How Can You Stop Bed Bug Bites From Itching

Bed bugs: Six cheap and natural solutions to treat itchy bites at home

BED BUG bites can be extremely irritating, especially if you have a serious infestation and lots of bites, but there are ways to deal with them. David Cross, head of Technical Training at Rentokil Pest Control outlines six ways to treat the itch.

Bed bugs are small insects that live in the cracks and crevices in and around beds, and the recent heatwave has caused a reported increase in their numbers in the UK.

They crawl out at night and bite exposed skin, leaving small, red lumps. Bites can appear from a few minutes after being bitten up to a week or two later, according to the NHS.

Although bed bug bites are painless, they can be very itchy and irritating.

“Bedbugs aren’t dangerous and don’t spread any diseases, but some people experience a reaction to their bites and they can be stressful to live with,” the NHS said.

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There are many natural remedies and ‘old wives tales’ on what you can use to help reduce the inflammation and itching associated with bed bug bites

David Cross, Rentokil Pest Control

So what’s the most effective method of treating bed bug bites?

“There are many natural remedies and ‘old wives tales’ on what you can use to help reduce the inflammation and itching associated with bed bug bites,” said Rentokil’s David Cross.

According to Cross, there are six treatments to try, which should be applied after washing the bites with soap and water, before drying them.

Calamine lotion

This relieves itching and also helps to dry rashes and protect the skin.

Baking soda and water

Make a paste with baking soda and water, and apply it directly to the skin. Let it dry before wiping away with a cotton pad.

Bed bug bites are painless but can be itchy and irritating (Image: Getty Images)


The menthol contained in toothpaste is said to be a good anti-itch remedy. Apply a generous amount to the bite to soothe the burning sensation and relieve the itching.

Witch Hazel

This provides a mild anaesthetic effect that helps to calm the itching caused by bites.

Aloe Vera

Both “fresh” Aloe Vera or gel works well against insect bites. The active substances and amino acids present in Aloe Vera help relieve itching and burning sensations.

Lemon juice

This has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is also a natural astringent. Lemon juice can help dry rashes and itchiness while reducing redness and swelling.

As bed bugs are small and only come out at night, they can be difficult to spot and it is therefore not always easy to identify if you have an infestation.

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Bed bug bites usually fade in a few days, but there are ways to treat the itch (Image: Getty Images)

Bed bugs often bite in lines or clusters on the skin (Image: Getty Images)

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However, one thing which distinguishes them from other biting insects is the pattern in which they bite.

Because they are crawling insects, as opposed to flying insects such as mosquitoes, bed bugs often bite in lines or clusters across the skin.

Bed bug bites also usually occur on exposed areas such as the face, neck, hands or arms.

In more severe cases, bed bug bites may cause a rash or fluid-filled blisters. They can also become infected with bacteria if scratched.

According to the NHS: “The bites usually fade in a few days. If they’re very itchy, you can buy a mild steroid cream (such as hydrocortisone) or antihistamine tablets to relieve the itch.”

“See your GP if you develop signs of a skin infection, including pain, redness and swelling, as you may need antibiotics,” the NHS said.

How to Stop Bed Bug Bites from Itching – Quick Solution

With warmer weather come bugs, prominent among which are bed bugs. Many a family vacation has been spoilt by sleeping in bed bug infested hotels. Bed bug bites are extremely itchy and can ruin a good night’s sleep. Children and babies tend to get irritable and cranky due to such bites and scratching them can also lead to secondary skin infections.

Therefore, we are compiling a list of quick healing remedies that can help relieve itchiness caused by bed bug bites. These are proven to quickly stop bed bug bites from itching for fast relief from pain and inflammation.

Proven home remedies to stop bed bug bites from itching

  • Ice- Apply ice immediately to the bitten area to stop bed bug bites from itching. In absence of ice, apply cold water or frozen vegetable packets to the skin for a few minutes until the itchiness is reduced.
  • Heat- Heat is another proven home remedy. Many a victim of bed bug bites has obtained relief by applying heat from a hair dryer to the bite site. Alternatively, take a hot shower and pat dry the bitten area with a soft cloth for immediate relief from pain and inflammation.
  • Toothpaste- Toothpaste is readily available at home and is a handy remedy to stop bed bug bites from itching quickly and effectively. Simply apply a generous portion on the bite; the menthol and baking soda in the toothpaste helps relieve itching and burning.
  • Baking soda- Make a paste of baking soda with some water. Apply it to the skin to immediately stop bed bug bites from itching.
  • Oatmeal- Colloidal oatmeal has plethora of skin benefits primary amongst which is relieving irritation resulting from insect bites. Make a paste of oats and water and apply it on the arms, legs, feet, and anywhere else where bed bugs have left their bite marks on the skin.
  • If you are outdoors camping and have none of the above remedies to stop bed bug bites from itching quickly, simply collect some mud and make it into a paste with water. Apply this paste to stop bed bug bites from itching.
  • Aloe Vera plant- If you have an aloe vera plant handy nearby, simply cut open the leaf, extract its gel and apply it all over the skin to stop the itch.

