Choose Natural Essential Oils for Bug Bites and Stings…Learn How to Use the Best.

essential oils for bug bites

To fully appreciate the benefits of using essential oils for bugs that bite it’s important to understand the full scope of the problem. Every year as winter gives way to warm weather, all the creatures that like to bite or sting us come out to meet us, outside and indoors too. Their ranks include mosquitoes, ants, ticks, bees, wasps, fleasspiders and more.

Inevitably we encounter them and are many times unaware of and often unprepared for their unwelcome attacks. Our physical reactions, mainly on the skin, range from small raised redness with a bit of itching to major outbreaks over large areas of skin and muscle tissue. In the extreme, even anaphylaxis, a serious, potentially life-threatening allergic response accompanied by swelling, hives, lowered blood pressure and dilated blood vessels.

Essential oils for bug bites and for bug repelling can play a key role in the natural prevention of these potentially serious problems. Let’s find out how!

Here’s the Whole Story in One Infographic…

best essential oils for bug bites

The Bugs that Love to Bite and Sting You

Essential oils for bug bites

Although not found universally throughout North America, the following insects are predominantly responsible for the symptoms that respond well to using essential oil for bites. The most common biting insects include:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Horse flies
  • Fleas
  • Bedbugs
  • Ticks
  • Gnats
  • Midges
  • Spiders
  • Bees
  • Wasps

The more distant you are from tropical areas the less risk you have of encountering a serious illness from the majority of bug bites. However, the closer you are to tropical conditions, the threat of meeting with mosquitoes and insects harboring diseases from malaria to dengue fever is more prevalent. 

Ticks are one of the exceptions to the general rule. They are native to all warm and cold climates and are responsible for transferring Lyme disease which is serious and somewhat epidemic throughout North America, especially in wooded and high grass areas.

Mosquitoes are probably the most biting insect with a few thousand different types around the world, including over 200 in the U.S. You can prevent most mosquito bites by staying indoors during sunup and sundown. When you are in mosquito territory wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, hats, and socks and stay clear of shrubby and wet areas. Inevitably, though, you will get bitten.

Let’s review a complete list of the best essential oils for insect bites that will address your symptoms quickly and soothingly.

You’ll Love these Essential Oils for Bug Bites

essential oils for bugs that bite

You’re about to receive a lot of good information about essential oils for bug bites. It will be a useful resource for future occasions when you are caught off guard and want to relieve some nasty bug bite or sting symptoms. Just be aware when you plan to use them, some essential oils are not recommended for infants and toddlers (eucalyptus essential oil is an example) or pregnant women ( peppermint essential oil). 

Although essential oils are natural from leaves, flowers, etc.they can’t be used indiscriminately. In their fully concentrated form, essential oils can be irritating to your skin, it is important to first dilute them before use. The majority of essential oils need to be applied with a carrier oil, and not in their 100% pure or concentrated form. There are several popular carrier oils, including jojoba oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. As well as diluting the essential oil they also nurture your skin while the essential oil deals with the actual bug bite symptoms.

You also need to be aware that when you combine essential oils you must dilute them individually before mixing them together. So, here they are. Each oil is discussed separately, then there is a review of how they can be combined for further good effect.

Basil, like many other essential oils, has been used as a healing agent for millenniums It has great anti-inflammatory characteristics as an essential oil. You can even use a raw basil leaf to reduce itching  when your basil oil is not available for your bug bite. It’s considered a versatile essential oil with a strong aroma. It is most mostly applied to sore tight muscles to relax them and reduce pain, especially for bee stings or any bite with a venom. 

Chamomile essential oil has several good qualities. Its an analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, carminative, sedative, and an anti-inflammatory. It is a perfect calming and soothing oil, great for calming inflammation and reducing bug bite pain and itching.


Eucalyptus trees and the very pungent eucalyptus leaves are endemic to Australia, where the aborigines are responsible for the first use of eucalyptus oil to care for almost all skin problems, including insect bites and stings from many insects.

When choosing a eucalyptus essential oil, make sure that you are using one that is 100% pure for good results. Eucalyptus  also works well to repel almost all insects to help avoid bites from happening.Eucalyptus has significant antiseptic properties, that will protect a bug bite or sting from getting infected. It is well known for preventing and treating infections. 


Lavender essential oil is a real star when it comes to using essential oil for insect bites. Most essential oil collectors have lavender oil in their collection.Diluted with a carrier oil, spray, or lotion, it can be administered to the affected area as often as needed.

Clean the bite or sting area with warm water, dry the skin, then apply directly to the insect bite.You should dilute the lavender essential oil with a carrier oil except when you sprinkle it on your sheets to keep mosquitoes away while sleeping.

Lavender is not only calming to the skin, but to your nerves as well. It has a pleasant aroma that repels insects, mainly mosquitoes and ticks. 


Melissa is also called lemon balm. It has an uplifting effect on the body,  fantastic antiviral and antibacterial properties which make it an effective treatment for bug bites and stings. 


