10 Essential Oils For Mosquito Bites That Give Fast Relief

Mosquito bites can be highly unpleasant. The moment a mosquito pierces through your skin, the symptoms begin. It starts with a constant urge to itch followed by redness and inflammation. Fortunately, there are essential oils for mosquito bites, which help in relieving the itchiness and soothing the tenderness.

Reactions to a mosquito bite are usually mild and rather fades away in some days. However, they can be bothersome, especially to kids and individuals with weak immune systems. Rarely, a person might experience severe allergic reactions.

When a mosquito bites, it draws out blood while leaving some of its salivae behind. The saliva has proteins and an anticoagulant. These proteins are invaders that trigger your immune system and to fight against them, your body releases histamine. This “histamine” is exactly what causes itchiness, swelling, and redness.

Note: Scratching the mosquito bites can cause infections. A proper treatment includes washing them with liquid soap and lukewarm water. Then, use essential oils (combined with carrier oils) topically, as they serve as effective anti-itch medications to control itching and pain.

If a kid has mosquito bites, ensure that he or she keeps the fingernails short. Keep reminding them not to rub or scratch.

10 Essential Oils For Mosquito Bites

  • Lemongrass oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Basil oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Clove oil
  • Geranium oil
  • White Camphor oil

Let’s discuss each essential oil in detail and see how it helps relieve mosquito bites.

best essential oils for mosquito bites infographic

Caution

Essential oils are highly potent. Hence, they cannot be used on the skin directly. Every essential oil has to be diluted with one or more carrier oils. Before applying the mixtures listed below, make sure to clean the bitten part with either rubbing alcohol or a liquid soap.

1. Lemongrass Oil

essential oils for mosquito bites

Lemongrass oil (Cymbopogon citratus) is obtained from the fresh leaves of lemongrass plant. The consistency is basically thin and has a pale or bright yellow color.

It has a fresh, powerful, lemony, and earthy smell, which are exactly what mosquitoes repel to.

Though lemongrass is widely used in Asian cooking, its popularity expands in treating different skin problems too.

In fact, research has proven lemongrass as an effective essential oil for treating mosquito bites and to even repel small insects. (1)

Lemongrass cleans and disinfects the mosquito bite naturally. This is due to the presence of some essential compounds like geraniol, geranyl acetate, nerol, myrcene, citronellal, myrcene, methyl heptenone, dipentene, terpineol, neral, limonene, citral, farnesol, and farnesol. These have antiseptic, antifungal, counterirritant, and insecticidal properties. (2)

No wonder it heals mosquito bites and insect stings after it is applied. But there is a right way to use essential oils.

Application:
  • Mix 2 – 3 drops of lemongrass oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Apply on the infected part and leave it overnight. Wash off in the morning. This soothes the itchiness and relieves pain.
  • You can even add a few drops of lemongrass oil to your moisturizers or lotions and apply them to have a good relief.
  • To repel mosquitoes, you can diffuse it in your living room or bedroom.

2. Citronella Oil

essential oils for mosquito bites

Citronella oil (Cymbopogon nardus) is extracted from its plants and leaves through the process of distillation. The popularity of citronella oil grew over the years when people found that it can be used in different streams.

Be it aromatherapy, cleaning, beauty treatments, or insect repellents, the uses of citronella oil are numerous.

Talking about repellents in specific, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) classifies citronella oil as an effective and non-toxic biopesticide. (3)

The primary components that prove citronella oil as an effective treatment for mosquito bites are citronellol, geraniol, and citronellal. (4)

No wonder citronella oil is one of the best essential oils for mosquito bites. Since it contains a high composition of phytochemicals and antioxidant, citronella has been used throughout the ages, especially in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and China to treat inflammation, rashes, pain, infections, etc.

Application:
  • Mix 3-4 drops of citronella oil, 2 drops of eucalyptus oil, and 1 teaspoon of almond oil in ¼ warm water. Rub on the infected area like a lotion. This will relieve irritation and inflammation.
  • Diffuse citronella oil with a few other repelling essential oils in a diffuser to keep the mosquitoes away.

3. Eucalyptus Oil

essential oils for mosquito bites

Eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus cneorifolia) is extracted from the dried leaves of the eucalyptus tree, which are commonly found in Australia. The obtained pure oil is a colorless, clear liquid with a sweet, powerful, and yet woody smell.

