15 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bed Bug Bites

What are Bed Bug Bites?

Getting bitten by bugs, especially bed bugs is a very common thing that can happen to anyone [1]. Even if your house is the most immaculate, it still has bugs if you bring them home on luggage or clothes. Bed bugs can sneak into anywhere: your bed, your carpet, your furniture, etc. They will bite you and you don’t even know when.

Symptoms of Bed Bug Bites

The bites from bed bug can look similar to the bites from other insects which commonly appear in either clusters or rows of 3 – 5 bites. The most popular sites for bed bug bites are the hands and arms as well as neck and even the face.

Depending on the person, they might not even notice the bites or they might have symptoms such as rashes or bumps which are itchy and red [2].

Also they can have allergic reaction together with burning sensation and painful swelling at the area surrounding the bites. The bites can become engorged or in the worst case develop anaphylactic response [3].

Some bites can disappear after a few days but some can become infected. Bed bugs don’t transmit diseases but they can cause a skin infection because of the scratch.

Here are top 20 most effective remedies for how to get rid of bed bug bites which you can easily apply in order to get rid of bed bugs bites and prevent future incidents that might disturb your rest…

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a natural astringent for how to get rid of bed bug bites. It can keep itching at bay and dry out rashes that are caused by bed bug bites. Moreover, lemon juice can reduce swelling, redness and prevent infection because of the anti-inflammatory content in it [4].

  • Take a cotton ball and dip it in lemon juice.
  • Dab it on the bed bugs bites.
  • Wait for several minutes then wash these areas.
  • Follow this solution for several times a day.

Note: Don’t go out in the sun for a couple of hours after taking this tip because lemon juice can make your skin vulnerable to sunburn. You can find out more about the applications of lemon juice at: Home Remedies for Sore Throat and Dry and Rough Hands.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Using apple cider vinegar is a natural solution for how to get rid of bed bug bites. The acetic acid and anti-inflammatory properties content in apple cider vinegar can reduce the itch and burn [5].

  • Use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to apply on the bed bug bites.
  • Wait for a few minutes then wash it off.
  • If the symptoms don’t reduce, reapply apple cider vinegar after several hours.

Note: You can use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. For more information about benefits and applications of apple cider vinegar, please read: Home Remedies for Vaginitis and Stiff Neck.

3. Toothpaste

This is another easy way for how to get rid of bed bug bites. Toothpaste can reduce the burn and itching sensations thanks to its cooling menthol [6].

  • Dab a little white toothpaste on the bed bug bites.
  • Wait for 10 minutes before washing it off.
  • If you don’t see the result, repeat this solution.

Note: Remember to use white toothpaste, not a gel version. Toothpaste can treat some other problems related to skin as well, you can find out more at: Home Remedies for Whiteheadsand Pimples.

4. Cucumber

Using cucumber is a natural way to reduce the bites. Cucumber (slices and peels) contains vitamin C as well as caffeic acid that provide anti-inflammatory benefits that can relief the itch and burn [7].

  • Take a piece of cucumber slice or peel and place it on the bed bug bites.
  • Wait for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • If you aren’t satisfied with the results, repeat this tip again.

Note: You should cool the pieces in the refrigerator before placing it on the affected area for the best effects.

5. Ice Pack

This is an easy but effective way to ease the itch from bed bug bites. Ice can ease the itching sensations thanks to its cold temperature [8]. In addition, it can calm the swelling.

  • Put some ice cubes in a thin towel then wrap them.
  • Place it on the bed bug bites.
  • Wait for 10 to 15 minutes before removing it.
  • Repeat this again if you don’t see the result.

6. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an effective tip for how to get rid of bed bug bites because of its anti-inflammatory properties and soothing. Furthermore, it can reduce skin irritation caused by skin issues like psoriasis and eczema [9].

  • Add a couple of teaspoons of oatmeal to water then mix them together to make a paste.
  • Apply this mixture on the bed bug bites.
  • Wait for at least 15 minutes before cleaning it off.
  • Follow this solution a couple of times for several days.
  • Another option is preparing an oatmeal bath.
  • Add colloidal oatmeal (1/2 cup) in warm bathwater. You can add some drops of peppermint essential oil as well.
  • Soak in this bath for 15 minutes.
  • Repeat this for a few days.

