You’ve probably heard people talking about “natural remedies for bug bites,” and might even have a few friends who use essential oils for fleas and bug bites, as well as to repel the pests from their skin and garden.
Are you interested in doing the same? Here’s what you need to know.
Essential Oils for Fleas and Bug Bites
Every summer it’s the same story. It’s a beautiful, sunny day, but you’ve been stuck inside all day pushing paper. Finally, the work day is over, and you’re free! You go outside, take a deep breath of fresh air, and suddenly, there’s a high-pitched whining in your ear. You look around, wide-eyed, realizing that you have been surrounded by a swarm of tiny, blood-sucking monsters.
Mosquitos aren’t the only culprits that can make us miserable with their itchy bites. Fleas, biting flies, and countless other little pests can really put a damper on our outdoor (and sometimes indoor) fun. There are lots of remedies that you can get from the store, but for those who would like a natural remedy to this pesky problem, there are essential oils for fleas and bug bites.
Peppermint essential oil tops our list for good reason: it is one of the most effective essential oils in relieving the persistent itch of flea and bug bites. Peppermint oil has natural anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties which makes it ideal in treating the swelling associated with insect bites. Peppermint oil also delivers a cooling sensation which counteracts the burning, itching sensation of a fresh insect bite.
To use peppermint essential oil, wash your skin thoroughly where you have been bitten with a gentle cleanser or soap. Then dilute several drops of peppermint essential oil into a carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply the solution directly to the bites to instantly relieve the itch and burn.
Lavender essential oil is one of our favorite essential oils because it smells amazing. But as much as we love the delicate floral scent of lavender, that’s how much bugs hate it! Believe it or not, lavender oil is actually a natural insect repellant. Lavender oil is also a great option for treating itchy bites because of its soothing analgesic properties.
To use lavender essential oil as a natural insect repellent, mix 10 drops of lavender essential oil with one cup of witch hazel, pour the solution into a spray bottle, and spray it on wherever your skin is exposed to ward off biting insects.
You can also use this solution of lavender essential oil and witch hazel as an effective to spray for your pets to help repel fleas and sooth their irritated skin. You can also apply the mixture to your own bites for itch relief.
We can’t have a list of essential oils for fleas and bug bites without including citronella essential oil. After all, it’s a summertime classic, sold everywhere in sprays and candles for repelling insects. But a lot of these repellants also contain harsh chemicals that are bad for us and the environment.
Fortunately, using citronella essential oil alone is enough to keep bugs away. Even though we don’t use citronella to treat the bites themselves, as the adage goes, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure. If you don’t get bitten, you won’t need to treat any bites!
To use citronella essential oil as a powerful insect repellant, make a solution of several drops of citronella in a spray bottle of distilled water and spray all over, avoiding your eyes and mouth. You can also use citronella essential oil in your diffuser outdoors, if you have access to an outdoor power outlet.
Rosemary is a timeless kitchen favorite, adding savory flavor to practically any dish. Rosemary essential oil, with its familiar, woody smell, has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the swelling of bites and associated itching, making it great choice for treating insect bites. Rosemary oil is also one of many essential oils that can kill bacteria, so insect bites are less likely to become infected.
Dilute a few drops of rosemary essential oil into witch hazel, wash your skin and apply the mixture to the bites to experience relief from itching and swelling.
Derived from another staple kitchen herb, basil essential oil can help alleviate the irritation and itch of flea and bug bites. A natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, basil essential oil can kill bacteria that lead to infection and reduces the swelling and itching cause by insect bites.
You can find relief from your bites by diluting a few drops of basil essential oil into a carrier oil like jojoba oil and applying the mixture to your skin.
Since we’re in the spice cabinet, let’s talk a little about caraway essential oil. You might be familiar with caraway seeds as a common ingredient in rye bread and many sausages, but did you know caraway essential oil can be used in many other helpful ways, including as a remedy for flea and bug bites?
Caraway essential oil acts as a natural antihistamine, which can effectively stop the itch of bug bites. Additionally, caraway oil is also an antiseptic, so you can use it to prevent—and even treat—the infections that bug bites sometimes cause.
To benefit from the histamine blocking properties of caraway essential oil, dilute a few drops of caraway essential oil into a carrier oil and apply to your skin for lasting itch relief.
Melissa essential oil may not be one of the most well-known essential oils, but it is effective in treating health issues from menstrual cramps to hypoglycemia. Melissa oil can also be used as a treatment for insect bites. This oil has both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, so it’s great for reducing swelling and the risk of infection associated with bug bites.
To use Melissa essential oil, dilute several drops into a carrier oil of your choice and apply to the bites.
Melissa is another name for Lemon Balm, which is similar to Lemon Verbena in both taste and benefits.
A Healthier Remedy for Itching: Essential Oils for Fleas and Bug Bites
Don’t sweat it if Fido has fleas or you want to hang out with your friends by the lake. The itch of bug bites doesn’t have to bug you if you use essential oils for fleas and bug bites.