Ben Gay stops mosquito bites from itching

Itching…burning…irritation. This time, it’s the mosquitos! Here’s Molly’s suggestion:

Your post about jellyfish made me think of a mosquito/bug bite soother, an old trick we used in Peace Corps. Apply a tiny dab of Ben Gay to the area and it relieves the itch almost instantaneously. Works like a charm — though it says to ask a doctor for kids under 12. Maybe there is something more natural with a similar ingredient that would do the same trick…

What are your itch-soothing hacks?

Related: Bug Bam bracelet repels mosquitos safely


  1. says

    We think Desert Essence Blemish Touch Stick with Tea Tree Oil (an impulse purchase from Trader Joe’s that wasn’t so fantastic on actual blemishes) is a miracle mosquito bite treatment.

  2. lazza says

    those of us who live in other parts of the world know that tiger balm works a treat as well. i think its anything with menthol/mints etc

  3. Elizabeth says

    We stumbled onto Burt’s Bees Res-Q. I think it’s intended for burns and cuts, but it takes the itch out of skeeter bites for us. My kid has that huge welt reaction and if applied early enough, this stuff prevents the huge swollen spot.

    The ingredients are all food-sounding things or natural, pronounce-able stuff.

  4. Chris says

    Reminds me of a sunburn hack I had from a pharmacist years ago – Preparation H. “Stops burning”

    That it does.

  5. says

    If you want to smell like BenGay or Tiger balm, go ahead.

    Me? I get the same results from using plain ol’ toothpaste.

  6. chava says

    Dish soap. Just a dab on the bite – instant relief. I guess you can use the natural/organic kind, like “7th Generation”

  7. Lisa says

    Gotta go with Steve on the toothpaste trick. Been using it for years – since I was a kid. Haven’t found anything that works better and everyone has it handy.

  8. JB says

    Hayfever tablets does the trick very well indeed, stops the itching for a good 8 hours and requires no application to the bites! Used this trick to good effect after getting bitten heavily by mosquitoes in Mexico City on my first few nights.

  9. Robert says

    I too have to go with side with Steve and Lisa. I have tons of bug bites after doing yard work and decided to try the toothpaste, cant believe it actually worked! Thanks for the tip!

  10. Mike says

    Prevent them from biting in the first place by using Listerine in a spray bottle to keep them away:

    I was at a deck party awhile back, and the bugs were having a ball biting everyone. A man at the party sprayed the lawn and deck floor with Listerine, and the little demons disappeared. The next year I filled a 4-ounce spray bottle and used it around my seat whenever I saw mosquitoes. And voila! That worked as well. It worked at a picnic where we sprayed the area around the food table, the children’s swing area, and the standing water nearby. During the summer, I don’t leave home without it…..Pass it on.

  11. says

    For mosquito bites, we took Accent seasoning mixed it with a drop of water and spread the paste on the bite. It draws out what causes the itchiness quickly. Always worked.

  12. Cole says

    My wife swears by ammonia for all kinds of itching, but especially bug bites. Our daughter-in-law was peppered with mosquito bites last week and she says the ammonia did the trick. I want to try the Accent trick myself. It would be nice to know MSG is good for something!

  13. eerational says

    This might sound a bit gross, but saliva on bug bites usually stops the itch. If you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere, try that? :)

  14. JD says

    Sometimes I take baths with baking soda– it dissolves more easily than other salts. Well, this one time, I had a bug bite that was itching really badly. Without thinking, I just put some baking soda on it and it helped. I made a thick paste with it and it helped to relieve the bite for a while. It did a pretty good job, the only down side is that it doesn’t stay on for a while. It did help, though!

  15. luluweezie says

    I’ve always used ammonia too, works better than toothpaste IMHO (but I’ll try Accent/meat tenderizer next time to compare effectiveness). A great way to carry it around is to pour it into an Aquadoodle pen, then you can keep it in your purse or diaper bag.

  16. Joe says

    just tried the toothpaste (aquafresh) works just fine and almost instant..Thanks posters

  17. says

    I see Mike beat me to the Listerine tip — I haven’t tried it yet myself, but I will be when traveling to Michigan later this summer. The trick seems to be to get the original, gold, foul-tasting Listerine. A friend of mine in the Great Lakes region said she had a great time watching the little buggers head for her and then turn tail and buzz off when they caught a whiff of the Listerine.

  18. BLUIE says

    Lots of those bites are really flea bites. For flea bites use heat. Hot water, hot as you can stand it, on a cloth, apply to bite, when the heat is gone so is the bite. I have the cleanest ankles in town. I used to carry a stub of candle, a drop or two of hot wax works if there is no hot water available.

  19. says

    When it comes to mosquito and chigger bits, I am the one in the house that is the big magnet. So I always carry something called Chiggerex in my purse all summer long. It has similar ingredients to Ben-Gay (benzocaine, camphor, menthol) and always soothes the itch.
    I always find it in the medicine/pharmacy section of Wal-Mart and usually buy a new one every year as I have lost last year’s by then.
    Here’s a place that sells them on the web so you can see what it looks like:

  20. oscar says

    I discovered rubbing alcohol from some folk remedy list. I wasn’t convinced, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t work. It’s not quite instant relief, but it will kill both the itch and inflammation within minutes. And there’s nothing weird or gooey left on your skin, naturally.

  21. Barbi says

    My mother always used to use vinegar on the bug bites. In addition vinegar also works great for sunburn. Very cooling. For bees stings my mother used to use garlic which reduced the swelling. The meat tenderizer makes sense in terms of reducing the swelling. I live in South Florida near the Everglades area and the bugs out here are on STEROIDS!!

  22. heather says

    a little salt rubbed on the bite works well. Wet your fingers so it’s pasty and rub it on, it works great and feels good too.

  23. jessica says

    when i was little we use to use nogzema on our bites and sunburn it takes the burn and itch right away

  24. says

    I found some safer products to make insect repellant they are called Tough and Tender Wipes and Sol-U-Mel. You put the wipes in to a plastic bag and pour a little bit of Sol-U-Mel on the wipes then rub the bag around to get the Sol-U-Mel dispersed. My family loves it beacuase we can have the wipes with us and just touch up as needed or share with others.