Bug bites and mosquito bites are not ever fun.
Especially if we have an allergic reaction to them or the bite becomes infected.
Itchiness, warmth, redness, swelling, and discomfort are all symptoms of big bites.
You can take an antihistamine like Benadryl to get ahead of the swelling and use Calamine or a
hydrocortisone cream to relieve the inflammation and itchiness.
And you can also use essential oils as a natural treatment for bug bites if you’re into a more natural first response approach.
Essential Oils As A Natural Remedy
Essential oils (EOs) are highly concentrated plant compounds that are extracted from various parts of plant and tree material.
These plant compounds possess hundreds of active composites that contain many healing and medicinal properties.
The therapeutic application of EOs is referred to as aromatherapy and has been used for hundreds of years in various cultures around the world in order to accelerate healing and help support the body’s own regenerative abilities.
Research shows EOs can be effective at:
- Boosting immunity
- Decreasing stress and anxiety
- Improving sleep
- Relieving pain and discomfort
- Soothing eczema and other skin conditions
- Treating colds, coughs, sinus infections, and sore throats
- Addressing allergy symptoms
- Soothing headaches and migraines
The 8 Best Essential Oils for Insect Bite Healing & Prevention
Here are our top 8 picks for the best EOs to use for itchy bug bites, to accelerate healing, and prevent infection:
Tea tree oil (melaleuca)
Tea tree essential oil is well-known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties.
It’s also an antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial which is all excellent for preventing infections.
Lemongrass essential oil
Not only is lemongrass an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial, it’s also an analgesic which means it reduces pain and discomfort from itchiness and swelling.
It’s also an insect repellant which makes for great bug bite prevention too.
Citronella is a pain-reliever (analgesic) antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic.
It’s also an insecticide which means it can kill bugs before they even have a chance to bite you.
Avoid citronella if you’re pregnant and if you have heart disease because it can increase heart rate.
Is a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic.
It helps accelerate the healing of insect bites, wounds, and sores.
It’s also a known mosquito repellent.
Lavender essential oil is a pain-reliever, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic.
It also helps stimulate wound healing while repelling insects.
It’s usually gentle enough for sensitive skin types.
Is a pain reliever and also an anesthetic.
It helps prevent infections and is anti-inflammatory.
It’s known to soothe itchy skin.
Peppermint essential oil is a potent pain reliever and a local anesthetic that also serves as an antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
Because of one of its main active compounds called menthol, it gives off a cooling sensation when inhaled or applied topically.
Basil essential oil is soothing to bug bites while also acting as an insect repellent.
It’s an antiseptic and antibacterial agent that can help prevent infections.
Pregnant women and those with epilepsy should avoid this oil.
- When used safely and properly EOs usually offer little to no side effects.
- When used as natural treatments for bug bites or when used topically for any condition EOs must always be diluted in a carrier oil in order to prevent skin irritation and reactions. This is especially true for sensitive skin types.
- It’s advisable to perform a patch test on a non-affected area of the skin and wait at least 24 hours to confirm that there is no allergic reaction.
- If you experience any adverse reaction to any oil discontinue use immediately and consult your healthcare provider.
- Be aware of the contraindications for each oil you use. For example, you should avoid citronella oil if you’re pregnant.
- You will also want to always choose high-quality, certified organic, and therapeutic grade products to avoid diluted batches and the addition of potentially harmful chemicals.
- Do not ingest EOs without the supervision of an experienced aromatherapist or without prior consultation with your doctor.
How To Use EOs for Bug Bites
As mentioned, you should always dilute EOs with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil if you’re applying them directly on the skin.
This will also help the active compounds in EOs to be better absorbed into the skin.
This will ensure better healing effects.
A general rule of thumb is to use 1 teaspoon of carrier oil per 1 drop of EO.
You can also use EOs in a diffuser or in spray form as an insect repellant.
3 DIY Essential Oil Blends & Bug Bite Recipes
Bug Bite Rx Healing Paste
- 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 3 drops lavender oil
- 3 drops tea tree oil
- 3 drops chamomile oil
- 3 drops lemongrass oil
- 3 drops peppermint oil
Use a dark glass ait tight container with a lid to mix all the ingredients together and mix well until a paste smooth forms without clumps.
Apply the paste using your clean fingertips or a cotton swab to the affected area.
Allow it to completely harden and dry.
Wipe away with a warm wet towel or cloth.
Repeat as many times as is needed for relief.
- 3 drops chamomile
- 2 drop lemongrass
- 2 drop citronella
- 2 drop lemon eucalyptus
- 1 tablespoon witch hazel
- 2 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil
Mix all ingredients together in a dark glass bottle with an airtight lid.
Apply the mixture to the affected area with your clean fingers, cotton swab, or cotton ball.
Repeat as needed.
Insect repellent Spray
- 5 drops lemongrass
- 5 drops citronella
- 5 drops lavender
- 5 drops basil oil
- 1 tablespoon witch hazel
- Fill a small dark glass spray bottle with water
Mix everything together in the bottle and shake, shake, shake, baby.
Use as needed.
Be careful not to spray your eyes or face.