In a perfect world they never happen. We always apply homemade bug spray before heading outside, and when an afternoon picnic turns into an evening soiree swarming with mosquitos, we’re prepared.
But in the real world, sometimes a child decides to poke a stick in that “volcano” at the park, only to release a steady stream of angry ants. Want to know how to stop bug bites from itching? You’ll want to have this soothing bug bite balm on hand.
Unlike pure essential oils which can spill, this blend of tea tree and lavender essential oil is the perfect thing to keep in your bag. It’s kid safe, and has long been used for cuts, scrapes, and relief from itchy bug bites. As a bonus, it has a fresh, clean scent that calms as it soothes. As is true with most remedies, this formula works best when used with additional therapies such as hugs and kisses. 🙂
Video: How to Stop Bug Bites From Itching
And for those of you who prefer written instructions…
Bug Bite Balm Recipe
Makes approximately 3/4 oz (three .25 ounce tubes or five .15 tubes)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grated beeswax, packed (where to buy organic beeswax)
- 2 teaspoons cocoa butter (where to buy cocoa butter)
- 1 teaspoon tea tree essential oil (where to buy tea tree essential oil)
- 1 teaspoon lavender essential oil (where to buy lavender essential oil)
- Double boiler (or a stainless steel bowl set in side a pot of boiling water)
- Lip balm tubes or pots (Mine were .25 oz so I only needed three, but I don’t see any in this size available right now. You could use five .15 oz containers, or three of these these lip balm pots or three of these lip balm tins)
- Container with spout
Gently melt beeswax and cocoa butter in a double boiler. When the mixture is completely melted, add essential oils. Quickly transfer the mixture to a container with a spout and pour into lip balm tubes.
Apply to bites as needed.
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Why cocoa butter? Can you substitute coconut oil or shea butter? Thanks
You could substitute shea or mango butter, but coconut oil would yield a much softer final product 🙂
Does the coco butter have to be organic and also does it have to be in the powder form?
Will have to try that next as shea and beeswax really hard even in 30o heat – did alter blend of eo to include lemon, peppermint, lavender and tea tree worked instantly and so much better than store bought ointments
I just wanted to say you’re doing a great job with these videos lately! You sure are working hard! It’s much appreciated. I really enjoy getting to see how you make your recipes. You make it look so easy, though I know it takes a lot of work to do that. 🙂
I also wanted to ask: is this safe for infants? Have you used it on your kiddos with no ill effects? I have a 7-month old with pretty sensitive skin, and it seems like a lot of EOs (especially the tea tree). Perhaps I could make an even more diluted version? Thanks again!
Hi Rose, I typically don’t use essential oils topically on children until they are about two years old, but if the bite is really bothering them I opt for this recipe over store bought options.
How about your essence oil instead?
Hi, the % essential oil concentration is really high. Is it safe for children I calculated the % close to 30% (I new to calculating concentration %). I’ve read your essential oil safety article so I just wanted to confirm. Thank you.
Hi Ruby, tea tree and lavender essential oil are both unique because they are considered safe when applied undiluted to small areas, even for children. In this recipe I have actually diluted them because I prefer the safest approach possible, but that’s my preference. 🙂 For other essential oils, a dilution of about 1% is better for children.
Do you think it would work without the bees wax? I am having trouble finding it. I am going to order some, but my son and husband both have bites right now. I need it ASAP. It is a rarity that a recipe comes along right when needed!
Yes, you can mix the essential oils with any oil and dab them on as needed. The beeswax just makes the balm more portable and less likely to spill and make a mess 🙂
My concerns and cautions are in regards to lavender oil. As I understand it, this plant should not be used on boys. It mimics estrogen in the body and can cause I’ll effects for boys, especially babies. It amazes me just how many, many products on the market contain lavender, especially those products marketed for children. The calming aspect is nice, but not at the risk of breast development, changes in genitalia, and all the other potential side effects with its use on boys. Honestly I have been hard pressed to find products that don’t contain lavender! I don’t think people are aware of these potential unwanted affects. It is worth looking into the information out there regarding it. It was a real eye opener for me.
I have enjoyed reading and viewing your information Heather, and look forward to trying some of your recipes. Especially the fire cider! That sounds really useful and delicious! 🙂
Hi, I was wondering why you choose to use such a high amount of Essential Oils? Almost 35%.
That’s a great question. Typically I use a 1% dilution (1 drop per teaspoon of carrier oil) on kids ages 2-6 and a 1.5% dilution on older kids and adults for topical use, but for acute situations like a bug bite neat (undiluted) applications are considered by most aromatherapists to be appropriate. This balm is not neat, but it does deliver a higher concentration because it is applied to a very small area for a very specific purpose.
I love this! So many commercial products are full of toxic chemicals that shouldn’t be applied to anyone’s skin, especially children. When my children were small and we lived in Vermont, the bugs were horrible in the spring and there was nothing that you could buy that wasn’t super toxic to put on before you went outside to protect your skin or after you came in to soothe your bites. Beeswax is so amazing and smells so good. I wish I would have known about making my own back then! Thankfully today you can also purchase safe products. Suzanne from Gimme the Good Stuff
I am going to give this a go on my dermographic skin to see if it calms down quicker. I dont understand why you have used lavender why not use aloe vera ?
Aloe vera has a shorter shelf life and cannot easily be made into a stick that I can keep in my purse – it is great for soothing skin though!
Thats a shame thank you. The stick made me smile because thats what you can do with the deoderant in the UK :o)
Any thoughts on using lard or tallow in place of the cocoa butter?
Tallow would work, but lard would be too soft 🙂
Tallow is an amazing ingredient. We use it for our bar soaps and laundry soaps!
Thanks for the recipe! I was trying to predict what you would use as your anti-itch. I thought maybe plantain. When infused into an oil, it can be a pretty good bug-bite reliever too. Thanks 🙂
Hi Heather, I have an aversion to lavender. Can you recommend a few comparable substitutes? Thanks!
Hi,what is the shelf life of the bug bite balm?
Would this work on small cuts and scrapes as well? I know lavender is good for cuts and I’m really wanting something I can keep in my bag that won’t spill. I love how portable this is!
A lot of my recipes can be used for multiple purposes. For example, my homemade foundation powder can double as a dry shampoo. This is definitely another one of those cases – I would definitely keep it on hand to soothe minor scrapes and such. 🙂
Thank you for the recipe, I feel like coconut oil would also be a good ingredient to include in this recipe. Because I always use wecarenatural’s coconut oil, I just love coconut a lot. I put it in my smoothie, use it for my hair and skin. So, I am going to try to include coconut oil in this recipe too. However, are there any side effects or bad reaction if I use them all together?
I attempted to make this particular balm using your recipe, and after pouring into containers and letting them cool, the oil seems to have separated from the wax – I found my containers to be full of wax much too hard to breakdown with the finger tip, and oil sitting around the edges…
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Great recipe! Do you have the measurements in ounces, grams or ml? I find using a kitchen scale so much easier to measure items like beeswax and cocoa butter etc
I prefer weights too but since most people don’t use them I usually measure by volume. Unfortunately I didn’t jot down the weight for this recipe when I was making it.
With this small amount of ingredients I will mix in a 1 cup glass measuring cup. It already has a spout and eliminates the need for transferring to another container. Love this particular recipe.
I read your mission I would like to become more knowledgeable in the use of natural products for practical use and consumption. I have read some of the recipes you posted and am eager to try them.
Easy because I had everything. Thank You
I use a salve i make with Neem oil and it works perfectly to stop the itch. Try adding a little neem oil to your recipe. It does stink but it works!