It has begun.
They’re eating my vegetables. They’re eating my cows. They’re eating us.
Just like clockwork, every summer I find myself spending an inordinate amount of time battling bugs.
Hanging fly strips (best invention EVAH), making natural homemade insect repellents, sucking up moths with the vacuum, waging war with the fly swatter… It all comes with the territory when you live out in the country. Especially when you live out in the country and have piles of manure in your back pasture. *a-hem*
My homemade bug sprays work impressively well (get my cheat sheet below!), however, you can’t ever really expect to avoid all the bites… That’s where today’s recipe is pretty darn handy. Mix up a batch of these easy-to-transport tubes and take them with you on all those bug-filled summer adventures.
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Homemade Bug Bite Relief Stick
- 3 tablespoons herbal infused coconut oil (directions below) or regular coconut oil (where to buy coconut oil)
- 2 tablespoons beeswax pastilles (where to buy beeswax)
- 10 drops lavender essential oil (where to buy my favorite essential oils)
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 4-5 empty chapstick tubes (where to buy chapstick tubes)
To make Herbal Infused Coconut Oil:
First off, it is a necessity your slow cooker have a ‘warm’ setting on it. Most cookers have a ‘low’ setting, but they are still too hot. We want to gently heat the herbs and oil, and if they become too hot, it will fry the herbs and leave you with an unpleasant result.
If you don’t have a slow cooker with a ‘warm’ setting, opt for another method of infusion instead, or just skip the herbs and use plain coconut oil.
Fill a small canning jar (I used half-pint size) half-way full with dried herbs.
My favorite herb options for this recipe are calendula, comfrey, chamomile, or plantain, as they all carry anti-itch or skin-soothing properties. I also prefer dried herbs, as they don’t contain the moisture of fresh herbs, which reduces the possibility of spoilage in the final product.
Melt the coconut oil, and pour it over the dried herbs until it covers them by at least several inches (more is fine, too). Place the lids on the jars.
Place a towel in the bottom of your crockpot, place the jars on the towel. Add water to the crockpot until it comes about halfway up the sides of the jars.
Set the slow cooker on the “warm” setting and allow it to sit for 12-24 hours. Strain the oil using a fine-mesh strainer, discard the herbs, and store the infused oil in a cool, dark place.
To Make the Bug Bite Relief Sticks:
Using a double boiler (like this one), slowly melt the coconut oil and beeswax.
If you don’t have a double boiler, simply use an oven-safe container to hold the wax/oil and place it in a small saucepan of water. An old tin can works great for this, especially since it can be tough to clean the beeswax off your regular kitchen utensils.
It shouldn’t take long to melt the beeswax, and I usually pull it off the oven as soon as it’s melted all the way. No need to let it simmer or get too hot.
Allow the beeswax/coconut oil mixture to cool slightly, then mix in the essential oils.
Pour the mixture into empty chapstick tubes. If you don’t have chapstick tubes handy, a small tin or ointment container will work just fine too.
Allow the tubes to harden, label, and directly apply as needed to any annoying mosquito bites or insect bites you may be dealing with.
If you want to get all fancy, you can print the labels on sticker/label paper (waterproof is best). However, stayed true to my redneck-ways and just printed on regular paper and affixed to my tubes with a piece of clear tape. It works. 😉
- I love these bug bite relief tubes as they are handy to pop into a backpack, beach bag, or purse. However, avoid leaving them in a hot car for a prolonged period, as they may soften and melt a bit.
- Lavender and peppermint essential oils are an important part of this recipe as they both contain skin-soothing properties. However, feel free to play around with other essential oil combinations. Frankincense, melaleuca (tea tree), patchouli, and/or roman chamomile are also good choices.
- Wondering what do to with your leftover herbal-infused coconut oil? Use it to make my homemade udder balm recipe or my homemade hand cream recipe.
Need bug bite relief right now and don’t have time to mix up this recipe? Try this roller bottle blend instead:
Quick & Easy Bug Bite Roller Bottle
- 2 teaspoons of liquid vegetable oil (jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, apricot oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or fractionated coconut oil will all work)
- 10 drops lavender essential
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- Empty 10 mL roller bottle (if using a roller bottle of a different size, adjust accordingly)
Mix all ingredients together in the roller bottle. Apply as needed.