Over the counter remedies to stop bed bug bites from itching

When bed bugs bite, their saliva mixes with our blood which then releases histamine to counter the allergic substance in the saliva’s protein. This histamine is what causes the itching in the first place. Hence an antihistamine must be taken to counter itchiness.

  • Oral Anti Histamine- Benadryl or any other antihistamine tablet taken orally can give immediate relief from itching.
  • Anti-itch creams- Hydrocortisone creams, Benadryl spray/ cream or calamine lotion as well as Cortizone 10 etc can be applied to stop bed bug bites from itching.
  • Take rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and apply it liberally all over the bites for quick relief from itching.

We hope these home and store bought remedies will help you quickly stop bed bug bites from itching for fast relief from pain and inflammation.

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12 Totally Natural, Genius Ways To Relieve Bug Bites

Tbh, I’ll try anything at this point.

Summer is arguably the best time of year—you know, other than the bug bites.

Something that makes them even more annoying? Those bug and mosquito bites are little allergic reactions brought on by insects. Think about it: Their symptoms (pain, itching, swelling) are all characteristic of a localized allergic reaction, says David Cutler, MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.

(Keep in mind, however, that if a bug bite turns into an itchy rash all over your body, that’s a sign of a more generalized response by your immune system, which could require medical attention, says Dr. Cutler.)

But as far as those mild, localized, itchy bites go, hold off on a trip to the drugstore to find your anti-itch remedy—experts say these 12 natural ways to relieve bug bites can be just as effective as any over-the-counter treatments.

1. Tea tree oil

This natural oil is capable of alleviating itching, pain, and swelling, according to dermatologist Neal Schultz, MD. Tea tree oil is also antibacterial, which can help prevent infection of the bug bite (which can happen if you scratch it so much, that you create an open wound!).

2. Honey

If you don’t mind a bit of stickiness, honey is an anti-inflammatory and can make the itching a little less tempting, says board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD.

4. Milk and water

This is Dr. Schultz’s favorite technique. Mix equal parts skim milk and water, dip a thin cloth (like a handkerchief or an old T-shirt) into the concoction, and dab your skin. You’ll find the protein from the milk super-soothing on the itchy bite location.

5. Lemon or lime juice

These fruit powerhouses provide itch relief and are antibacterial, says Dr. Schultz. But if you go this route, make sure you’re inside—these juices can burn your skin if you’re out in the sun, he says.

3. Lavender oil

Dr. Schultz says dabbing a few drops of lavender oil to the itchy or painful bite can help dull the sensation—and help you resist touching and picking at it.

But, keep in mind: Oils from different brands may be more acidic than others, so make sure to dilute it with a drop or two of water first, says Dr. Schultz, which can help prevent any irritation from the oil.

7. Toothpaste

“Most toothpastes have a mint or peppermint flavor, and the menthol ingredient creates a cooling sensation on your skin,” says Dr. Schultz. Your brain picks up on this feeling much quicker than the itching sensation. Plus, the astringent nature of toothpaste helps reduce swelling.

8. Basil

This spice isn’t just limited to the kitchen. Basil leaves contain chemicals such as camphor, which creates a cool feeling, similar to menthol in toothpaste, says Dr. Schultz. Crush a few leaves and apply the bits directly to your bumps.

9. Apple cider vinegar

This is a great home remedy to block itching because of its low acidic levels, says Dr. Schultz. Dab it onto individual spots or, if your body’s been a buffet for bugs, you can add two-to-three cups to warm water and soak in a tub. And apple cider vinegar may work even better, says Dr. Schultz.

How to Stop the Itch of Bed Bug Bites

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If you wake up in the morning with swollen, red and itchy skin, it is possible your sleep was disrupted by bites from bed bugs. While bed bug bites are harmless, the itching that accompanies them can lead to a bacterial infection, if you continue to scratch your skin, according to MedicineNet. You can stop the itch from bed bug bites with oral medications. However, you can best prevent the itch from recurring by getting rid of bed bugs with preventive treatments.

Oral Treatments

Avoid scratching the skin where you are experiencing the itch of the bed bug bite. Take an over-the-counter antihistamine pill, or apply steroid creams and calamine lotion over the itchy skin, or creams containing diphenhydramine to get quick relief. You can also place a hot washcloth over the affected area to experience relief from the itchy sensation. If you have scratched the itchy skin quite badly, you might need to see a doctor who will prescribe antibiotic medication to prevent a bacterial skin infection.


