Natural Bug Bite Relief

Last updated 05/9/2020 | |

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Sometimes the bugs bite you, in spite of your best efforts. This easy, natural bug bite remedy relieves the itch, speeds healing, and is safe for kids.

toddler in blue dress with legs covered in bug bites

Well, it's official. I've lost any faint hope of getting the "Mom of the Year" award.

We're careful to use homemade bug spray whenever we go outside, check for ticks after hiking--the works. And what happens? Little Peanut (2) got a bunch of mosquito bites while she was asleep in her crib. Sigh.

Her arms and legs had bites all over them. Of course, she scratched the heck out of them in her sleep.

By the time she woke up in the morning, they were red and raw from itching. I knew they'd get infected if she kept scratching them.

bug bite on baby's arm

We don't have any calamine lotion (do they even make that anymore?), and I don't want to use synthetic anti-itch creams if I can help it at all. Thanks to my favorite essential oil reference book, I knew exactly what would relieve the itch and promote healing.

essential oil roller and bottles

Natural Bug Bite Relief

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons sweet almond oil or other carrier oil

4 drops Melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil

6 drops Lavender essential oil

10 mL glass rollertop bottle

Important! Please don't use store-bought oils that say "not for internal use." This means that the oils haven't been tested for pesticides, contaminants, or other potentially dangerous substances. You don't want to put pesticides or unknown chemicals on your kids (or yourself) just to stop an itch.

Pure essential oils, like doTERRA, are extensively tested for safety and purity. They even have the FDA nutrition label on them, so you know they're safe to ingest. That's not necessary for bug bites, but it's an important indicator of the level of purity we're talking about. Learn more about doTERRA's safety and testing process.

hand holding essential oil bottles

 

blue roller bottle with two essential oil bottles in background

Natural Bug Bite Relief

Yield: 10mL
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $4

Sometimes the bugs bite you, in spite of your best efforts. This easy, natural remedy relieves the itch, speeds healing, and is safe for kids.

Materials

Instructions

Put 4 drops of Melaleuca essential oil and 6 drops of Lavender essential oil into the rollertop bottle.

Add fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil to the bottle until almost full. Snap on the rollertop and label the bottle.

This bug bite relief is diluted for use on kids. To make this mixture stronger for adult use, only fill the bottle halfway with carrier oil.

Both Melaleuca and Lavender essential oil have antiseptic qualities, and Lavender promotes healing as well.

Usage: apply as often as once per hour, as needed, until the itching stops.

Notes

Important! Please don't use store-bought oils that say "not for internal use." This means that the oils haven't been tested for pesticides, contaminants, or other potentially dangerous substances. You don't want to put pesticides or unknown chemicals on your kids (or yourself) just to stop an itch.

Pure essential oils, like doTERRA, are extensively tested for safety and purity. They even have the FDA nutrition label on them, so you know they're safe to ingest. Ingesting is not necessary for bug bites, but it's an important indicator of the level of purity we're talking about. Learn more about doTERRA essential oils here.

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essential oil roller and bottles

toddler with bug bites on legs

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18 Comments

  1. Therese Archambault on August 4, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Instead of carrier oil, can witch hazel or vodka be used?

    • Pam on August 5, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      Therese, the carrier oil helps the essential oils penetrate the skin. Witch hazel or vodka would cause the essential oils to evaporate more quickly, so I don’t recommend it for this.

  2. Rebecca on November 20, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Any brand tooth ache relief gel. Takes away the itch immediately.

  3. Tiffany on August 27, 2015 at 7:34 am

    What kind of bug bite was this? My LO has bites just like the ones in the picture. I did not think the bites where bed bugs, but I think he got them in his crib.

  4. Marilyn on August 12, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    I use a salt and water paste and the itch and bite never amount to anything. It has always stopped it immediately. Best part: we all have salt handy. I have been a mosquito magnet for years. Have not tried it on other bites though as I do not get other kinds.

  5. Emma on May 5, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    This is great. Am I able to substitute the lavender with something else as I am allergic to that.

    • Sarah on May 17, 2015 at 7:48 am

      You could use Clary Sage as a replacement. It won’t have the same smell obviously, but it will help with the healing properties that you are lacking if you do not use Lavender.

  6. Sue on March 30, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Food grade dichotomous earth! Best cure for any kind of bug, the smaller the better! Washing bedding is a good start, but if the bugs are in the mattress, you can’t get to them. Just sprinkle the DE everywhere bugs might possibly hide, travel, visit, etc. On the bed (after stripping), the carpet, edges of the room, counter tops, closets… everywhere!

    It is totally non-toxic (even the non-food grade, but with kids, safer is always better). If you can let it sit for a couple days that is best, but even sprinkling in the morning and vacuuming up in the evening is worth it. This being a very fine dust, you will never get it completely up, but that is what you want! The super fine particles are viciously sharp on the bug size level. Bugs walk on it and it gets between their skin plates and slices them dead! So anything left behind will lurk there, waiting for the next adventurous bug! Mix with some baking soda (and your favorite scent stuff) for a regular carpet treatment.

    BTW, for the bedding, this is one time you do NOT want to line dry. Even with bleach some buggers may survive the wash. But dryers just get too hot for them!

  7. Denise on July 14, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Eucalyptus oil works great for bug bites too.

  8. morewithlessmom on June 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Ooh I already have this stuff! Thanks for sharing! Hello from Anti-Procrastination Tuesday!

  9. Andrea on June 21, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! The mosquitoes here have been horrible, and both my 3-year-old daughter and I have been bitten numerous times. I have tried lavender oil on the bites, and it certainly helps the itching, but I bet the antibacterial qualities of the tea tree oil would be a great addition. We’ll be trying this next time!

    Thanks for linking up to Natural Living Monday!

  10. Barbara Hoyer on June 21, 2014 at 3:27 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this at Fabulously Frugal Thursday! DD7 and I both get tons of bug bites. Unfortunately she will scratch them a LOT. I have the other 2 oils, but not the carrier oil.

    • Pam on June 21, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      You can use olive oil if you have that!

  11. Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers on June 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this! My poor little Pixie has bug bites all across her chest… presumably acquired in bed the other night!
    *washed sheets, crossed fingers, mixing this up tonight*
    ~ Christine

  12. Josie Espinoza on June 15, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Thank you for sharing that, I love your title “itch be gone”

  13. G H Brown on June 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    If you are outdoors and do not have your essential oil kit with you, try chewing a leaf of plantain, making a green glob, and holding the glob on the bite. Plantain works for bites and stings also, and even helps some for snake bites, along with some other medicinal herbs. Plantain is a common lawn weed, and is found just about everywhere. It won’t help for Coral Snake bites, but will help some for hobo spider bites.

  14. JJ on June 12, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Peppermint oil with a little water.

  15. Roberta on June 12, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Yes they do make calamine lotion! I like this one too!

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