Insect bites can cause swelling and itchiness. Rarely, they can cause problems breathing and emergency care.
Medicine and a cold compress can help ease swelling and pain. Natural treatments have been used to prevent bugs from biting.
May Be Effective
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
Herbs and Supplements
A1. Maenthaisong R, Chaiyakunapruk N, et al. Efficacy and safety of topical Trikatu preparation in, relieving mosquito bite reactions: a randomized controlled trial. Complement Ther Med. 2014 Feb;22(1):34-39.
A2. Rajan TV, Hein M, et al. A double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of garlic as a mosquito repellant: a preliminary study. Med Vet Entomol. 2005 Mar;19(1):84-89.
A3. Gardulf A, Wohlfart I, et al. A prospective cross-over field trial shows protection of lemon eucalyptus extract against tick bites. J Med Entomol. 2004 Nov;41(6):1064-1067.
B1. Hill N, Stam C, et al. The efficacy of Prrrikweg gel in the treatment of insect bites: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Pharm World Sci. 1996 Jan;18(1):35-41.
B2. Hill N, Stam C, et al. A placebo controlled clinical trial investigating the efficacy of a homeopathic after-bite gel in reducing mosquito bite induced erythema. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1995;49(1-2):103-108.
C1. Sajo ME, Song SB, et al. Applicability of citronella oil (Cymbopogon winteratus) for the prevention of mosquito-borne diseases in the rural area of Tikapur, far-western Nepal. Rural Remote Health- 2015;15(4):3532.
C2. Benelli G, Pavela R. Repellence of essential oils and selected compounds against ticks-A systematic review. Acta Trop. 2018 Mar;179:47-54.
Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 6/2/2020
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.