Cover your body when going to bed by wearing pajamas and sleeping under a mosquito net because bed bugs do not burrow beneath clothing. Regularly inspect your mattress, bed and furniture for signs of bed bugs. Look for dried feces that resemble black spots, mottled shells caused by shedding skin, and blood spots. Treat bed bug infested bedding and discard heavily infested ones.

Nonchemical Treatments

You can use several nonchemical treatments to get rid of bed bugs. Regularly vacuum your bed and the areas surrounding it. Once you have finished, put the vacuum cleaner bag in a disposal bag and place it in an outdoor garbage bin. Wash your bedding and clothes at a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and run them in a clothes dryer set at high heat for 20 minutes to destroy resident bed bugs and their eggs.

Chemical Treatments

Eradicate bed bugs by applying a low-odor insecticide spray or dust specially designed for bed bugs, in areas of your home frequented by these pests. Do not apply the insecticide directly on your bedding, mattress or clothing. You should also be aware that bed bugs tend to build resistance to insecticides, which can prove ineffective over a period of time. If you have a bed bug infestation, get in touch with a pest control service to professionally exterminate them.

How to Stop Itching From Bed Bug Bites? (Bed Bug Bite Treatment)

After writing how to get rid of roaches?, how to get rid of fruit flies?, how to get rid of ants?, how to get rid of fleas?, and home remedies to get rid of bed bugs naturally, we are now writing how to stop itching from bed bug bites. Bed bug bites is not a serious skin problem and should not cause any alarm. Bed bug bites may go even without treatment. However, the effect of the bite can be very itchy. The treatment is not necessarily for the bites, but for the symptoms and complications that go with. The following are what you can use for bed bug bites treatment:

(A) Best Home Remedies to Stop Itching From Bed Bug Bites (Bed Bug Bite Treatment):

1.) Apply The Ice Pack

This is one of the best remedies to treat bed bugs bites fast and naturally at home. The cold temperature from ice can aid frozen the nerve endings, thus reducing the itching sensation caused due to bed bug bites. It will also help soothe the swelling. To try this method, cover a few ice cubes in a thin washcloth or towel. Now, place it in the bitten area. Keep it for 10 -15 mins. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day to see the best results.

2.) Use The Baking Soda Paste

This is one of the beneficial remedies to cure bed bugs bites fast at home. Baking soda also referred as sodium bicarbonate. It helps counterbalance acidic chemicals that help to stop itching from a bed bug bite. Baking soda is also an anti-inflammatory agent, it also helps diminish redness and swelling. To try this remedy, mix 1 tsp of baking soda and 3 tsp of water. Mix the solution well. Apply this solution directly on the affected area. Keep it on for 10 minutes before you wash it off. Do this process for 2 times a day to get better results.

3.) Lemon Juice to Prevent Bed Bug Bites

Lemon acts as a natural astringent, it helps dry out bite rashes caused by bed bug bites. It helps reduce itching. Moreover, its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help decrease swelling and redness as well as stop infection. To use this method, soak a cotton ball in lemon juice. Apply it on the affected area. Let it dry, then wash the affected area. Do this process for a few times a day to get better results.

Note: Lemon juice may make your skin vulnerable to sunburn. Do not move out in the sun for a few hours after using the lemon juice.

4.) Take Help From Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a liquid astringent. It is also helpful to treat bed bugs bite fast at home. You can purchase one from a drug store. Mostly used as a facial cleaner, it can also help soothe itching caused due to bed bug bites because it contains tannins that have a mild pain killing properties. To try this remedy, dip a cotton ball in witch hazel. Place it directly on the bite area. Leave it for 10 mins then rinse it using normal water. Do this process as per your requirement.

5.) Use The Aloe Vera Gel

The moist aloe vera gel is soothing for your skin. The active compounds and amino acids in aloe vera gel help ease burning and itching caused by bed bug and other insect bites. It also helps curing the skin by keeping it conditioned. To use this method, extract the aloe vera gel and directly apply it on the affected area. Apply this method 2-3 times a day to get better results. This helps you treat bed bugs bites fast and naturally at home.

6.) Apply The Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another helpful remedy to get rid of bed bug bites at home fast and naturally. It helps ease burning and itching, thanks to its acetic acid and anti-inflammatory properties. If apple cider vinegar is not handy, you can also use white vinegar. To try this remedy, you need 2 tsp of unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Apply this ACV on the affected area. If its itching, then dilute apple cider vinegar by adding few drops of water. Use this process for 2-3 times a day for better results faster. Read apple cider vinegar uses.

