There are several bug-repellent recipes and products out there which are pretty effective in preventing bugs from biting (find my recommendations in the Questions section). UPDATE: Here is my bug repellent recipe for ticks and bugs: Tick Off! Bug Off! (TOBO) spray for repelling bugs and ticks made with essential oils and hydrosols.
But sometimes we don't re-apply often enough, and we pay for it.
Although my Itch-Be-Gone recipe is effective for itchy rashes and certain bug bites, this Bug Bite Soother recipe is my first go-to for mosquito bites.
This blend is super effective in stopping the itchiness from bug bites, especially when applied right after the bug bites, or as soon as you notice you have a bite. In the experience of myself and my children, we can apply one time after the big bite, and often don't need to re-apply again – ever.
If you've been scratching a bit before application, and the histamines are really having a party, you may need to apply more than once before the anti-histamine activity of the Tea Tree and Lavender overpowers the itching.
From personal experience in my family I can also say this also works for horsefly bites and wasp stings.
I like to use a roller bottle to apply Bug Bite Soother. One swipe does the trick. Yes, really!
Read this testimonial from Kristina, “I made the bug bite soother roll-on from the recipe below. Good thing I had it on hand when I got a nasty mosquito bite this morning. My skin was was welting up and itched like crazy. Honestly, I didn't think the blend would be a huge help but I rolled it on anyway. A few minutes later I looked down and couldn't even find where I had been bitten…welt and itching were completely gone! Just one application. Wow!! Thanks for the recipe.”
And from Amy, “This works better than anything else I've tried, especially if applied immediately after bitten. You will literally see the swelling go down. I make a roller bottle for every family member and a few extra around the house.”
Here is the recipe in text, in case the image doesn't show up for you…and keep scrolling to find out more detailed information about this recipe…
Bug Bite Soother – anti-histamine relief after the bugs bite
- Fill a roller bottle (you can find the roller bottles I like on my supplies page) halfway with a carrier oil, such as Sweet Almond (more carrier oil ideas here: Choosing Carriers for Essential Oils).
- Add equal amounts Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis) until the bottle is filled to the shoulder. You can do this by adding Tea Tree first, eyeballing to the 3/4th mark, and then add the Lavender (or vise-versa), or you can pre-blend the Tea Tree and Lavender in a separate storage bottle (like these), and add to the roller bottle.
- Shake well to ensure the blend is properly mixed.
That's it! Now you are ready to roll over the bug bite and zap that itch!
For a recipe you can measure, add to a 10ml roller bottle the following:
1 teaspoon carrier oil
1/2 teaspoon Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
1/2 teaspoon Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis)
Questions you may have about this recipe
Q: Okay, I am soooo confused. You preach about safety and using proper dilutions, and then you have this recipe which is a 50% dilution. Please explain yourself!
A: This is the most common question I get about this recipe. I must point out that there are a few instances where “neat” (undiluted) application is acceptable. Bug bites and stings are two of those instances. Being conservative, I prefer not to use them neat, and have found a 50% dilution to be as effective. If you prefer to dilute further, that is totally up to you. Just be sure the dilution you use is also effective. This dilution is so effective you need just one application in most cases.
Q: I don’t have all the essential oils in this recipe – what can I leave out?
A: You can leave out the Lavender. I've made this with just Tea Tree, and it is still super effective.
Q: Can I use something other than Sweet Almond oil as a carrier in this recipe?
A: Yes, absolutely. There are many carrier oil options. I have a huge post on different carriers here: Choosing Carriers for Essential Oils.
Q: Is this recipe safe for use during pregnancy?
A: Yes, the ingredients used are safe for using during pregnancy. This dilution is also fine when used on an “as needed” basis. For more information on essential oil safety during pregnancy read: Essential Oils and Pregnancy.
Q: Is this recipe safe for use if I breastfeed?
A: Yes, the ingredients in this recipe are safe to use if you are breastfeeding. For more information on essential oil safety for breastfeeding moms read: Essential Oils and Breastfeeding.
Q: Is this recipe safe for use on children?
A: The essential oils used in this recipe are safe to use on children. Although I did not create this recipe for children specifically, I have used this recipe on my kids over age 5. Using essential oils neat, even on children, is acceptable for bug bites and stings, and therefore this recipe (50% dilution instead of 100% essential oils) is also acceptable. But if you have younger kids, you could totally try this at a 25% dilution and see if it works as well as this 50% dilution. For more information on essential oil safety with children read: Essential Oils and Children.
Q: You recommend using a roller bottle. Does it have to be a roller bottle with a stainless steel ball, or can I use a plastic one?
A: Because this recipe has a 50% dilution, I would suggest using a roller bottle with a stainless steel ball, like these: Aluminum and glass with stainless roller ball. That being said, I first made this blend in these 5ml roller bottles, which have a plastic roller ball, and have not had any issue with them deteriorating.
Q: What brands do you recommend for this recipe?
A: I personally use several different brands of essential oils with great results (you can find my opinion in this BRANDS file, which can be accessed only from Using Essential Oils Safely facebook group members). You can use whatever brand you have on hand, as long as the Latin names match 🙂
Q: Where do you purchase your carrier oils?
A: I personally like to use high quality, organic carrier oils, as they are applied to and absorbed by my skin. My favorite place to purchase carrier oils is Mountain Rose Herbs.
Q: What bug repellents do you recommend?
A: I have found several that work well: Wingsets' Herbal Insect Repellent, available as an essential oil blend, spray, or lotion; Hard Lotion's Bug Block, a lotion bar you rub on your skin, and Tropical Traditions' Organic All Natural Insect Repellent, available as a lotion. UPDATE: I made a recipe using hydrosols and essential oils which you can find here: Tick Off! Bug Off!
My son calls this my “magic boo-boo potion” -Ashley
We use this exact recipe. Works like a charm – especially if we use it right away. – Candace
Did this blend for my daughters ring worm. it worked when the meds from the dr didn’t – Joy.
This stuff is awesome! – Janet
It works! I put this on a five minute old bite. Normally it would swell and itch for several days. It never itched or swelled at all. – Valerie
OH MY GOODNESS this works like a charm! My peanut had 3 big nasty mosquito bites on her face (welts) – in three days its just about gone! LOVE THIS – Stina
Just used it on my multiple mosquito bites and it rocks! – Nicole
Love this. Also great for the scratches that go along with gardening. – Sandy
We use it and love it! – Deb
I love this! It works wonderfully! My daughter can not handle any amount of pain or physical discomfort without whining and it works for her. It has brought peace to my summer. – Mandi
Lea Harris is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist Scholar's Program graduate from Aromahead Institute. This website, and its sister website, LearningAboutEOs, is home to educational advice and information about using essential oils safely. Lea founded and runs the Using Essential Oils Safely facebook group, with hundreds of new members joining each week. Lea is the author of The TRUTH About Essential Oil Safety, and the creator of Safe Essential Oil Labels and the UEOS App. You can find FREE classes here: Free Essential Oil Classes.
Lea received her herbalist certification through The Herbal Academy of New England. Lea is a contributing writer for Natural Herbal Living magazine, and blogs about herbs and natural living on her website, Nourishing Treasures.
Lea is Professional level member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists.
Businesses, groups, and individuals can hire Lea to consult on safety, product formulation, and more on her website Lea Harris CCA.