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Natural Home remedies: treating a variety of insect bites

Confrontations with these pesky predators are as inevitable as the summer solstice. For some insects, insect repellent is an effective deterrent. Others, however, seem eternally bold, and their bites are as bad as their buzz. Here are some natural ways recommended by the domestic cleaning professionals, MOLLY MAID, to recover from insect bites and protect your skin from further affronts.

Natural remedies for wasp and bee stings:

• Scrape away the stinger as soon as possible using the edge of a credit card, a knife blade or your fingernail. As long as it remains in your skin, this little sac of poison keeps pumping its contents into your body. Don’t use tweezers or pinch the stinger with your fingertips, as you’ll squeeze more venom into your skin.

• As soon as you have the stinger out, soak the area in apple cider vinegar for a few minutes. Dip a cotton ball in vinegar and tape it to the sting site. It will help relieve redness and swelling.

• Apply an aspirin paste to stop the itching. Using the back of a spoon, crush one or two aspirin on a small plate or chopping board. Add just enough water to make a paste, then dab the paste on the sting site. Ingredients in aspirin help to neutralize the venom.

• Apply an ice pack to numb the area and to help slow the swelling. If you have a towel or facecloth between the ice pack and your skin, you can leave the ice pack in place for up to 20 minutes.

• Papaya contains enzymes that neutralise insect venom. If you happen to have this fruit in your fruit basket, simply lay a slice of papaya on the sting for an hour.

• Baking soda can also bring relief. One method of application is to mix baking soda with a skin lotion, then apply it to the sensitive area. The baking soda helps to relieve inflammation, and the skin lotion keeps it in place. Alternatively, mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water, let it dissolve, then apply the mixture with a cotton pad or facecloth. Leave the compress in place for 20 minutes.

• Sugar works, too. Just dip your forefinger in water, dab it in sugar, then touch the sting site.

• To help reduce swelling, try bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme derived from pineapple. On an empty stomach take 500 milligrams containing at least 2,000 GDU or 3,000 MCU. You can take several doses in a single day. Stop taking it when the swelling goes down.

• Tea-tree oil will also help to reduce the swelling. Apply one drop several times a day.

• To stop the itching, dab on a drop or two of lavender oil. Wait about fifteen minutes to allow the oil to take effect. If the area starts to itch again, apply more—but just one or two drops at a time.
For more advice on how to treat insect bites and ticks, please visit our next blog on 3rd July (insert link).