Bed Bug Treatments

Restless nights are a common occurrence in bedbug infested homes due to bed bug bites that cause itchy welts. This pesky little pests typically feed on your blood at night, the peak time being about one hour before sunrise.

Their bites resemble other insect bites and usually appear in rows or clusters of three to five bites. They’re more common on exposed areas like the face, neck, arms and hands. While a few people may not even realize they were bitten, others may develop symptoms like red itchy bumps and rashes.

A few people may develop an allergic reaction with painful swelling and burning at the bite site, engorged bite marks and, in very rare cases, an anaphylactic response. Bed bug bites don’t usually transmit diseases, but excessive itching and scratching may cause a skin infection.



The first thing that you need to do when dealing with bed bug bites is to wash the affected area with a mild antiseptic soap and water. This will reduce itching and prevent a skin infection. If not scratched, they tend to resolve within a week or so.

However, see a dermatologist if you develop a skin infection, blisters or an allergic skin reaction.

Bed Bug Treatments

Here are the top 10 Bed Bug Treatments:



1. Ice Pack

The cold temperature from ice can help numb the nerve endings, thus relieving the itching sensation caused by bed bug bites. It will also help calm the swelling.

  1. Wrap a few ice cubes in a thin towel.
  2. Place it on the affected area.
  3. Remove it after 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Repeat as needed.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, helps neutralize acidic chemicals that could be causing the itching from a bed bug bite. Being an anti-inflammatory agent, it also helps reduce swelling and redness.

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 3 teaspoons of water.
  2. Apply the mixture generously on the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off.
  4. If the discomfort persists, apply again after 30 to 45 minutes.

3. Lemon Juice

Being a natural astringent, lemon juice helps dry out rashes caused by bed bug bites and keeps itching at bay. Plus, its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties help reduce redness and swelling as well as prevent infection.



  1. Dip a cotton ball in lemon juice.
  2. Dab it on the bed bug bites.
  3. Let it air dry, then rinse the affected area.
  4. Do this a few times a day.

Lemon juice may make your skin susceptible to sunburn. Do not go out in the sun for a few hours after using this remedy.

4. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a liquid astringent that you can get from a drug store. Mostly used as a facial cleanser, it can also help calm itching caused by bed bug bites because it contains tannins that have a mild anesthetic effect.

  1. Soak a cotton ball in witch hazel.
  2. Place it on the affected area.
  3. Remove the cotton ball after 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat as needed.

5. Aloe Vera Gel

Succulent aloe vera gel is soothing for your skin. Its active compounds and amino acids help ease itching and burning caused by bed bug and other insect bites. It also aids healing the skin by keeping it moisturized.

  1. Rinse an aloe vera leaf and slit it open.
  2. Scoop out the gel and apply it on your bed bug bites.
  3. Store the remaining gel in the refrigerator.
  4. Apply it a few times a day for a couple of days.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another effective remedy for bed bug bites as it helps relieve itching and burning, thanks to its acetic acid content with anti-inflammatory properties. If you do not have apple cider vinegar, you can use white vinegar.


  1. Apply raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar on the affected area.
  2. Allow it to dry, then rinse your skin.
  3. If the symptoms persist, reapply after a few hours.

7. Oatmeal

Due to its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, oatmeal is an excellent solution to reduce skin irritation and itching caused by bed bug and other insect bites as well as skin issues like eczema and psoriasis.

  1. Mix some water in a few teaspoons of oatmeal to make a paste. Apply it on the affected area, and leave it on for at least 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Repeat a few times for a couple of days.
  2. You can also prepare an oatmeal bath by mixing ½ cup of colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oatmeal) in warm bathwater. You can add a few drops of peppermint essential oil, too. Soak in this bath for 15 minutes. Do this for a couple of days.

8. Toothpaste

Toothpaste is another effective remedy for bed bug bites. It contains cooling menthol that helps reduce the itching and burning sensations. Make sure you use white toothpaste, not a gel version, for this purpose.



  1. Dab a little white toothpaste on the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off.
  3. Repeat as needed.

9. Tea Bags

Moist tea bags can also help combat the itching and swelling caused by bed bug and other insect bites. They contain tannins with astringent and mild anesthetic properties.

  1. Cool a moist, used tea bag in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Place it on the affected area for about 15 minutes.
  3. Repeat as needed.

10. Cucumber

Cucumber peels and slices can also provide relief from itching and swelling caused by bed bug bites as they contain vitamin C and caffeic acid that offer anti-inflammatory benefits.

  1. Simply place a piece of cucumber peel or slice on the affected area and leave it on for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. For a more soothing effect, cool the pieces in the refrigerator first.
  3. Repeat as needed.

Tips

  • Avoid bed bug bites by getting rid of the infestation.
  • Resist the urge to scratch the bites as it may lead to a skin infection.
  • Apply essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree or basil oil mixed in carrier oil to reduce redness and itching. The strong smell of essential oil also helps repel bed bugs.
  • Applying a mixture of equal parts of cold milk and water can also help relieve itching.