Though known to have existed and used for centuries, eucalyptus oil came into limelight in the 1940s. From there, its popularity grew over time and today, it is a well-known natural repellent.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has approved eucalyptus essential oil as one of the most effective ingredients to repel mosquitoes. (5)

In fact, a recent research demonstrated a blend containing 32% eucalyptus oil provided over 95% protection against small insects and mosquitoes for 3 hours. (6)

The reason eucalyptus oil works effectively on mosquito bites is its chemical structure. The main components include a-pinene, eucalyptol, b-pinene, a-phellandrene, terpinen-4-ol, limonene, epiglobulol, aromadendrene, globulol, and piperitone. (7, 8)

Application:
  • If there are mosquito bites in different parts of the body, you can combine 1 cup of apple cider vinegar with 5 drops of eucalyptus oil, 5 drops of lavender oil, and 5 drops of thyme oil. Add this concoction to your hot water bath. Swirl it well and soak yourself to help get rid of the inflamed part.
  • To diffuse, you can add around 3-4 drops of eucalyptus oil in a diffuser. Keep it outdoors or indoors to repel mosquitoes and insects.
  • You can even diffuse eucalyptus essential oil at home whenever you want to the air clean and fresh. It also works great for congestions.

4. Basil Oil

essential oils for mosquito bites

Basil oil (Ocimum basilicum) is extracted from the leaves of the basil plant. Besides being used for various medicinal and beauty treatments, it is also used in flavor various dishes.

However, it is said that the oil extracted from its flowers is far more superior and better in quality than the one obtained from any other part of the basil plant. But it is just a belief and there are no proofs backing the statement.

Basil oil helps relieve the constant urge to itch and this is due to two of its vital compounds called thymol and camphor. You can dilute the essential oil and apply on the infected skin part or crush some fresh leaves and apply the extract directly on the bite. (9)

Based on the source it is extracted from, basil oil majorly constitutes d-linalool (or methyl chavicol) in varying quantities. Other compounds include eugenol, 1,8-cineole, ocimene, borneol, anethol, geraniol, B-caryophyllene, 10-cadinols, camphor, a-terpineol, 3-octanone, and sesquithujene. (10)

Application:
  • Mix 2-3 drops of basil oil with 6 drops of coconut oil. Use a cotton to dab on the bite directly to alleviate irritation and inflammation immediately.
  • You can even combine 2-3 drops of basil oil with 2 drops of eucalyptus oil and 1 teaspoon of almond oil to augment the relaxing effect.

5. Thyme Oil

essential oils for mosquito bites

Thyme oil (Thymus vulgaris) is a multipurpose oil. Be it aromatherapy, mouthwashes, potpourris, ointments, cooking, or elixirs, this oil holds a high value.

The incredible benefits of thyme oil aren’t new. They have been recognized from the ancient times. However, today it is extensively used and countries like Spain, France, and Morocco are its well-known manufacturers.

Talking about the benefits of thyme oil for skin, it helps in treating fungal infections, acne, burns, blisters, eczema, dermatitis, sores, inflammation, etc.

It is known to have antibacterial, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, hypertensive, calming, and expectorant properties.

Talking about mosquito bites in specific, research has shown that it eases the pain and itchiness with the help of its two important phenolic compounds called carvacrol and thymol. (11)

Another study published in the year 2010 demonstrated that thyme oil along with five other essential oils when combined can suppress COX-2 – the inflammatory enzyme. Again, this suppressive action was predominantly due to the compound carvacrol. (12)

Application:
  • Mix 4-6 drops of thyme oil 1 cup with 2 drops of lavender oil and 2 drops of lemon oil with 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil. Apply on the mosquito bites to help soothe instantly.
  • You can even add a few drops of thyme oil to your bathwater. Swirl it well and soak yourself in the tub to eliminate the uneasiness from mosquito bites.

6. Peppermint Oil

essential oils for mosquito bites

Peppermint oil (Mentha pipertita) is extracted from the leaves of a peppermint plant and has a strong minty fragrance.

Peppermint as an essential oil is known to have a terrific history. It has been used for more than 200 years, dating back to the ancient Egyptian and Roman civilizations.

Different cultures have utilized peppermint oil not only for its fresh, minty aroma, but also to represent hospitality. Due to its therapeutic properties, this oil holds great value in the field of medicine.

According to the research, peppermint oil contains antimicrobial, radioprotective, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, antiedema, and analgesic properties. (13)

Apart from exhibiting excellent health benefits, it works as an insect repellent. Its cooling sensation helps relieve itching and impedes the urge to scratch more.

Application:
  • Dilute the peppermint oil (3-4 drops) with a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil (1 teaspoon). Apply on the infected part and leave it to act. This will soothe the irritated skin and heals the bites faster.
  • You can even add a drop of it your lotions or moisturizers while applying. This will repel the mosquitoes and other insects.

7. Lavender Oil

essential oils for mosquito bites

Lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia) is probably the king of essential oils and there are good reasons why. Besides being mild in nature, lavender has the potential to cure different health problems.

