Insect Bites/Stings

During the summer, the insects and mosquitoes are the worst. Do you have an essential oil recipe to keep them away?
Karen, AZ

Insect Bites & Stings
Most Insects, including Ants, Wasps, Bees, Mosquitoes, when they bite/sting, inject a Protein or Formic acid into your skin. The proteins/acid evoke an immune response from your body. The area swells, and then you begin to itch. Eventually, the swelling goes away, but the itch remains until your immune cells break down the proteins/acid.


Avoid getting bites/stings all together:
For Ants:
  • Keep an eye out for anthills and consider wearing closed-toe shoes and socks, if you think you might be getting down and dirty in red ant territory.
  • Covering your skin by wearing long pants, long sleeved shirts, and gloves could provide some extra protection.
  • Be sure that any Drink/Food source is not left outside or where ants will track it down.
For Bees/Wasps:
  • Avoid attracting the bees and wasps, and if they just can't resist you, do not aggravate them by swatting, running, and/or screaming. They'll probably leave you alone.
  • Avoid brightly colored or patterned clothing when in an area where you expect there to be bees and wasps.
  • Avoid using perfume or cologne in said areas.
  • Don't walk barefoot across plants, especially clover and blooming ground clover (a favorite of bees).
  • If a bee or wasp does land on you, it's probably just interested in a smell or wants a little sip of water (your sweat), so don't swat at it. Stand still and it should fly away on its own accord. If you cannot wait for the bee or wasp to leave on its own, then gently brush it away with a piece of paper — swatting will antagonize the insect and you might end up with a sting.
  • Before jumping into the pool, check to make sure there aren't any bees or wasps trapped on the water (they make for particularly unhappy and easily antagonized stingers).
For Mosquitoes:
  • Often the best "repellent" is a fan or gentle breeze as mosquitoes do not like moving air.
  • Increase your intake of vitamin B-1 (thiamine) and garlic. Both of these items make you 'stink' to a mosquito.
  • Put some water in a white dinner plate and add a couple drops of Lemon Fresh Joy dish detergent. Set the dish on your porch, patio, or other outdoor area. Not sure what attracts them, the lemon smell, the white plate color, or what, but mosquitoes flock to it, and drop dead shortly after drinking the Lemon Fresh Joy/water mixture, and usually within about 10 feet of the plate.
  • Remove standing water sources
  • Put some rosemary plants or sage plants on hot coals.
  • Plant marigolds - their scent repels flying insects and other bugs.
Essential oils can help neutralize bites/stings:
  • Put 1-2 drops Lavender or Tea Tree oil on mosquito or any type of bug bites to help neutralize the bite.
  • Can also put a trace of Peppermint oil on minor insect bites or stings.
  • For Bee stings, apply 1-2 drops Helichrysum oil on location.
Create an Insect repellant, using Essential oils:
  • Peppermint is a safe insect repellant. Create a spray using 4-5 drops Peppermint, shaken into ½ cup water. Spray on skin and clothing. (Be careful around eyes)
  • Insect Repellant:
    10 drops Lavender
    10 drops Geranium
    10 drops Eucalyptus
    10 drops Citronella 8-10 oz water, mix in Spay bottle. Shake and spray on body/clothes as needed.
  • Mosquito Repellant:
    4 drops peppermint 3 drops Eucalyptus
    4 oz. water, spray on clothing and skin.
  • Eucalyptus oil (at 30 percent concentration) helped prevent mosquitoes from biting for two hours, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine
Can also create a safe bug barrier around your home:
  • Fill a spray bottle with 10 drops Peppermint, 5 drops Basil and the rest with water. Spray under you eaves, around your windows, and doors and along baseboards.