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Insect Bite Roll-On: Using Essential Oils for Bug Bites

This insect bite roll-on is great to have on hand when you least expect to get attacked by mosquitoes, flies, or other annoying pests. By using essential oils for bug bites, you can get quick relief from that darn itch.

essential oils for bug bites

Some people have no reaction to mosquito bites, and others (like me) get huge, red welts that itch so badly that I want to jump out of my skin and hide!

It’s no fun at all when I get a bite, so I did some research to figure out WHY ME! Er, I mean, why do the bites itch so badly, and what on earth can I do to relieve it?

This roll-on remedy has become a lifesaver for me during the summer when I’m out gardening and camping. Using essential oils for bug bites is easy, and provides fast relief.

Here’s what we’ll be covering today…

essential oils lined up to put in roller-ball
I use a roller-ball to easily apply my essential oil mixture.

Why, Oh Why is a Mosquito Bite SO Itchy?

Mosquito and insect bites itch because our bodies have a histamine reaction to the insects’ saliva, a mini allergic reaction.

When your body detects bug spit, it quickly sends in histamine, an immune response that turns the site into a red bump. The bump is itchy, and when you scratch it, it gets even more inflamed and itchier.

My mother would always apply antihistamine cream to relieve the itch, but that tackles the immune response, rather than the irritant. Instead, it’s better to neutralize the saliva and let your body relax.

If you catch the bite right away, using this roll-on should help you to avoid even the initial bump, but if you found the bite from scratching and it’s already inflamed, then it could take a few applications and a bit longer.

Now, it is true that mosquitoes prefer some people to others. I’m living proof of that. Try camping with me. You will love it! All mosquitoes hunt me down and will leave you alone. Unless you are as tasty to them as I am, and in that case, you need this mosquito bite relief roll-on remedy, too!

potted lavender plants in bloom
Most bugs avoid strong smells like lavender.

What is the Best Essential Oil for Bug Bites?

Lavender and tea tree are some of my go-to essential oils for bug bites. In fact, they have many of the same beneficial properties for the skin.

The main and most helpful property of these essential for bug bites is their anti-inflammatory properties. We all know how quickly a bug bite flares up, creating a large and red bump. The pair of essential oils lessen the redness and immediate irritation after a bite.

Insect bites also have a habit of getting infected if you touch and itch them too much. Lavender works as an antifungal while tea tree is an antiseptic, both helping to prevent any nasty bacteria from growing.

Some bites can be painful, especially if you scratched too hard. Lavender and tea tree will soothe the bite, offering some pain-relieving and numbing effects. Lavender also promotes the healing of skin tissue, helping your bite to go away quickly.

Of course, tea tree and lavender are two very strong and distinct smells. You get a 2 for 1 with these essential oils, as they also act as an insect repellent. In fact, many commercial sprays include lavender and tea tree in their formulas. So when the bugs get you once, this roll-on may even help to avoid a secondary bite.

Note: never apply essential oils directly to the skin. Since they are concentrated versions of plant power, you always want to dilute them beforehand. In this case, I use witch hazel!

Organic Lavender Essential Oil and Marshmallow root
If you also love the smell of lavender, then you’ll enjoy the scent of this roll-on.

Witch Hazel

The base of this mosquito bite relief roll-on, witch hazel also has a ton of healing benefits. Primarily known as a wound-cleaner, witch hazel is a champion for the skin helping to soothe irritated skin, reduce inflammation, and prevent redness.

You can grow your own witch hazel in the garden, harvesting the bark to make a gentle astringent for the skin, and use in this recipe. If you are in need of an immediate fix, you can also easily grab a bottle of distilled witch hazel too.

Witch Hazel in bloom Jelena
Witch hazel is known for its healing skin properties.

Mosquito Bite Relief Roll-On Remedy

This remedy is super easy to make, and uses just a few key powerful essential oils for bug bites. Make a few of these ahead of time, keeping it handy when you’re out and about and needing some quick itching relief.

Ingredients and Materials

See the recipe card for full measurements.

Make it!

Pour the witch hazel into the roll-on bottle using a small funnel. Add the essential oils for bug bites and put the roll-on top back on the bottle. Shake well before using.

using essential oils for bug bites roll-on remedy
Shake well each time before you apply the roll-on to your skin.

How to Make Mosquito Bites Stop Itching

To use this roll-on for mosquito bite relief, apply it as soon as you see the mosquito on you or feel the bite starting to itch. Don’t scratch! Roll on a little of this insect bite relief right onto the bite and allow it to dry.

Again, don’t scratch! I know, easier said than done. But, the more you scratch the more inflamed it will be. If you can restrain yourself while the bug bite remedy works, you should feel better in about 15 minutes.

The other way I use this bug bite roll-on is when I’m outdoors on the grass and those annoying little flies are all over me. Maybe this just happens to me, and if so, you are lucky because it is the worst! The flies don’t bite but what feels like hundreds land on my skin and just sit there.

They always seem to land on me 10 to 20 at once (no exaggeration this time). My bug spray recipe is very effective at keeping them off, but if I happen to be out somewhere and only have my roll-on, it works just as well. I apply the roll-on in a zigzag pattern on my arms and legs and the flies fly away for good.

natural bug spray in a small amber spray bottle
Try my natural bug-spray recipe.

FAQ About Using Essential Oils for Bug Bites

Can you put eucalyptus oil on bug bites?

Eucalyptus oil is another great choice for this roll-on. It can fight inflammation and promote healing, and it also has a scent that we love, but bugs don’t.

Is it safe to put lavender essential oil directly on skin?

Never apply essential oils of any kind directly to the skin. They are powerful concentrations of plants, and can irritate or even burn your skin if applied directly. Instead, dilute them with a carrier oil or solution such as witch hazel or jojoba oil.

Does putting deodorant on bug bites work?

People will apply deodorant to their bug bites to relieve itching. Deodorant contains aluminum chloride, the main ingredient in stopping excessive sweating. This is said to help relieve the pain and swelling. Personally, I stick to this roll-on remedy as I rely on essential oils for my bug bites.

Does Vicks Vapor help bug bites?

Vapor rub has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the pain and swelling from a mosquito bite. Since menthol is a key ingredient, it also cools the skin. It also contains eucalyptus, which, as I mentioned above, helps with mosquito bites.

Check out my recipe for a natural, DIY vapor rub.

Amazing, isn’t it? These essential oils for bug bites pack a ton of power into a small roll-on bottle. If you give it a try, let me know how it works for you in the comments down below.

More Ways to be Bite-Free and Happy

Mosquito Bite Relief Roll-On

After a bug makes a visit, roll on this natural remedy using essential oils for bug bites.
Cost $2


  • Small funnel


  • Use a small funnel to pour the pure witch hazel into the roll-on bottle.
  • Add in your drops of essential oil.
  • Screw the roll-on lid and give it a good shake before each use.


  1. I was eaten alive while abroad recently and could have done with this! I clicked over expecting a long and complicated recipe. I can’t believe how easy this is. Thanks for the tutorial!

    • Hi Sylvia, I haven’t used alcohol myself but I can see that it is used in botanical cologne recipes. Why not get some witch hazel, though? It is a wonderfully healing product for skin and helps with inflammation, one of the key troubles with a bug bite.

  2. I like the bug spray link but this is even better. I get bit within seconds so I really like after bite treatment ideas.

  3. So sorry for the radio silence over the last few months!! It has been a whirlwind 5 months… We have sold a house

    • Just fill up the bottle, leaving enough room for the roller cap and the essential oils – so about 10ml.


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