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Bug bites can ruin any day out. The pesky stinging and burning can get in the way of enjoying a campfire, mountain hike, or even a stroll around the neighborhood.
In the summertime, sales in conventional bug spray skyrockets, but what are people really paying for to avoid these annoying inconvenience?
Where to Source Your Ingredients
The Best Essential Oils for Bug Bites
You may have heard of Calendula candles to ward off mosquitos. The same can be said about using this essential oil for bug bites and as a natural repellent. Mosquitos and other flying insects can’t bear the smell of calendula or any of the essential oils on this list. Just keep in mind any spray or ointment made to repel insects will need to be reapplied every 2 hours.
Tea Tree essential oil is well tolerated on nearly all skin. It soothes the itch of bug bites and prevents infection.
Paired with a skin-safe carrier oil, Rosemary essential oil works to calm inflammation, pain, and general discomfort from bug bites. Rosemary contains antiseptic properties that prevent infection and irritation.
Lavender is a popular essential oil you may already have. Mixed with almond oil, lavender oil can instantly soothe the pain of a bug bite, especially larger ones. Lavender contains antifungal and antibacterial properties that prevent germs from causing infection.
Basil is another favorite essential oil that’s commonly used in all-natural bug bite ointments and natural bug repellents. Basil essential oil is especially good at soothing bee stings as well as repelling them. You can even use basil herb plants around your home or campfire to ward off our flying friends.
If there is a scent that insects are repelled by as much as calendula, it’s peppermint essential oil. Even when diluted, the smell of a few drops of peppermint keeps flying bugs at a distance. If you do get bitten, peppermint gives a cooling sensation while its anti-inflammatory properties reduce itchiness.
Roman Chamomile is loved for its fast-acting calming effect on the skin. It can be used to treat most bug-related irritation and rashes. Additionally, Roman Chamomile essential oil speed up skin recovery with its cell-regenerating properties.
Camphor essential oil can create a warm tingling sensation and is a great topical pain killer.
Patchouli essential oil repels critters and treats irritation and itch caused by bug bites. Patchouli fights inflammation, redness, and dryness.
Christmas in summer!? You bet– if you want to dodge bumps, redness, and even bruising from a critter bite.
Coriander essential oil relieves itchiness and prevents the spread of a rash caused by larger but bites or occurs on sensitive skin. It can also relieve the tenderness and sensitivity of the area that surrounds the bug bite.
Eucalyptus essential oil is a naturally restorative oil that will prevent infection, reduce inflammation, and promote skin healing. Eucalyptus is especially effective on mosquitos and ant bites.
In general, Ylang-Ylang is a powerfully soothing and aromatic essential oil. When used in tiny doses, Ylang-Ylang is a potent pain killer and can even create a numb sensation when applied to bug bites.
DIY Bug Bite Treatments with Essential Oils
To safely apply the best essential oils for bug bites in a safe and effective manner, dilute your recipe with a skin-friendly carrier oil. Choose any of the following oil combinations to make your own DIY bug bite treatment and repellent using essential oils.
Skin-friendly carrier oils to choose from:
- Rose Hip Seed
- Vitamin E (optionally used to add nutrients for skin repair and reduce scarring)
Minty Mist Bug Repellent Spray
- 4 oz water
- 4 drops Peppermint essential oil
- 2 drops Calendula essential oil
- 2 drops Basil essential oil
- 2 drops Patchouli essential oil
Put all ingredients into a travel-size spray bottle and shake well before using. Spray onto skin and clothes holding 12 inches away from the skin. Reapply every 2-3 hours.
Bug Bite Ointment
- 4 oz Coconut oil
- 1 oz Shea Butter
- 1 oz Beeswax
- 4 drops Camphor essential oil
- 2 drops Patchouli essential oil
- 2 drops Coriander essential oil
- 2 drops Frankincense essential oil
In a double-boiler, gently melt oils with the wax. When mixed, turn off the heat and add drops of essential oils. Pour into tin cans or a glass jar and put in the fridge to solidify. If you are going to take the balm outdoors, keep in the freezer beforehand to prevent balm from melting while on the go.
Essential Oil Relief Bath
If a spray or balm doesn’t help and you are looking for all-over relief from bug bites, a warm bath with this combo of oils will do the trick.
(for an average tub size)
- 1 cup Lavender Epsom salt
- 1 cup Eucaplytus Epsom salt
- 5 drops Ylang-Ylang essential oil
- 3 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
- 3 drops Basil essential oil
- 3 drops Roman Chamomile essential oil
Allow Epsom salts to dissolve and give the tub a gentle stir then melt into the healing bath.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that these essential oils help you deal with those pesky bug bites! Please remember to show your love to small businesses and source your essential oils from my favorite essential oil brand – Rocky Mountain Oils.
You can source your carrier oils, other ingredients, and packaging at From Nature with Love.
Let us know in the comments how you like the recipes and what your favorite essential oil is for combating bug bites.