A sting in the tale

iStock_000011314964SmallIf you’re one of the thousands of people who’ve been plagued by mossies and wasps in the warmer weather and have had the misfortune of being bitten or stung, there are some surprising remedies that may help deal with the pain and the itch…

Bees and wasps

Applying ice immediately to the sting should help ease the itching and start to bring down any swelling. With bee stings it’s also advisable to locate and remove the sting.

Then take your pick from the following …

– Tape a penny to the site of the sting. This is said to work for both types of sting. It’s thought the copper in the penny neutralises the poison in the sting.

– Rub the area of the sting with a crushed garlic clove as it has inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

– Rub the area with basil leaves as this is said to help relieve the pain. Basil has been used as far back as Roman times to ease sore throats, coughs, hives and fever.

– Rub the area with a freshly cut onion. There’s an enzyme in a freshly cut onion that breaks down the compounds in a sting.

– Make a paste with vinegar and baking soda and apply it like a poultice to the area. This works for both types of sting as bee venom contains formic acid so its effects are reduced by alkaline bicarbonate of soda, while wasp sting venom is alkaline so its effect is neutralized with vinegar.

There are many other random cures including…

  • toothpaste
  • meat tenderizer
  • tobacco
  • mashed up pineapple root
  • chilli paste
  • roll-on deodorant
  • WD40!

Mosquito bites

The worst thing with mossie bites is the itch… so what can help?

Mouthwash often contains menthol, which cools the skin and so offers relief but doesn’t actually stop the itch.

Preparation H is a topical treatment for haemorrhoids but as it reduces itches and swelling it will also help with bites.

Teabags as the tannins in the tea draw extra fluid out of the bite so reduce the swelling and the irritation.

Skimmed milk and water that’s then used to make a soothing compress. The protein in the milk is said to soothe the itching – so avoid full fat!

Spider bites (this also works for other venomous bites)

Wet the bite area a little and press with the connectors of a 9-volt battery. The small amount of current that will go through your skin inactivates the venom – apparently this was a popular cure used by the military!

So if you have the misfortune to be stung, hopefully there will be something from our guide to provide some relief!

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