7. Witch Hazel

Even though witch hazel is mostly used as a facial cleanser, you still can use it to ease the itch caused by bed bug bites because of the tannins that content in it have a mild anesthetic effect [10].

  • Use a cotton ball to soak in witch hazel.
  • Place this cotton ball on the bed bug bites.
  • Wait for 10 minutes before removing the cotton ball.
  • Repeat this tip if you don’t see the result.

8. Tea Bag

Moist tea bags can be effective to reduce the swelling and itching caused by insect bites, especially bed bug bites because of its mild anesthetic property and tannins with astringent [11].

  • Place a moist, used tea bag in the refrigerator to cool it for at least 30 minutes.
  • Place the tea bag on the bed bug bites for 15 minutes.
  • Repeat this solution if you aren’t satisfied with the result.

9. Baking Soda

Baking soda is another efficient ingredient for how to get rid of bed bug bites because it can neutralize acidic chemicals that are the causes of itching. It can reduce redness and swelling thanks to its anti-inflammatory property [12].

  • Mix water (3 teaspoons) and baking soda (1 teaspoon) together.
  • Apply this on the bed bug bites.
  • Wait for 10 minutes then wash it off.
  • Apply this mixture again after 30 to 45 minutes if you don’t see the result.

10. Aloe Vera

The gel of Aloe Vera is very good for your skin and particularly beneficial ingredient for how to get rid of bed bug bites. It can reduce the burning and itching caused by insect bites and bed bugs thanks to its amino acid and active compounds. In addition, it can keep the skin moisturized in order to heal the skin [13].

  • Clean an Aloe Vera leaf thoroughly and cut it open.
  • Scoop out the gel then apply it onto the affected skin.
  • Put the remaining gel in the refrigerator.
  • Follow this solution a couple of times a day for several days.

11. Banana Peel

Another tip on how to heal bed bug bites is banana peel, which we usually do not what to do with. It is clear that banana is one of the most incredible fruits with excellent amounts of nutrients. We have appreciated its health benefits since ancient times. However, few people actually know the advantages of banana peel.

Scientists have figured out that banana peel contains some bioactive compounds, for example, carotenoids and polyphenols. They are strongly therapeutic and play an important role in the fight against itchy feeling and infections. Therefore, you can use the peel as beg bug cream to rub your skin 2-3 times every day.

12. Onion

Infected bed bug bite can be treated easily with the support of onion, one of the best natural remedies for bed bug bites. Onion provides a lot of sulfur and this substance has strongly therapeutic properties. Even though some people dislike onion because of its nasty smell, it is undeniable that it is very good for bed bug bites treatment, not to mention its amazing anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

If you feel uncomfortable with its smell, you can always overcome it with simple natural home remedies for Onion Breath.

13. Tea Tree Oil

The use of tea tree oil for coping with skin issues has been practised all around the world, especially in Australia. This fact results from its antifungal and antiseptic properties. As long as you dilute it, tea tree oil can work as a wonderful bed bug bite relief. The suggestion is to mix it with water because raw oil could worsen bed bug bite rash.

Nonetheless, pregnant women or those who are feeding their baby with breastmilk had better not use tea tree oil.

14. Soap and Water

This is another tip for how to get rid of bed bug bites. The combination of soap and water is what to put on bed bug bites immediately after you notice them.

How to do:

  • Wash the affected area with water and mild soap.
  • Use enough water and a bar of soap to wet your hands.
  • Work the soap into thick, soapy lather in your hands.
  • Rub the lather over the bed bug bites until the entire affected area is covered.
  • Don’t wash it off. Wait for it to dry and you will feel comfortable immediately.17. Steroidal Anti-Itch Over-The-Counter Cream

    15. Steroidal Anti-Itch Over-The-Counter Cream

    Use a cream that contains hydrocortisone or cortisone like Cortaid because it can reduce itching and inflammation. Follow the package’s directions to use the cream correctly.

    Note: Consult your doctor for the right cream.


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