Q. The best tip I ever received for mosquito bites is to dab on hydrogen peroxide. I have very sensitive skin and bites used to get very swollen and itch for weeks.

Now, I apply drugstore hydrogen peroxide and in less than 15 minutes I have no itch and no bump. You need to apply it to bites as soon as possible. I doubt it would work if you waited too long.

A. Seven years ago a reader shared a similar tip:

I am highly attractive to mosquitos and often get a dozen bites when others get one. Years ago, I was told to rub hydrogen peroxide on the bites as soon as possible. This alleviates itching within minutes! The key is to apply the peroxide with a cotton ball right after the bite.”

Avoid bites in the first place with an effective repellent. Besides DEET, there are now natural FDA-approved ingredients including picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus. Learn more on our website PeoplesPharmacy.com.  Other readers suggest  spraying the area where you are having a picnic or sitting outside with Listerine  to deter mosquitoes. We have not seen any research on how well this might work.

 Hot water may also stop the itching from mosquito bites for several hours. It needs to be hot enough that it is uncomfortable, but not hot enough to burn the skin.

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  1. Bernadette C.
    Southeastern PA

    Yesterday in the garden I got a bite, and I came inside within 5 minutes and tried the hot spoon technique. It worked! Now, 24 hours later, there is a very tiny bump that does not itch. Here is how I did it: I heated a cup of hot water in the microwave, took the cup out, put a spoon in the water and left it in for about 20 seconds. I applied the tip of the spoon to the bite, pulling it away immediately because it was very hot, then I re-applied it; eventually I was able to leave the spoon on for several seconds.

    I must caution people – don’t to this to another person, only do it to yourself – and be very careful. This could cause a burn. DON’T heat the spoon in a flame – it would get much hotter than if you heat the spoon in hot water.

    My reaction to mosquito bites usually is that I get big red bumps that itch and hurt a lot for about 5 days. Very few home remedies help – I get some relief from alternating very warm moist compresses (I warm a wet washcloth in the microwave), alternating with ice compresses. But the hot spoon technique seems to work the best, for me.

  2. Ruth M.

    YAHOO IT WORKS! I am very sensitive to bites and got this one last night (mosquito)and had to take benadryl, and this morning big red itchy spot so applied hydrogen peroxide two hours ago and no itch since.

  3. Red

    Will dryer sheets work for flies as well as mosquitoes?

  4. Marge

    I have used witch Hazel for years for any kind of itching and it works within minutes.

  5. Chip

    Avoid the bite in the first place. Dryer sheets work very well if you put one in your shirt pocket or through a belt loop, or both. Use a fresh sheet. I use dollar store ones and they work. I live in skeeter heaven so if they work here they’ll work everywhere.

  6. Charlene

    I just read some tips from a couple of your readers concerning mosquito bites. I am also very sensitive to their bite. After trying several home remedies, I came across Preparation H. Dab it on a bite and in a few minutes the itch and sting are gone. I also used it on my children that had chicken pox, and they got a good nights sleep as well as me.
    To prevent mosquito bites, rub some Skin So Soft on your exposed skin and they will avoid you, and it smells good.

  7. abigail

    When Hydrogen peroxide doesn’t do the job, I try Listerine – recommended in the comments section of one of your columns. I like these two because it is not always clear if it as insect bite or something else, and they do have anti -infection properties.

  8. LWB

    Put a bar of the soap under the bedsheet near the bottom of the bed. It never worked for me, but my mother sweared by it.

  9. MJ

    I have tried everything for mosquito bites and nothing works as good as ice. Grab a paper towel with an ice cube and hold it on the bite for a few minutes…..no more itching and no more red bumps!

  10. Teresa

    Years ago my mother-in-law recommended witch hazel for mosquito bites and it works well too!

  11. S. Orrick

    Plaintain leaves, crushed, may also be rubbed on the site to preclude further itching.

  12. Mm

    What about dove soap for cramps in legs, how do you use it?

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