Essential Oils For Bug Bites: Say Goodbye To Itchy Skin

By Kathy Brisbane

Updated On

Bug bites can be an annoying and uncomfortable part of life, especially during the warmer months. While there are many over-the-counter remedies available, natural solutions like essential oils can provide effective relief without harsh chemicals. In this article, we’ll explore the best essential oils for bug bites and how to use them safely and effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • Essential oils can provide natural relief for bug bites, reducing itching, swelling, and pain.
  • Lavender, tea tree, and peppermint oil are among the best essential oils for treating bug bites.
  • Proper dilution and application methods are crucial for the safe and effective use of essential oils.

Understanding Bug Bites

Bug bites can come from various insects, including mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and spiders. Common symptoms of bug bites include itching, redness, swelling, and pain. Identifying the type of bug bite can help determine the best course of treatment. For example, mosquito bites are usually small, red, and itchy, while spider bites may cause more severe symptoms like pain, swelling, and even fever (CDC, 2021).

Also Read: Is Salt Water Good For Your Skin? How It Can Transform Your Skincare

Best Essential Oils for Bug Bites

  • Lavender Oil: Known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties, lavender oil can help reduce itching and swelling associated with bug bites. It also promotes relaxation and can help relieve stress and anxiety that may accompany the discomfort of bug bites (Koulivand et al., 2013).
  • Tea Tree Oil: With its powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil can help prevent infection and reduce inflammation caused by bug bites. It also has a cooling effect that can provide instant relief from itching and pain (Carson et al., 2006).
  • Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil contains menthol, which has a cooling and numbing effect on the skin. This can help relieve itching and pain associated with bug bites. Peppermint oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling and redness (Balakrishnan, 2015).
  • Eucalyptus Oil: Like peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil has a cooling effect on the skin that can provide relief from itching and pain. It also has antiseptic properties that can help prevent infection and promote healing (Sadlon & Lamson, 2010).
  • Lemongrass Oil: With its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, lemongrass oil can help prevent infection and reduce inflammation caused by bug bites. It also has a refreshing scent that can help repel bugs and provide a pleasant aroma (Shah et al., 2011).

How to Use Essential Oils for Bug Bites?

When using essential oils for bug bites, it’s important to dilute them properly to avoid skin irritation. A general rule of thumb is to use 2-3 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil. You can also create a DIY bug bite relief blend by combining several essential oils with carrier oil.

To apply essential oils to bug bites, simply dab a small amount of the diluted oil onto the affected area using a clean cotton ball or swab. Gently massage the oil into the skin, being careful not to scratch or irritate the bite further. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day until the symptoms subside.

When to See a Doctor?

While essential oils can provide effective relief for most bug bites, there are some cases where medical attention may be necessary. Signs of a severe allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, or swelling of the face or throat, require immediate medical attention. If bug bites become infected or cause severe pain or swelling, it’s important to see a doctor for proper treatment.

Other Remedies for Bug Bites

In addition to essential oils, there are other natural remedies that can provide relief for bug bites. Aloe vera gel has cooling and anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe itching and reduce swelling. Oatmeal baths can also help relieve itching and inflammation, thanks to the soothing properties of oatmeal. Over-the-counter antihistamines can also be effective for reducing itching and swelling caused by bug bites.


Essential oils offer a natural and effective solution for relieving the discomfort and inflammation caused by bug bites. By understanding the best essential oils for bug bites and how to use them safely and effectively, you can find relief without relying on harsh chemicals or over-the-counter remedies. However, it’s important to remember that severe allergic reactions or infections may require medical attention. If you experience any concerning symptoms or complications from bug bites, be sure to consult with a healthcare professional for proper treatment.

Read More: Castor Oil For Eczema: Can This Solution Soothe Your Skin?


Q: Can essential oils be applied directly to the skin?

A: No, essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil before applying to the skin to avoid irritation.

Q: How often should I apply essential oils to bug bites?

A: Essential oils can be applied to bug bites 2-3 times a day until symptoms subside.

Q: Can essential oils be used on children?

A: Yes, but it’s important to use a lower dilution ratio and to consult with a healthcare professional before using essential oils on children.

Q: Can essential oils prevent bug bites?

A: Some essential oils, such as citronella and lemongrass, can help repel bugs and prevent bites when used as a natural insect repellent.


Kathy Brisbane

Kathy Brisbane is a highly respected and experienced dermatologist with over three decades of expertise. After graduating with honors, she completed her residency and established herself as a leader in the field. Known for her compassionate approach and diagnostic abilities, Dr. Brisbane has authored numerous publications and lectures at conferences. Committed to staying at the forefront of advancements, she provides exceptional skin care and is widely regarded as one of the most trusted dermatologists.

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