Photo: How to treat a mosquito bite

Get quick itch relief from a few familiar ingredients you have in your pantry: baking soda, vinegar and Epsom salts. (Photo credit: Nicole Bridger)

To prevent being "treeprived," you grab yourself some Vitamin "N" and end up with a mosquito bite. (Living in Canada, we're fortunate an annoying itch is likely all we'll get...)

This shows:

  1. You need to brush up on mosquito bite prevention techniques.
  2. You taste better. (One study shows skeeters find blood type O more enticing than A.)
  3. You're an animal.

I brush up on mosquito bite remedies every spring or summer I travel to Alberta to visit family and friends. (In Vancouver many people don't even have screens on windows!)

Get quick itch relief from a few familiar ingredients you have in your pantry:

Subscribe to the Queen of Green digest


Dab a little white or apple cider vinegar on a cloth. Apply to bite. Reapply as needed or dampen an organic cotton ball in vinegar and tape it on.

Baking soda

Add enough water to a tablespoon of baking soda to make a paste. Apply to bite. Allow to dry. (Many bug bite relief products are five per cent baking soda.) You can also add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a warm bath.

Epsom salts

Add one cup of Epsom salts to enough tap water to dissolve them. Soak a cloth in the solution and dab onto bites. Or add one to two cups Epsom salts to a bath.
Note: Find Epsom salts at most grocery or drug stores. Read the ingredient list to avoid added scent. It's often a toxic mix of ingredients labelled as "fragrance" or "parfum."

What's your simple, effective bite relief solution?

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

July 6, 2016

Read more

Post a comment


Oct 24, 2016
1:42 PM

Essential oils! Used for prevention and also for treatment.

Sep 12, 2016
3:45 AM

Chemical sprays are effective, but it’s well documented that ultrasonic devices are not. Theoretically, they are supposed to mimic the noise created by the female mosquito (males don’t bite) and drive them away. But recent research has proven this NOT to be the case. In fact it’s complete ‘nonsense’, as one scientist put it!

Here’s an interesting article from here:

Aug 07, 2016
9:46 AM

my go-to for bug bits, and other little booboos, is PLANTAIN. I just crush up a leaf or three and press on to the area, sometimes i secure it there with a bit of tape or whatever. Guaranteed to work, readiy available and free.

Aug 07, 2016
7:20 AM

I live in Wisconsin which is graced with many lakes, rivers, marshes and wetlands all throughout the state which then means mosquitoes. Although I prepare myself well to repel mosquitoes before heading to the garden, I will always end up with several bites (I’m blood type O by the way). When the bites begin to itch I have found applying arnica gel to the area very effective at stopping the itch. The gel also leaves a bit of film over the bites once dried so continues to keep the irritation down.

Jul 12, 2016
3:04 PM

Poultice of plantain, aka “white man’s footsteps”

Jul 10, 2016
8:09 PM

An even simpler treatement for mosquito bites is to wash them thoroughly with a simple soap (no perfumes) and water. Rubbing the soap in lightly with a washcloth seems to help. The sooner after you are bitten that you do this the better but it can help even up to a couple of hours later or when the bite starts to itch. If you get it right away it can prevent the itching entirely.

Jul 09, 2016
2:48 AM

A drop of lavender oil removes the sting almost immediately and lasts all day.

Jul 09, 2016
1:34 AM

Coconut oil relieves the itch within 10-15 minutes :)

Jul 08, 2016
7:44 PM

I always have vinegar and baking soda on hand. Thanks for the information.

Jul 08, 2016
1:59 PM

A remedy for mosquito bites is putting Vicks Vapor rub on them. The menthol seems to cool and almost numb the itchy area.

Jul 07, 2016
2:34 PM

I react very badly to bites — huge welts when bitten. I now use 100% aloe (not a lotion with aloe but pure drinkable aloe) and the bite disappears entirely in a couple of hours. I keep it in the fridge and rub it on the bites when required. Its fabulous!

The David Suzuki Foundation does not necessarily endorse the comments or views posted within this forum. All contributors acknowledge DSF's right to remove product/service endorsements and refuse publication of comments deemed to be offensive or that contravene our operating principles as a charitable organization. Please note that all comments are pre-moderated. Privacy Policy »