Natural bug bite itch relief for happy summer skinPosted on May 24, 2021 Written by: 100% PURE ®
Camping and cookouts are lots of fun... until bugs crash the party.
As the weather starts to warm up, we’re naturally drawn to the great outdoors – just like bugs are naturally drawn to us. We’re sharing our natural remedies for bug bites to help banish pesky, itchy bumps. Let’s dig into the what, the why, and the how of itchy bug bites.
We may struggle with the laws of attraction on the dating scene, but when it comes to bugs, they can’t seem to stay away. There’s more than just being in proximity to a bug for them to want to bite us; there’s actually some ~science~ behind why bugs bite us.
First, almost all bugs that bite are attracted to us for one main reason: heat. Bugs love warmth, and we’re basically a toasty warm heat source for them to snuggle up with. Bugs also experience enhanced attraction to us based on blood type (type O is very popular with insects), skin surface bacteria, sweat, and occasionally diet.
Another main lure for bugs like mosquitoes is carbon dioxide emissions. They're attracted to CO2 and the heavier we’re breathing, the more we emit. This may be why pregnant women are at higher risk for bites, along with outdoor exercise fans. Suddenly, going for that evening jog around the lake doesn’t seem so appealing…
Beyond just being naturally attractive, there are choices we make that can actually encourage bugs to bite us even more. For one, insects are attracted to dark clothing and colors such as dark greens and black. And while scientists can’t find the exact link, there’s a correlation to drinking beer and attracting biting bugs.
Bugs are attracted to our natural scent, as well as many floral perfumes. Don’t worry though; not all floral fragrances are out. We’ll share some herbs and flowers that can act as natural remedies and repellents for bug bites, to keep us bite-free all year long.
There are many different types of red, swollen, and itchy bug bites just begging for a natural remedy and relief. Here’s a quick list of bites (and bugs) to watch out for this spring and summer.
Mosquito bites aren’t bites at all – they’re actually injections. They’ll appear as small, pea-sized bumps that start off large and puffy, then harden and shrink with time. They are pink or red and will feel very itchy, but beware: the more you scratch, the worse these bites will itch.
Some argue if spiders should really be classified as insects, but nevertheless, they do bite. While some spiders are harmless and their bites result in small red bumps that itch or blister, it is important to keep an eye out for puncture marks and red, tender blisters that fill with puss. These and other symptoms (like fever) could be a sign of a more dangerous spider bite.
Though we’re usually more concerned about ticks biting our pets, the results can be even worse when we are bitten. Tick bites are usually very swollen, with a persistent burning sensation that can form a blister at the bite site. Be sure to check if the tick is still attached to the skin after experiencing a bite, as this can cause more complications.
Ants may be small, but their bite is stronger than you might think. They’ll leave us with stinging red rashes that form small blisters at the top. Both ants and fire ants bite, but a fire ant bite is considered quite a bit more dangerous (and painful).
There’s a reason our mothers warned us not to let the bedbugs bite! Though these types of bug bites are less common, the clustered, swollen, and dark red hive-like rash is likely a sign that you’re dealing with an infestation.
We’re a big fan of bees, and while they don’t technically bite, their stings deserve an honorable mention. Bee stings produce a burning sensation often followed by redness and swelling, that may develop an itch through the healing process.
Natural bug bite itch relief can be achieved through topical treatments of clays, oils, and creams. The sooner we’re able to treat a bite, the less likely it is to become irritating. While you plan on how to protect yourself from bites this summer, let’s explore a few bug sprays and repellents. We’ll also touch on the ones to avoid, so that our skin doesn’t become a bug buffet.
Bug sprays sound like a good idea until we purchase them, drown ourselves in noxious fumes, and realize they don’t even work. We’ve talked before about how deet, the most common active bug-repellent ingredient, just isn’t up to the job.
In theory, deet attempts to make bugs nose-blind and therefore less likely to bite us. And while it’s pretty eco-friendly for a complex chemical compound, it’s considered too harsh for even mildly sensitive skin. The smell alone impacts breathing, and can make quick work of disintegrating clothes and accessories made of plastic or vinyl composites.
We’ll admit that deet has proven itself to be effective, but if there were a safer, greener, better smelling alternative available, wouldn’t you want to give it a try? There are plenty of natural remedies for itchy bug bites and natural ingredients that behave like bug repellant. Let’s go through some of our options!
Natural Bug Repellents
Everyone’s favorite herbs are having a party, and the bugs are definitely not invited. Garden greens like rosemary and basil tell bugs bye-bye. You can keep them fresh nearby as a natural repellant, create an herbal spray to use on skin and hair, or keep an essential oil roller nearby for repellant on-the-go.
We mentioned floral perfumes are a bad idea for anyone who hates bug bites, but lavender may be one of the few exceptions. This potent and powerful blossom is great for discouraging bug bites. Pick up a lavender body lotion and layer on from there, with a lavender perfume or dab of essential oil for a scent that repels bugs but attracts some summer love.
Lemongrass and citronella not only smell heavenly, but they’re one natural ingredient that’s sure to keep bugs at bay. To DIY a repellant spray, just blend in 15-20 drops of lemongrass essential oil with a bit of rosemary, peppermint, lavender or eucalyptus. Then blend that with distilled water and grain alcohol for a refreshing bug-free spritz anytime.
The serene, spa-like blend of peppermint and eucalyptus is one that seems to send bugs packing. We’re keeping our Aromatherapy Oil roller nearby to prevent any buggin’ out.
PRO TIP: DIY a natural bug repellent candle featuring any combination of the essential oils mentioned above. If there’s no time for DIY, pick up a lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus candle to have on standby.
Natural Bug Bite Relief
A favorite for dry, grueling winters, oatmeal washes help to soothe itchy and inflamed skin. In a pinch, this lavender oatmeal cleanser can be mixed with water and applied to bug bites. It can help calm and moisturize the skin to relieve any active itching from our pesky insect friends.
Mariah had the secret all along, and it rhymes with money; honey has many antibacterial and antiseptic benefits for bug bites. It can calm inflammation, and provide some natural bug bite relief to eliminate itch. While not a suitable vegan option for bug bites, using raw honey as a spot treatment can help reduce infections and itching.
Treat summer sun burns and bug bites with skin-conditioning aloe vera. Start off with an aloe-based body wash then follow-up with an herbal body cream; this duo is made with lots of herbs that pesky bugs can’t stand.
Though the smell might be off-putting, a quick rinse with white vinegar or apple cider vinegar can help with bug bites. These will balance the skin, acting as a natural remedy for itchy bug bites while also making an excellent natural bug repellent, too.
One of our final natural remedies for bug bites is another pH balancer in the form of a body paste made with water, essential oils, and baking soda.
Mix 2-parts soda to 1-part water and add dashes of essential oils like lavender, lemongrass, or citronella. Mix into a paste and rub over the skin to quell bug bite inflammation. Once it hardens, wash or rub off for calmer skin. The peeling/washing may also help to remove stingers still left in skin, while soothing the surface from the need to scratch.
Lastly, head to the pantry and whip out chamomile, lemon balm, lavender, or peppermint tea. Simply use a freshly steeped tea bag as bug bite spot treatment, or as a natural remedy for itchy bug bites in a quick bath.
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The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.