Herbs to Repel and Heal Insect Bites

Whatever part of Australia you’re in, you’re likely to be suffering from bug bites as spring turns into summer; bull ants, mosquitoes, flies, ticks. Many of the over the counter chemical treatments for repelling and easing bites can cause reactions or are simply too harsh for young, old or sensitive skin; here’s some totally natural alternatives.


White Vinegar

It may not smell great, but white vinegar is a cheap, simple solution for easing the itch of a mosquito bite. Soak a cotton bud, and press it on the affected area.

Green Tea

Once you’re done with your green tea bag or leaves, put them in the fridge to relieve itchy bites.

Witch Hazel Bug Spray

Fill a spray bottle with boiled water, pack in natural witch hazel (it should reach the top), and add 30 -50 drops of citronella, eucalyptus or clove oil (or a mixture of all three).

Vinegar of the Four Thieves Insect Repellent (very strong)

One bottle of apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons each of dried sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme and mint, seal tightly in jars and shake every day for two to three weeks. Strain out the herbs, and add to a spray bottle half-filled with water.


Honey is an anti-inflammatory, and will help ease painful bites as well as itchy ones.


The cooling sensation caused by the menthol will cancel out the itching (your brain will detect this first).


Basil contains chemicals like camphor, giving it a cooling effect.

Castile Soap

Add 10 – 15 drops of lavender or rose geranium oil to a bottle of liquid castile soap, and wash before and after playing outdoors.