What are Insect Bites?
Insect Bites, as the name suggests, are caused by bites and stings of a variety of insects like bedbugs, mosquitoes, ticks, mites, fire ants etc. The bites usually give rise to local irritation but may cause allergic reactions in certain individuals.
Basically, when an insect bites or stings, it injects its sting in your skin and releases saliva. Proteins and other substances present in the saliva often lead to self-limiting localized itching and inflammation on skin.
The mild puncture wounds tend to heal within a few days. You can also use some simple and inexpensive home remedies for Insect Bites natural treatment to facilitate the process of healing and reduce the inconvenience caused by annoying symptoms. Besides, use of certain homemade insect repellants is useful in avoiding Insect Bites.
Causes of Insect Bites
Bedbugs, ticks, mites, mosquitoes, gnats, fire ants, fleas, lice, horseflies are the most common insects causing Insect Bites. In most of the cases, these creatures bite in defense when they sense danger.
Dark, damp, unhygienic surroundings, strong perfumes and bright colors generally attract insects and therefore increase the chances of Insect Bites.
Activities like gardening and travelling can also lead to exposure to different types of insects. In addition, house pets may also carry insect larvae, like that of fleas. Insect Bites also include wasp and bee stings.
Symptoms of Insect Bites
Some individuals prone to severe allergic reaction due to insect venom may develop serious symptoms such as facial swelling, abdominal pain, headache, breathing difficulty, hives, nausea, dizziness and shock.
At times, insects carrying certain viruses and microorganisms transmit them in the blood system of the individuals they bite, thereby spreading serious conditions like Malaria, Yellow Fever, Tularemia, Lyme disease and other such diseases.
Natural Home Remedies for Insect Bites
• Rubbing a bar of dry soap on the affected area is useful in reducing Insect Bites related itching almost immediately. Simply rubbing some table salt also helps relieve the itching. Application of peppermint toothpaste also has a soothing effect.
• Applying a paste prepared by mixing three teaspoons of baking soda and one teaspoon of water is one of the most effective natural home remedies for Insect Bites. Use this therapy for about 15-20 minutes several times in a day.
• Take a quart of hot water and mix a teaspoon of Epsom salt in it. Let salt dissolve and then chill the mixture. Finally, soak a cotton ball in this mixture and apply it on the affected area for a few minutes. This natural remedy for Insect Bites home treatment helps cure the problem.
• Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on the affected area is one of the simplest natural home remedies for Insect Bites. Application of raw honey is also recommended.
• The application of ice packs is an effective way of relieving Insect Bites related symptoms like itching and inflammation.
• A poultice prepared from plantain leaves (crushed) is also useful in healing this problem. Another poultice used as a home remedy for Insect Bites involves the use of white clay along with some water or herbal tea.
• Rubbing alcohol is one of the most popular Insect Bites home remedies. It has cooling and antiseptic properties that help reduce swelling and skin irritation.
• Applying a combination of pure olive oil and vinegar serves as a highly beneficial natural cure for Insect Bites, especially the ones caused by mosquitoes.
• Simply applying some lime juice mixed with water is useful in healing Insect Bites. A combination of a couple of drops of lemon oil and a teaspoon of honey helps avoid infection.
• Essential oils such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, cedar oil, witch hazel etc serve as excellent natural home remedies for Insect Bites. Application of these herbal oils, however, is not recommended in case of children.
• Clove oil, catnip oil, witch hazel, rubbing alcohol, apple cider vinegar etc work as good natural insect repellents. Another homemade insect repellant can be prepared by adding about 10 drops each of tea tree oil and geralium oil and 20 drops each of eucalyptus oil and cedarwood oil in two ounces of jojoba oil or any other carrier oil. Apply this mixture on skin to prevent Insect Bites. Do not use on children.
Before applying these natural home remedies for Insect Bites, make sure you wash the affected area with a mild soap and water.
Diet for Insect Bites
There is no specific diet for Insect Bites. Still, it has been observed that a balanced and nutritious diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C and zinc is highly beneficial in controlling the symptoms and facilitating the process of healing. Consumption of garlic and lemon, in particular, can be useful.