Mosquitos are the enemy of the state around here, and they love to eat on Gabriel and I. Each bite causes a welt on his little limbs, and he scratches them until they bleed. Definitely not good with the combo of dirty hands and a national West Nile Virus outbreak going on! We have to make sure he gets basically bathed in bug spray for even a five-minute romp outside (and thankfully, my homemade recipe is non-toxic with no deet, so I don't have to worry anymore).
So, what's a mom to do when we forget the spray, and he gets attacked? I hesitate to just coat and coat him with drug store creams – they are expensive and not recommended for little people under age 2 (even though he's 3 now). And since he scratches them so much, the cream gets under his fingernails and makes its way onto his toys, food, bed…everything! Plus, it just doesn't seem to work! He itches anyway!
I'm crazy about using apple cider vinegar (ACV) (read more about it here) for my hair as a conditioner (read my post, DIY Baking Soda Shampoo & Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner) and decided on a whim the other day to try it on some of my bug bites to see if it would stop the itching…and it did! I was so excited! I tried it on myself first, in case it stung. It does sting a little on the open, raw bites, but Gabriel has yet to complain of any pain. In fact, he comes to me when he's itching and says, “Mama, can you pweeze gimme some binegar? I'm itching.” So, I started using it on him several times a day when the bites were bad, and it not only stopped his itching, but it reduced all the swelling and dried up the bites in a day! It has softening properties for clothes and hair and does the same to our skin. My skin feels so soft after I rub it on like I just applied lotion.
I'm starting to think this stuff is magical! And it's the easiest homemade recipe I've come up with yet.
- 1 tablespoon raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (love Bragg's – only $4.32 on Amazon!)
- 1 cup water (filtered or distilled is healthiest, if possible)
Mix the two ingredients together and pour them into a small travel-size squirt bottle. Squirt onto cotton balls or a cloth and rub onto bug bites, irritated skin, dry skin, and even eczema.
Download the free printable here and affix it to your bottle with clear packing tape to make it waterproof so you can make it without looking up the recipe.