It's summer and that means outdoor living. It also means more bug bites which result in itchy welts that you shouldn't scratch, even though you really want to and painful bee stings. This happens because the saliva injected by a mosquito, bee or ant causes a histamine response. Here’s how to prevent bites and treat them too:
Preventing Bug Bites
To ward away insects, try this Herbal Insect Repellent
2 ounces almond or sunflower oil
5 drops essential oil of eucalyptus
5 drops essential oil of lavender
5 drops essential oil of tea tree
5 drops essential oil of citronella
5 drops essential oil of rosemary
Mix together and apply liberally, avoiding the eyes and mucus membranes.
Consider diffusing essential oils of citronella, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, and rosemary and tea tree to ward away bugs. You can also make a spray with water and a few drops of the oil to use as a room spray. You can also hang a bouquet of dried tomato plant leaves in the room.
Taking 3 or 4 garlic capsules a day will make you an unappetizing host. One hundred milligrams (50 for kids) of Vitamin B complex taken orally creates a smell that many bugs don't like. Taking homeopathic staphysagria, also may prevent you being bitten.
Essential oils such as cedarwood, citronella, lavender and tea tree can be applied topically to pulse points such as the wrists, behind the knees and behind the ears every hour or so. Include aromatic plants such as artemesia, lavender or rosemary in your garden. You can rub them on your body to prevent bites!
Warding off Insects in the Great Outdoors
When heading out, tuck in your hair and shirts and socks. The best colors to wear are white, tan and light green. Avoid floral prints, loose clothing, the color blue (the preferred color of mosquitoes), hair spray, perfumes, sandals and shiny jewelry.
Insects are attracted to people that eat lots of bananas, so curb your intake. Alcohol consumption causes blood vessel dilation, thus making you more desirable for mosquitoes.
Treating Bug Bites
For Mosquito Bites
Wash the area bitten and apply three to five drops essential oil of lavender or some apple cider vinegar. Apply ice. Helpful things to apply topically include mud, plantain leaf poultice, witch hazel, lemon juice, moistened vitamin C powder and apple cider vinegar. Essential oils that may be applied directly to a bite include peppermint oil, lavender and tea tree.
For Ant Bites
You can treat ant bites topically with apple cider vinegar (or a paste of baking soda and apple cider vinegar), green clay, cucumber juice (or just rub a slice of cucumber over the area) or essential oil of lavender. All of these will help neutralize any venom and dry up the itching and stinging chemicals left by the bugs.
For Black Flies
Apply tea tree oil, lavender essential oil or witch hazel to bites, simply by dabbing a few drops from the bottle with your fingers. You can also apply a paste of powdered charcoal. Just open a capsule or two, mix with enough water or apple cider vinegar to get it to stick.
For Caterpillar/Centipede bites
Brush off a caterpillar or centipede in the direction they are traveling or irritating hairs may remain in your skin. Apply essential oil of lavender to the bite as needed. Use Echinacea tincture can be used topically and internally. Repeat these treatments three or four times daily, until you have relief.
Try This Cure From Grandma’s Kitchen:
If you've been bitten, soak in a bathtub with 1-cup apple cider vinegar or 1 pound baking soda (Use half as much for children.) Or try 1 gallon tea of peppermint tea or 1/2 cup of sea salt.
For Bee Stings
Remove the stinger by dragging the edge of your fingernail or a credit card across it. Wash the area with soap and water. Make a paste by adding enough water or vinegar to meat tenderizer, which is made from papain, the enzyme derived from papaya. This helps break down the inflammatory properties of the venom. Baking soda mixed with water and applied directly to the stung also gives relief.
Take a dropperful of Echinacea several times during the day to reduce swelling. Bromelain (an enzyme derived from pineapple) and quercitin (a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory activity), 100 mg every 4 hours will also help reduce inflammation. Homeopathic Apis is ideal for bee stings and insects that sting, causing swelling. Take 4 pellets under the tongue 4 times a day. If you have some vitamin C handy, take about 1,000 mg to reduce swelling. If you are allergic to bee stings, you must carry an emergency kit with you or get medical attention immediately.
When to See Your MD
For some, insect bites have the potential to be dangerous. Watch for skin flushing, severe coughing, wheezing, anxiety, blurred vision and vomiting. Rush the person to the nearest emergency room if they having any of these symptoms.
You'll find plenty of natural remedies in my new book Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery! Here's the scoop:
Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery
Willow McQuade, naturopathic doctor, along with her hunky ex-cop boyfriend Jackson Spade, attend a party for a psychic TV show that is filming on Long Island’s idyllic East End. However, Willow is much more interested in visiting the estate’s lavender farm, seeking inspiration for the new aromatherapy workshops she'll be holding at her store, Nature’s Way Market & Café.
Before the party is over, Roger Bixby one of the producers is dead and the police suspect murder. Roger was working on the show, MJ’s Mind, with Carly Bixby, his ex-wife and the new girlfriend of Willow's ex from L.A., TV writer/producer Simon Lewis.
After Willow leaves the party, she gets a frantic text from Simon asking for her help. Since Simon had a fight with Roger earlier in the evening, and because of his death is now the primary shareholder in Galaxy films, Willow's ex becomes the prime suspect. Simon begs her to crack the case and clear him of the murder. MJ McClellan, the psychic and star of the show also asks Willow for help. She hires Willow to provide natural remedies, including aromatherapy, massage, acupuncture and yoga to soothe the agitated crew of her show.
To find the killer, Willow has to deal with ghosts in a haunted mansion, a truly dysfunctional family, death threats and “accidents,” while trying to untangle a homicide identical to one committed during prohibition. Thankfully, Jackson has been hired to provide security and is there to watch her back and help Willow solve this spooky mystery.
As a bonus, you’ll find dozens of natural aromatherapy cures throughout the book that can improve your health. I think you’ll be surprised as how much they can help you feel better in mind, body and spirit!
Hi I'm Chrystle Fiedler and this is a photo of me and Wallander, my rescue doxie from All American Dachsund Rescue. He and my other doxie Holmes and my two rescue cats inspire my mystery writing!
I'm the author of SCENT TO KILL, (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster) the second in the NATURAL REMEDIES MYSTERY series, DEATH DROPS: A Natural Remedies Mystery, the non-fiction title THE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO NATURAL REMEDIES (Alpha, 2009), co-author of BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW! (Fairwinds Press, 2010), currently in its fourth printing, the BEAT SUGAR ADDICTION NOW!COOKBOOK (Fairwinds Press, 2012) and THE COUNTRY ALMANAC OF HOME REMEDIES (Fairwinds, 2011). My magazine articles featuring natural remedies have appeared in many national publications including Natural Health, Vegetarian Times, Better Homes & Gardens and Remedy.
Please visit me and sign up for my e-newsletter at www.chrystlefiedler.com.