Insects that go about their insect business are largely unnoticed until one of two things occurs—either they infest your home, or they bite you. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to alleviate bites that bug you. Ice or a cold compress is effective for reducing the swelling that accompanies a bug bite. Calamine lotion is a blend of ferric oxide and zinc oxide, antiseptics and astringents which work to reduce the discomfort of a bug bite and creates a cooling effect on skin. This is less about reducing itch than preventing a secondary bacterial infection from irritating the bite area.