Summer means being outside more. Sunbathing, splashing in the pool, or enjoying a good barbecue with friends and family. It also means bugs. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand bugs. The minute they fly near my face I’m heading back inside. At least, that’s how I used to be. I started using oils in 2017 and soon discovered the best essential oils for bug bites.
Essential oils work wonders on a lot of life’s ailments and annoyances. Peppermint can help an inflamed muscle and lavender is a great stress reliever. So many can be mixed and matched. You create powerhouse blends that work on sore muscles, headaches, and drowsiness.
But what are the best essential oils for bug bites and keeping bugs at bay?
Let’s first take a look at the best oils for keeping bugs at bay. Note that I use the Young Living brand. If you use a different brand that’s fine. Most carry the same blends.
Wouldn’t it be great if bugs would just leave us alone? When we’re outside we don’t bother them so why do they bother us?
This is why insect repellent is so sought after in the summertime. People want to get ahead of the game and keep bugs away. But over-the-counter repellents are full of unhealthy chemicals. Chemicals we’re spraying on our bodies and on our children.
Essential oils for bug bites and repellent are your better option. They’re safer, non-toxic, and clean. Oils like citronella, clove, lavender, and cedarwood are great repellents on their own. But combining some can be even better.
Here are some blends to try:
- 5 drops of lavender
- 5 drops of lemongrass
- 3 drops of peppermint
- 1 drop of thyme
Combine in a spray bottle and spray where you plan on sitting outside. Spray on legs, arms, feet, and any other exposed body part for added effect.
- 5 drops of lemon
- 5 drops of Purification
Combine in a spray bottle and spray on your skin for the most effective relief.
Spray these blends near open windows and doors to keep bugs from coming inside. This is especially useful if you’re constantly going in and out during a barbecue.
Sometimes we’re too late with our repellent and a pesky mosquito has his or her way with us. It happens. I used to leave my sister’s house with dozens of bites. Since I usually prepare myself before going into her backyard, I don’t get as many. But sometimes the repellent isn’t enough to keep that one stubborn bug away.
Lavender oil is by far the best oil for itching. You can apply a drop or two directly to the spot and rub it in. Or you can dilute it in a spray bottle (5-10 drops) and spray it on. Try to let the oil seep into the skin for a minute or two. Apply as often as you need to.
Other insect bites
Besides mosquitos, we can get bites from a variety of bugs. Here are some of the best essential oils for bug bites.
One of the best blends to combat insect bites is the following:
- 3 drops of Roman chamomile
- 4 drops of eucalyptus
- 10 drops of lavender
- 1 drop of thyme
Combine in a spray bottle or mix with 1 tbsp of V-6 oil and rub on infected spots. Other oils that can be used to tend insect bites include Idaho tansy, bergamot, and tea tree.
Bee and Hornet stings
When it comes to specific insects, the best essentials oils for these vary slightly. Bees and hornets will often leave us alone except when we have something sweet and savory near. Or if we get too close to their hives. Swatting can be effective, but it can also make them angry.
If you or someone you know is stung by a bee or hornet, follow these steps:
- Remove the stinger.
- Apply a cold compress of Roman chamomile to the area. Do this for several hours or as long as possible.
- Apply 1 drop of Roman chamomile three times a day on the area for two days.
Idaho tansy will work in place of Roman chamomile.
Gnats and Midges
There’s nothing worse than going for a run and having to swat your way through a horde of gnats. You’re afraid to breathe deep because they’re so small, they’ll get in your nose.
To repel gnats and midges or care for any bites you might get from them, try this:
- Good old lavender again, or,
- 3 drops of thyme
- 1 tsp of cider vinegar or lemon juice
- Apply to area of bite to stop irritation
If you’re into hiking, ticks are something you’re well aware of. We can pick them up anywhere, but hiking increases the risk of attracting them.
When removing ticks it’s important not to apply mineral oil, Vaseline, or anything else.
Be sure to remove the entire tick. Get as close to the mouth as possible. Firmly tug on the tick until it releases. Don’t twist. Use a magnifying glass to make sure you got the whole tick.
Doctors recommend saving the tick in a glass jar. Put the date on it. Include where you were bitten and the location you were at when bitten. These are good to know if you develop any symptoms and need to see your doctor.
Do not handle the tick in any way and wash your hands immediately after removing it.
Check the site of the bite. If any rash develops, seek medical attention right away.
Once the tick is removed:
- Apply 1 drop of lavender on the area every 5 minutes for 30 minutes.
This is a great list of the best essential oils for bug bites. It’ll certainly get you geared up for the summer of constantly being outside. No matter what your preferred location is this summer — woods, beach, pool — these blends should help keep you bug and bite-free.
Will one stubborn bug push through the pain? Of course. Nothing is 100%. But you can at least feel confidently protected when you use one or more of these blends. Young Living has a whole brand of insect protection, including wipes that are safe for kids.
Whether you’re an indoor person or an outdoor person during the summer, we all deal with bugs. Being prepared to deal with them will set you apart from the rest. Try out these blends the next time you’re invited to a BBQ or pool party. Chances are while your friends and family are getting eaten alive, you’ll be fine.
Of course, you can always share the love.
For more essential oil tips, follow me on Pinterest. I post a ton of helpful pins about essential oils and their benefits for many things in life.
Do you have any essential oils for bug bites? Do you create your own blends or use a singular oil? Share them in the comments below. I’m always up for learning new ways to keep bugs from flying in my face.