11 home remedies for mosquito bites to battle the itch

Don't let a mosquito ruin your summer.
Debbie Wolfe Avatar
oats, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, honey, and aloe vera on a kitchen counter top
Bye bye, itch. Popular Science

Mosquito bites can be bothersome and itchy, especially during warm weather months when the pesky insects are most active and your skin is most exposed. Although over-the-counter treatments are available, some people prefer solutions that don’t require a trip to the pharmacy.

[Related: Eight ways to repel insects without bug spray]

Home remedies for mosquito bites can match the effectiveness of commercial alternatives and can be gentler on the skin, making them suitable for different age groups. You can create your own anti-itch balm or spray at home to relieve itching and swelling using ingredients commonly found in your pantry, kitchen, or garden.

Why home remedies for mosquito bites?

Home remedies are popular because of their accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and minimal side effects. These natural treatments often use ingredients you already have around your home, providing a quick and convenient solution. Additionally, home remedies are free from the chemicals found in many commercial products.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is renowned for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. The gel from the aloe vera plant can provide instant relief from mosquito bites by cooling the skin and reducing swelling. To use aloe vera, break off a leaf, extract the gel, and apply it directly to the bite.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a versatile household item that can help neutralize the itchiness caused by mosquito bites. This is because baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) possesses properties that may neutralize pH imbalances on the skin and reduce inflammation, which are common causes of itching. To use baking soda to relieve the itch from a mosquito bite, create a paste by mixing baking soda with a few drops of water. Apply this paste to the affected area and leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar possesses antiseptic properties that can help prevent infection and reduce inflammation. No special preparation is required; it can be used straight from the pantry. Simply dab a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the mosquito bite. The acidic nature of vinegar can also help balance the skin’s pH, relieving itching.


Honey acts as a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. Applying a small amount of unprocessed honey to the bite can reduce swelling and prevent infection because its osmotic effect draws out fluids from the wound, thereby cleaning it and protecting it against further bacterial invasion. Additionally, honey’s anti-inflammatory properties help soothe the skin, reducing irritation and discomfort, making it a beneficial treatment for minor bites and skin conditions. To avoid a stick mess, apply a band-aid over the honey.

Essential Oils

Essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, and peppermint possess antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties. These oils can reduce swelling and alleviate itching caused by mosquito bites. To use these oils, dilute them with a carrier oil, such as argan or jojoba oil, before application to the skin.

Cold Compress

A cold compress may offer immediate relief from the discomfort associated with mosquito bites. The cold temperature numbs the affected area, thus diminishing both itching and swelling. Either wrap a few ice cubes in a cloth or apply a cold pack to the bite for 10 to 15 minutes.


Oatmeal is recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties and is frequently used to alleviate various skin irritations. An oatmeal bath can offer relief from numerous mosquito bites. To prepare an oatmeal bath, grind one cup into a fine powder and add it to a lukewarm bath. Soak in this bath for 15 to 20 minutes to alleviate itching and soothe the skin.


Basil leaves contain compounds such as camphor and thymol, which can relieve itching. Crush fresh basil leaves to release their juices and apply them directly to the mosquito bite. Alternatively, you can make a basil-infused tea, let it cool, and apply it to the affected area with a cotton ball.


Toothpaste can quickly relieve mosquito bites, especially those containing menthol or baking soda. Apply a small dab of toothpaste to the bite and allow it to dry. The cooling sensation from the menthol helps reduce itching and discomfort.


Chamomile is widely recognized as a natural treatment for various health issues. Its oils effectively soothe the skin by reducing the itching and inflammation associated with mosquito bites. For a quick home remedy, save your chamomile tea bag and place it in the refrigerator after brewing. When needed, apply the chilled tea bag to your itchy bites. The coolness of the bag, combined with chamomile’s soothing properties, will help alleviate itching and pain.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a natural astringent that can reduce itching and swelling. Apply witch hazel extract to the bite using a cotton ball. Its anti-inflammatory properties provide quick relief from discomfort.

Other FAQs to consider

Are there any risks with using home remedies for mosquito bites?

Most home remedies are safe, but it’s important to do a patch test first to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction. Avoid using potent substances like undiluted essential oils directly on the skin.

Can home remedies prevent mosquito bites?

Some home remedies, like basil, can help repel mosquitoes but are not as effective as commercial insect repellents.

How often should I apply these home remedies to mosquito bites?

You can apply these remedies several times daily until the itching and swelling subside.

Mosquito bites can be an itchy and uncomfortable nuisance, but you can find quick and effective relief with the right home remedies. By using these remedies, you can enjoy the benefits of gentle, chemical-free treatment for mosquito bites.