What are the best essential oils for bug and insect bites?


Join us on a scented voyage, as we explore the abundant benefits nestled within every drop of essential oil, skillfully derived from nature's wealth. Guided by Dr. Killigan’s expertise, we navigate through the world of essential oils for insect bites, forging a sanctuary for our skin amid the ever-present universe of insects.

Navigating through the winding paths of these essences, we shall explore, comprehend and appreciate the potent properties of several oils, discovering how they gracefully interweave protective and healing faculties into our daily lives.

Did You Know?
While we often use "bugs" and "insects" interchangeably, they are not quite the same! All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. True bugs belong to the order Hemiptera and have specific characteristics like a mouthpart that pierces and sucks. Common examples include bed bugs and stink bugs. On the other hand, "insect" is a broader term encompassing a wide range of creatures from butterflies to beetles!

The all-embracing lavender

Lavender essential oil, celebrated for its myriad of benefits, is particularly noteworthy for its efficacy in mitigating the nuisances of insect bites. With its inherent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities, lavender not only soothes the discomfort of redness and swelling associated with bug bites but also expedites the skin's healing process.


Beyond its remedial capacities, lavender acts as a potent preventative measure against insect invasions and irritating bug bites. It isn’t merely the pleasant scent that repels bugs when lavender is incorporated into essential oil bug sprays. The lush, floral aroma does more than just repel through scent; it disorients and confounds our diminutive, unwelcome guests. This disruption in their navigational capabilities ensures our personal spaces remain untouched and undisturbed by their presence.

Keep reading for a DIY recipe, leveraging lavender's notable properties for relief and protection against pesky bites and insect intrusions.

Citronella's vibrant vigilance

Citronella, universally recognized in the realm of insect repellency, introduces a lively, zesty atmosphere that actively discourages insects from daring to intrude. It has earned its reputation particularly for its potent ability to repel mosquitoes, acting as an essential sentinel that ensures our skin remains untouched and unblemished. It’s not just a preventative solution; citronella is also acknowledged as a formidable essential oil for bug bites. 


Widely hailed for its utility during outdoor activities, citronella demonstrates an especially useful prowess while we engage with the great outdoors. When embarking on camping adventures, hiking explorations, or any nature-intensive journeys, citronella proves invaluable in maintaining a shield against those pesky outdoor annoyances. It doesn’t merely act as a guardian against the bugs but also uplifts and invigorates our spirits with its vibrant, citrusy notes, enhancing our outdoor experiences by ensuring they are not only safeguarded but also zestfully joyful and energetically invigorating. This dual action of protection and upliftment renders citronella a favored choice among essential oils in the battle against insect bites and their potential interruptions to our tranquil existence. (See recipe below.)

Peppermint’s cool and calming embrace (with recipe)

Peppermint essential oil unfolds its diverse, vivacious arms, offering a refreshingly cool and calming embrace while confronting the havoc wreaked by insect bites. The moment this oil meets the skin, it begins to gently neutralize the hot, irritable sensations we often encounter after an unpleasant meeting with a bug. Its anti-inflammatory properties work tirelessly to reduce swelling and pain, providing a nurturing, soothing shield that brings immediate and welcome relief.

For quick relief, dilute peppermint oil to a maximum of 5% in a carrier oil for topical applications. Do not use on young children (under 30 months) and do not apply near the face of children, as you do not want them to inhale the menthol in the oil. 

Furthermore, peppermint's aromatic potency is more than a delightful scent to our senses - for many insects, it is an efficient deterrent. But it does not merely repel; in certain formulations, it's a key player in ensuring that pests meet their demise, safeguarding our spaces from unwelcome, six-legged guests.


Moreover, peppermint’s potent defensive capacities are not merely confined to our personal applications. In Dr. Killigan's innovative pest control product, Dust to Dust, peppermint oil ascends to a key role, embarking on a mission to provide a robust, effective solution against pests in our living spaces. This thoughtful incorporation of peppermint does not only defend, but also eradicates, ensuring your environment remains impeccably serene and free from the disturbances of invasive pests. Committed to both efficacy and safety, Dust to Dust aligns with the ethos of Dr. Killigan's by offering a solution that ensures your spaces are as harmonious as they are safeguarded, all while avoiding harsh and disruptive chemicals.