Both lavender oil and lavender have been valued for their versatility and fragrance.

It exhibits anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, antidepressant, antifungal, detoxifying, antibacterial, antimicrobial, analgesic, sedative, and antiseptic properties.

However, it is an effective essential oil for mosquito bites due to its key compounds like geraniol, lavandulyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, cis-ocimene, and limonene.

The other botanical constituents include linalool (has germicidal properties), linalyl acetate, camphor, and terpinen-4-ol. (14)

It not only impedes bleeding after a mosquito bite has been constantly itched but also facilitates quicker healing.

Application:
  • Mix 4-6 drops of lavender oil with 1 teaspoon of almond oil or jojoba oil. Dab it on the bite part using a cotton pad. This helps soothe the irritation and pain.
  • You can diffuse it with other essential oils like basil or peppermint to repel mosquitoes.
  • You can even dilute it with sufficient amounts of water and store it in a spray bottle. Spray it on your clothes and skin before going outdoors. This will ward off mosquitoes.

8. Clove Oil

essential oils for mosquito bites

Clove oil (Eugenia carophyllata) is extracted from the clove tree and is known to possess potent chemical components. In fact, it has some of the richest antioxidants.

Besides being widely known to relieve toothaches, when combined with other citrus oils, clove oil wards mosquitoes away.

Well admired for its antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, and stimulating properties, clove essential oil is one of the most widespread home remedies for numerous ailments.

Apart from all these, it is one of the best essential oils for mosquito bites. It not only treats the tenderness that occurs after a mosquito bite but also works as a brilliant insect or bug repellent. (15)

It helps in relieving itchiness and pain naturally. This is due to its predominant chemical compounds, which are eugenyl acetate, caryophyllene, and eugenol. (16, 17)

Application:
  • Mix 2-4 drops of clove oil with 1 freshly crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Apply on the bitten part to help relieve the inflammation and itchiness quicker.
  • You can even add a few drops of clove oil to your hot water tub. Swirl it well and soak yourself in it for 30 minutes. This also helps soothe the irritation.

9. Geranium Oil

essential oils for mosquito bites

Geranium oil (Pelargonium graveolens) is extracted from its stems and leaves through the process of distillation. It is extensively used in aromatherapy and possesses multiple benefits. (18)

Also known as the poor man’s rose, geranium is also a great alternative to expensive rose essential oils.

It is effective in treating mosquito bites due to its major constituents like geraniol, linalool, citronellol, citronellyl formate, nerol, and isomenthone. (19)

These compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory properties and assists in soothing redness, tenderness, and irritation.

Application:
  • Mix 2-3 drops of geranium essential oil with your moisturizer or lotion. Apply it to the infected area to eliminate itchiness and tenderness.
  • You can diffuse of a few drops of geranium oil to ward off mosquitoes.

10. White Camphor Oil

essential oils for mosquito bites

Camphor oil (Cinnamomum camphora) is an extremely strong essential oil and hence, has to be used with utmost care. Using it without dilution can cause serious burns and infections.

Camphor essential oil is extracted by distilling the camphor tree’s wood and bark. Camphor Though camphor trees are native to Japan, China, and Taiwan, they are now widely grown in India and Sri Lanka as well.

It produces three different fractions: brown, yellow, and white. Among these, only the white fraction is utilized for aromatic and medicinal purposes.

The key components of white camphor oil include alcohol, pinene, terpene, borneol, camphor, camphene, and small amounts of safrole.

Camphor oil (after dilution) can be used for topical application to reduce itching and relieve pain. It also treats fungal infections, cold sores, warts, osteoarthritis, and hemorrhoids.

Moreover, camphor, when applied topically, helps in increasing the blood circulation and acts as a natural “counterirritant” to reduce swelling and pain.

However, make a note that camphor oil should never be applied to open wounds, deep cuts, or broken skin because it enters the body rapidly and reaches a level that can cause poisoning. (20)

Application:
  • Mix 3-4 drops of camphor oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Dab the mixture on the infected part using a cotton.
  • Diffuse a few drops of it to repel mosquitoes.
Key Points To Note:
  • Do not use essential oils on newborn babies.
  • Do not use eucalyptus oil on kids below 3 years.
  • If you are using essential oils (after dilution) to treat mosquito bites on kids, use only lavender and basil oil, as they are less potent than other oils and works well on sensitive skin.
  • The best essential oils to get rid of bites include tea tree, basil, eucalyptus, thyme, and peppermint.
  • The best essential oils to prevent mosquito bites include thyme, lemon, tea tree, and eucalyptus.
  • The best essential oils to repel mosquitos include citronella, lemongrass, lavender, tea tree, and peppermint.
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