It’s that season. No one knows exactly why some people are more susceptible to mosquito bites and the torture that they bring, but I am a mosquito magnet.

And while there is no one perfect remedy for the itching associated with the bites, there are so many things that have worked for people that I thought it would be timely to compile a list here for you.

Anytime we bring up this topic on the air as we do every summer, these are the remedies that most New Jerseyans swear by. If you Google “how to get rid of an itch from a mosquito bite,” you will see hundreds if not thousands of suggestions.

Some sound crazy and some completely logical. But if you look at a medical website or official government websites, they generally urge you to stay away from home remedies, if only because they don’t seem to be effective.

But my theory is, that if it works for you, it works for you. Just try ‘em all.

For instance, many medical sites warn you that simple remedies like toothpaste and oatmeal really don’t do much to alleviate the itch. But I know people who swear by those remedies. So, it’s kind of up to you to decide what can get rid of that itch for you.


I would love to believe that I’m reinventing the wheel here when it comes to anti-itch treatment for mosquito bites. But I’m probably telling you some that you already know. However, maybe one of these is one you’ve never heard of and can work for you. During a summer in New Jersey, you’ll try anything.

Ice the itch away
I find this to be so soothing and effective. And it’s obvious why it works. It helps to numb the area and calm down inflammation. You can use either an ice pack or washcloth soaked in ice water.

Anti-itch creams

Honestly, over-the-counter anti-itch creams have never worked for me but some people really find them helpful. There are a zillion hydrocortisone creams out there and if you find a cream with lidocaine or benzocaine you’re really lucky because those will numb the itch.

There’s the good old allergy pill which is always helpful - try a non-drowsy, over-the-counter antihistamine like Zyrtec, Allegra or Claritin.

Apply rubbing alcohol
My husband, Mark can be found dousing his body with rubbing alcohol after he gets bitten. And if you don’t have any in the house you can even use perfume, which is usually alcohol-based. Dab some rubbing alcohol on bites if you're looking for quick, temporary relief.

Essential oils
Peppermint oil Tea tree oil, frankincense, oregano oil, lemon oil; experiment with different ones to find one that works for you.

Baking soda and water
People swear by this remedy for the itchies. Mix 1 tablespoon baking soda with just enough water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the mosquito bite. Wait 10 minutes. Wash off the paste.

Basil has chemical compounds that can relieve itchy skin. You can apply basil oil like a lotion, but it’s easy enough to make your own at home.

Boil 2 cups of water and 1/2 an ounce of dried basil leaves. After the mixture cools, dip a washcloth into the pot and apply it on the affected area. Or just try fresh basil leaves and rub them directly on your skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is touted to be a cure for everything from indigestion to skin rashes to high cholesterol. But the astringency of the vinegar does seem to help a lot of people with mosquito bites. Just dab the ACV directly onto the bite with a q-tip.

Calamine Lotion
Tried and true, calamine lotion works for many people. And for many people, grandma was right. The calamine lotion applied to the bites can immediately soothe the itches and reduce redness.

The very popular homeopathic remedy Arnica is known to help with swelling for minor household bumps and scrapes. But it also can help the itchiness of a bug bite. Mix one tablespoon of arnica tincture in half a liter of water, and apply it on the site to soothe itching and redness.

Heat compress on the affected site may improve the symptoms of mosquito bites. Applying a hot water bag or a medical device that provides concentrated heat may be useful in the reduction of symptoms.

The essential oil present in chamomile has anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. Thus, it is helpful to soothe itchiness and redness. You can buy chamomile oil online or just use a steeped and cooled chamomile tea bag and lay it on top of the bite till itching subsides.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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