Peppermint essential oil is frequently used for bug bites and is also an effective remedy when applied along with a gentle carrier oil so that it is diluted without affecting the fresh minty feel and smell of the peppermint oil. 


Rosemary essential oil has multiple uses and is an effective essential oil for bug bites. It also works well as a bug repellent, especially effective against mosquitoes.

As an alternative, mix rosemary essential oil with other essential oils, including tea tree, peppermint, or lavender to increase the effective intensity as a repellent and used directly on insect bites and stings to stop pain and itching. 

Tea Tree

Tea tree essential oil has always been a standard for aiding skin health and the human immune system. Luckily the type of tea tree plant used is prevalent throughout the world and works best for skin issues, including bug bites. Tea tree is another popular essential oil. It can be used to cleans out the location of the bite and helps to curb itching, pain, and inflammation.It can also be used for preventing mosquito bites but it can dry skin if it’s not blended with a carrier oil.


Thyme oil helps to keep wounds, cuts and sores clean and infection-free. Thyme oil safeguards bites and stings against infection and is good for keeping the bite area disinfected because it contains thymol which is antiseptic.

Try mixing thyme essential oil for bug bites with eucalyptus oil to offer in greater soothing to the skin.

More Exciting Concoctions of Essential Oils for Bug Bites!

Do it yourself oil blendingNot all treatments that utilize essential oils for are as pure as the ones above. Other ingredients included along with essential oils can have a compounding positive effect. Here’s a chance to learn how to use essential oils for blending to deal even more effectively with bug bites.  

Basic Bee Sting Blend

  • 1 tsp baking soda (to counter the acidity of the sting)
  • 1 drop chamomile essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • Distilled water

In a small bowl combine baking soda with chamomile and lavender essential oils Mix well and add enough water to make a soft paste.After removing the bee stinger with tweezers, apply the bee sting blend (paste) to the stung area frequently as needed until the stinging disappears.

Cold Compress for Painful Bee, Hornet and Ant Stings

If you are stung by a bee, quickly use tweezers pull out the bee’s stinger he left embedded in your skin, without squeezing the poison sac. Follow this with an icy compress concocted as follows:

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of lavender hydrosol (or lavender essential oil in distilled water)

Apply frequently with a cloth or cotton balls until the inflammation goes down.

Wasp Sting Compress

Apply a cold compress with a cloth soaked with:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil

Apply as often as needed until the inflammation goes down

Wasp Sting Cotton Ball Press

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil
  • Cotton balls

In a small bowl combine the vinegar and lavender essential oil.Place a cotton ball in the liquid and apply to the affected area frequently as needed until the stinging disappears

General Concoction  for Bedbugs and Fleas

To avoid infection from the bite of these creatures bathe the bitten skin thoroughly. Combine several drops of lavender or eucalyptus essential oil with  very few drops 3 drops of thyme essential oil diluted in cider vinegar. Apply to the affected area with a cloth of cotton bud  until the pain and itchiness is gone.

Simple Tick Treatment

Remove the tick from your skin by applying 1 drop of thyme to the tick body. When the tick is out apply 1 drop of neat lavender to the tick wound every few minutes to fend off infection and stop pain and inflammation.

Spider Bite Cotton Ball

  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • A few drops lavender essential oil
  • A few drops tea tree essential oil
  • In a small bowl mix together the lavender and tea tree oil in a spoonful of vinegar

Soak a cotton ball in the mixture and dab the affected area frequently.

Bitten by a Black Widow?

A bite from black widow means you need to quickly get professional medical attention. As you are on the way for medical attention apply several drops of lavender oil neat directly to the bite. Lavender may have a neutralizing effect the poison from the spider.

Some Final Advice for Preventing Bug Bites

Preventing bug bites with essential oilsIf you take the time plan for potential insect bites, you can fully enjoy being outdoors without the needing essential oils for insect bites Some folks practice the 3 D’s of protection,  from mosquitoes in particular: Drain, Dress, and Defend. 

Draining the wet areas for mosquitoes is the first step. It takes away their breeding environment. 

Dress in light colors. Bugs are less attracted to light colored clothing. 

Defend using the best techniques you know to repel insects. Experiment with marigold flowers planted in your garden.

Build a bat box or several. Bats eat thousands of insects (mainly mosquitoes) in an evening.

And by all means use some of the suggested essential oils for bug bite repellent!  

NOTE: To help deal with the stress related to fighting the insects that bother you, invest in a good quality essential oil diffuser to calm your nerves and receive all the aromatic benefits of these natural healing oils.

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Use these Best ESSENTIAL OILS for BUG BITES and STINGS. See our lists of insect bite and sting symptoms and loads of effective remedies.
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About the author

Jill Holiday

Jill Holiday is publisher of Pure Wild OIls, an e-magazine devoted to articles about the benefits of essential oils and related product reviews.

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