now nine of the best home remedies for combating insect wounds have been revealed.

Outdoors experts at have compiled a guide on how to deal with bites and stings from some of the UK’s many critters.

Most Brits will suffer a wasp, spider or mosquito attack at some point in their lives, but the risk of being bitten or stung is particularly prevalent in the summer.

As the majority of insects will only attack when they feel agitated or threatened, it’s relatively easy to avoid the situation – simply stay calm and slowly move away from the offending critter.

For the unlucky ones that suffer a sharp bite or sting, household items such as honey and ice can help soothe pain and reduce the swelling.

A spokesperson for explained: “Most of us relish the arrival of summer and the long, warm days that go with it – but so do pesky insects.

“It is important to remember that critters and flies will only bite when agitated or when they feel threatened, so it’s best to try and avoid them altogether.

“If you are bitten or stung, it’s good to have some foolproof home remedies to hand to soothe the injuries.

“If the pain and swelling doesn’t let up and the wound is showing signs of infection, please see a medical professional as soon as possible.”

1. Ice

a woman applying cold pack on  swollen hurting knee after accident

Pic: iStockphoto
An ice pack also works if you happen to have one in the freezer.

Ice is a great remedy for soothing any bites and stings, as the cold helps to diminish the itch, reduces the inflammation or swelling and eases the pain. Place crushed ice into a small sandwich bag, wrap in a towel and place over the affected area until the skin feels calmer.

2. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera Plant

Pic: iStockphoto
Aloe Vera plant

This multi-purpose plant-based gel is naturally soothing and moisturising on the skin, and it also holds anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Putting a small amount of gel onto the bite or sting will help reduce the level of swelling and prevent the site from becoming infected.

3. Raw Honey

Honey dripping from honey-dipper in glass jar.

Pic: iStockphoto

Honey helps combat inflammation and can reduce swelling, and the natural antibacterial qualities help to prevent infection and increases the speed of healing. Spread a small amount on the sting, preferably indoors so the smell does not attract more bees.

4. Witch Hazel

This remedy is anti-inflammatory and can also reduce the sensation of itching, so is perfect to combat ant bites. Using a cotton swab, dab a small amount of the solution onto the sore area and after a few minutes rinse off with water. This will reduce swelling and take the sting out of insect bites.

5. Sugar

Close up view of word sugar of granulated sugar. sugar cubes. Top view or flat lay.

Pic: iStockphoto

Best used after the sting is almost healed as this will make the scar that is left almost vanish. Dab water on the affected area, then cover with sugar and leave for a long period of time. But keep note to wash off before sleeping and do not leave overnight as insects are attracted to sugar.

6. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint is one of the best essential oils to deal with painful stings and bites. The cooling effect will calm the area and reduce irritation and itchiness. It will also improve blood circulation and cleanse toxin from the area, accelerating the healing process. Apply the oil to the bitten area and massage gently to encourage blood flow.

7. Aspirin

A popular choice amongst doctors, aspirin will eliminate the toxins released that are present in the affected area, reducing the level of inflammation and healing the bite faster. It also contains acetylsalicylic acid which relieves pain. To use, simply crush two tablets with water to make a thick paste, apply to the area for a couple of minutes and wash off. This is an almost fool-proof way to get rid of the irritating itching sensation.

8. Papaya

papaya halves isolated on white background

Pic: iStockphoto

The enzymes this fruit contains can reduce the level of inflammation and so counteracts the effect of the venom. Simply cut a fresh slice of papaya and place over the bitten skin. It is important to ensure the fruit is still moist for maximum benefit. Replace when dried out and repeat until the skin is less inflamed.

9. Natural Clay

A wonderful absorber and treatment that has been used for thousands of years. Nowadays, clay is used in facemasks to thoroughly clean the skin of any dirt, as our skin can easily absorb the trace minerals found in clay. This therefore makes it a great product for removing toxins out of a bite or sting. For an almost instant relief from pain and itchiness, just mix some clay with water to produce a fine paste and cover the bites with this mixture.

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!