Use Dust to Dust to kill, repel and prevent more than 100 insect species, including ants, roaches, ticks, and fleas and more. In hundreds of side-by-side tests, it has proven to be more effective than diatomaceous earth. 

While Dust to Dust tackles broader pest issues in your space, peppermint essential oil can also be utilized in a personal, targeted approach to bug-bite relief. Here's a straightforward recipe to harness the immediate, soothing properties of peppermint oil in a convenient roller application:

Soothing peppermint roller

  • 2 teaspoons fractionated coconut oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil


  1. Add fractionated coconut oil to a 10 ml roller bottle
  2. Add lavender and peppermint essential oils
  3. Secure the roller bottle's lid and shake to combine the ingredients
  4. Apply gently to bug bites as needed for soothing relief

In combining peppermint oil with lavender, this roller presents a quick, efficient means to address the sharp, stinging reminders of an insect’s unwanted attention, offering a personal layer of protection and relief to complement the broader protective shield provided by Dust to Dust and other effective bug sprays. 

Tea tree’s robust refuge

Tea tree oil embarks as a formidable warrior amidst our exploration into essential oil for insect bites, with its potent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory powers providing a robust refuge for our skin. Not only does it meticulously cleanse and protect our bite-afflicted skin, but its potent properties also propel a rapid and healthy healing process, ensuring an expedited return to comfort and serenity.


For immediate relief, dilute to 2-5% in a carrier oil. For applications on children, ensure it's on the lower end of this concentration range and conduct a patch test to ascertain there’s no sensitivity or allergic reaction before full use.

Crafting a vibrant essential oils tapestry

In weaving together powerful essential oils, we create more than an essential oil bug spray; we weave a protective and healing tapestry, ensuring our adventures through nature’s lush realms are serene and undisturbed. Each selected oil acts as a sentinel, enveloping us in an aromatic cocoon that offers refuge from insects and ensures our explorations remain peaceful and inspiring, allowing full immersion into the vibrant world around us.

As we welcome a natural bug repellent recipe from Wellness Mama, let’s delve into crafting a potent blend that seamlessly merges these individual oils into a powerful, unified whole:

Natural bug repellent spray:

  • 30 drops geranium essential oil
  • 30 drops citronella essential oil
  • 20 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
  • 20 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 1 TBSP vodka (or rubbing alcohol)
  • ½ cup witch hazel
  • ½ cup water (or vinegar)


  1. In a glass spray bottle, amalgamate the essential oils
  2. Add vodka or rubbing alcohol and shake well to combine
  3. Add witch hazel and shake again
  4. Add water, shaking again to unify the mixture

Tip: Shake before each use to maintain a cohesive blend Tip: You may add 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin to aid in maintaining a more even blend     

How to Use: 

Maintain a bottle by the back door and another in your first aid kit during outdoor adventures. Accompanying this spray with a homemade anti-itch cream can provide a well-rounded strategy for navigating unexpected insect encounters, affording peace of mind amidst nature’s abundant splendor.

Note: Safety is paramount. Always perform patch tests to safeguard against potential allergic reactions and consult with professionals for adept blending and application advice. If pregnant, nursing or under a doctor's care, consult your physician.  


Explore the protective and healing world of essential oils with us, safeguarding your adventures in nature from troublesome bug bites. From the soothing properties of lavender to the potent shield of citronella, embrace the tranquil and powerful guard of essential oils and bug sprays on your outdoor journeys, ensuring each step is free from the itch and annoyance of bites.

Embark on a bug-free adventure with Dr. Killigan's

Experience the serene escapade nature offers without the bother of bug bites. Dive deeper into the world of essential oils with Dr. Killigan’s innovative solutions. Harness the potent power of nature and ensure your explorations remain undisturbed and tranquil.

Discover More: Explore our range of products, meticulously crafted with essential oils that guarantee your comfort and protection amidst the wilderness.

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