Ammonia is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter itch creams and medications. Ammonia is an effective remedy for itches because it is a base. Most insect bites and stings use an acidic formula that irritates the skin. Adding the base over the acid neutralises it, and decreases the pain involved with the bite. However, ammonia is usually not enough to completely eliminate all pain involved with a bite.
Ammonia is commonly used on jelly fish stings. The ammonia should not be applied straight. A solution of 1/4 part ammonia to 1 part water is the best way to neutralise the sting. Apply the ammonia solution with a cotton ball or cotton swab.
The acid in ant bites can easily be counteracted with an application of ammonia. With ant bites, there is no reason to dilute the ammonia. Soak a cotton ball in ammonia and dab it directly on the bite. If the wound is open, the ammonia may sting, so test a small area before slathering the ammonia over the entire area.
Ammonia is used to neutralise bee stings as well. However, there is some debate over the effectiveness of this method. Bee stings are not acidic like other insect stings and bites, but rather a protein-based liquid. Ammonia may work at reducing the pain associated with bee strings, but it also may not. It does not hurt to try it; apply the ammonia with a cotton ball, as for an ant bite.
Mosquito bites will stop itching if a solution of ammonia is applied over them. It is best to use a diluted form of ammonia for mosquito bites, especially if the areas are scratched raw. Ammonia should not be placed on open wounds. A mixture of 1/4 part ammonia to 1 part water should neutralise the itching.
Ammonia also works at neutralising insect bites for pets. If a cat or dog is bit by an ant, spider, mosquito or any other insect, ammonia can be used to reduce the pain. The ammonia will also reduce itching associated with the bite, which will prevent animals from chewing on their skin and damaging their hair or skin.