Home remedies for bug bites include keeping an ice pack over a piece of cloth on the bite mark for 15 to 20 minutes each hour for the first six hours, alternating with a cool, wet cloth, according to WebMD, and applying heat to the affected area after six hours once the swelling goes down. Elevating the affected area may also help prevent swelling.
Oral antihistamines and topical medications such as hydrocortisone cream and calamine lotion may relieve itching, according to WebMD, and nonprescription pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin can relieve discomfort. Best Health recommends applying a paste made of baking soda and lotion to the affected area to reduce swelling and rubbing it with an onion slice or crushed clove of garlic to reduce inflammation.
Rubbing the area with ammonia, rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizers that contain alcohol may relieve itching, according to chemistry expert Dr. Anne Marie Helmenstine for About.com. Tea tree oil and hydrogen peroxide may disinfect the bug bite and help to prevent infection. Condiments such as ketchup and mustard may help reduce inflammation by altering the pH of the skin or drying out the bite, or simply by being cold, notes Helmenstine.