Essential Oils to Use for Treating Bug Bites

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While they are essential to our ecosystem, bugs – and their bites – can be an annoyance, especially in the spring and summer seasons. Most bites and stings are harmless, but they can cause side effects such as swelling, redness, itching, and mild pain.

Before you go reaching for an over-the-counter treatment, you should consider a more natural alternative. Essential oils – highly concentrated, distilled extracts from certain plants – have a long history of being used for a variety of ailments, including insect bites. There is even published research about certain essential oils that show their effectiveness at treating some illnesses.

With that in mind, here are some essential oils that can treat bug bites effectively and help provide relief from their symptoms.


Mint essential oils such as spearmint and peppermint give cooling pain relief. When applied to the skin, peppermint oil can even help with headache pain and sore muscles. Additionally, the smell can help keep insects away, which could prevent future bites.


Basil is very gentle and has anti-inflammatory qualities that can help with irritation. It also has antimicrobial properties which can prevent infection from the bug bite.


Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties, which can greatly help in soothing bug bites.


Because of its analgesic properties, lavender oil has been traditionally used to help ease the pain of burns and bites. It also has soothing qualities.


Rosemary oil has potent anti-inflammatory qualities, which quickly relieves the pain and swelling caused by bug bites. It also has antimicrobial properties that reduce your risk of skin infections.

Tea Tree

Tea tree oil can ease the itchiness and discomfort that comes with bug bites. They can also act as a repellant and antibacterial agent.

How to Apply Essential Oils

How you use essential oils on a bug bite depends on you. Just remember that the majority of essential oils should be diluted. The direct application of the oil may cause a stinging and burning sensation, making the bug bite even worse.

Apply on Skin

Dilute the essential oil in a carrier or base oil first before you put it directly on the bite. People usually put five drops of essential oil per ounce of base oil.

Diluted Spray

To make a diluted spray, fill a spray bottle with water. Mix in two to three drops of both essential oil and carrier oil. Shake it well before you spray it on yourself.


person putting ointment to her hand

There are two ways to make your own ointment. The first way is by adding 2 to 3 drops of any essential oil to coconut oil, jojoba oil, or a beeswax salve and mixing it in very well. The second way is by dropping in the same amount to a store-bought lotion or moisturizer.

Essential oils can give people great relief from discomfort caused by bug bites. There is an array of essential oils and application options that you can choose from. Of course, the best remedy is prevention. If you notice insects such as ants in your home, it is better to get ant control before these bugs come biting.

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