7.) Make Oatmeal Paste For Bites

Due to its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, it is an effective solution for the treatment of bed bug bites. This is an excellent solution to lessen skin itching and irritation caused by bed bug bites and other insect bites as well as skin problems like psoriasis and eczema. To try this method, mix some water to the 2 tsp of oatmeal to make a paste. Apply this paste on the bite area. Keep it on for about 15 minutes before washing it off. Repeat this process for a few times for a few days. This is one of the best remedies to treat bed bugs bites naturally at home.

8.) Apply The White Toothpaste

Toothpaste is another useful and effective remedy for bed bug bites. It consists of cooling menthol that helps diminish the burning and itching feelings. Use a white toothpaste, not a gel based, for this method. Apply a little white toothpaste on the bite area. Keep it for 10-15 minutes, then wash it off. Repeat this method for 2 times a day to get better results.

9.) Use The Tea Bags

Moist tea bags can also help fight the swelling and itching caused by bed bug bites and other insect bites. They consist of mild anesthetic and astringent properties. To use this method, cool a wet or used tea bag in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Place it over the affected area for about 15 minutes. Repeat this method for 2-3 times a day to get relief from the pain and irritation. This is one of the beneficial home remedies to get rid of bed bugs bites at home fast and naturally.

10.) Cucumber Will Help For Bites

Cucumber consists of soothing properties that helps ease the inflammation and redness of the bed bug bites. To use this method, take a cucumber and cut into thin slices. Place it over the affected area for 10 mins to relieve from swelling and itching caused by bed bug bites. As they consist of caffeic acid and vitamin C that offer anti-inflammatory benefits to cure bed bites and other skin issues.

11.) Use The Marshmallow Roots Powder

It is also an outstanding herbal remedy to treat bed bug bites naturally. To try this method, just grind the marshmallow roots to form a powder. Now, mix some amount of water to this powder to make a paste. It will help reduce the itching and redness of the skin will disappear after a while.

12.) Apply Tea Tree Oil

It is one of the most tried and trusted bed bugs bite remedies as it has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Apply and massage with diluted tea tree oil on the skin, 2-3 times a day to get soothing effects from bed bugs bites fast and naturally at home.

(B) Ways to Stop Itching From Bed Bug Bites (Bed Bug Bite Treatment):

1.) Anti-itch Topical Bed Bug Bite Treatment

There are people who are not bothered at all by the bed bug bite. Some are even clueless that they are bitten by these parasites. However, there are some who feel terrible because of the itchy bite. It is so bothersome that they have to absent themselves from work or school because of it. Anti-itch topical cream is the best treatment for this problem. When applied, the itch will be lessened until it totally goes away. It is an OTC product, but it is still best to see the doctor before using one. The doctor will tell which brand suits your condition well for bed bugs treatment.

2.) Antihistamine for Bed Bug Bite Treatment

There are people whose skin swell because of the bed bug bite. The bite will appear red and may be itchy. There is an allergic reaction if the skin swells because of the bite. To address this, antihistamine is usually prescribed for bed bug bites treatment. This product treats the itch associated with bed bug bites. Similarly, antihistamines lessen the swelling and redness of the skin caused by bed bug bite. This product can be bought over-the-counter. You have to consult with the doctor first to know which brand is the best for your problem.

3.) Hydrocortisone for Bed Bug Bite Treatment

Bed bug bite is not really a serious matter. It does not cause any health problem at all. However, the skin gets inflamed because of it. The redness and swelling of the skin is due to inflammation. Hydrocortisone is usually given to patients who suffer from it. It is a mild steroid-based drug used to treat skin problems. It is also effective in treating itch, redness, and swelling. This is an OTC drug, but it still wise to go to the doctor first. You have to ask if hydrocortisone is the best topical treatment for your bed bug bite.

4.) Antibiotic Tablets for Bed Bug Bite Treatment

There are cases where bed bug bites become worse due to complications. For instance, you scratch the bite and the skin gets infected. In this case, the simple bite becomes worse due to bacteria. To fight the infection, doctors usually prescribe antibiotic tablets. This treatment will stop the infection and will kill the bacteria that caused it. Antibiotic tablets cannot be bought over-the counter. You need a doctor’s prescription to have it.

5.) Heat Treatment for Bed Bug Bites (Home Treatment)

You may also use home treatments for bed bug bites. If you do not want to apply topical creams, use heat treatment instead. The heat can instantly bring relief to itch and redness. Apply heated cloth to the affected areas to fade the itch. Do several times until the itch totally goes away. Heat treatment can also lessen the swelling and redness of the skin.

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