How to Stop Black Fly Bites from Itching

It’s two in the morning and you’re awake and scratching at those super irritating black fly bites. Some of you may also experience swelling or get painful welts from the bites of these dreaded beasties. There are a ton of things you can do to alleviate the irritation of black fly bites and get outside for longer during the spring months. Here are a few of my own tried and tested natural cures for black fly bites.

All the other Solutions

  • Mix baking soda and water into a paste and apply to the bite to stop itching. If you are out camping in the woods, applying toothpaste with baking soda should do the trick.
  • Apply icepacks to reduce swelling.
  • A cool bath with epsom salts can help to reduce swelling and itching when you have many bites.

The Best Solution: Make a Healing Salve

Honestly, this salve is my lifeline. Now I know that making a salve sounds like a huge pain in the butt, but it really isn’t and once your try this, you won’t ever be itchy again! This salve works on all itchy bites and on poison ivy too. It’s THE BEST!

Let’s start by looking at Jewelweed and Plantian – both common weeds found in the garden. Jewelweed likes wetter areas along the banks of ponds and rivers. Jewelweed and plantain work to reduce itching and burning, while sage takes care of swelling.

Cure poison ivy

spotted touch-me-not wildflower, also known as jewelweed

Poison ivy salve

Healing plants: broadleaf plantain (Plantago major L.)

  • 1 cup plantian leaves
  • 1 cup jewel weed (you can use stems, flowers and leaves)
  • 1/2 cup sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup beeswax

Jam all the leaves into a large mason jar. Cover with a good quality olive oil. Place the jar in a pot of water in the oven on the lowest possible setting. Leave for 4 hours. Empty the pot of water and pour the olive oil through a strainer so you remove all the plant matter. Discard plants and put the pot of oil on the stove. Add the beeswax and heat gently until all the wax has melted. Pour into a containers and leave to cool and set.

Tips: If you have the time, you can infuse the oils by steeping each ingredient in a cup of extra virgin olive oil for 6-8 weeks, then remove the plants and use the oil.

Prevention is better than cure, so try our natural black fly repellent recipes so you won’t get bites in the first place.

Here’s how to prevent bites from stinging or itching when you are out in the woods.


Nikki is an author and writer specializing in green living ideas and tips, adventure travel, upcycling, and all things eco-friendly. She's traveled the globe, swum with sharks and been bitten by a lion (fact). She lives in a tiny town with a fat cat and a very bad dog.

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