Ten insects that can bite/sting us are:

Ordinary wasps (and closely related hornet) can give a nasty sting if it feels threatened, leading to itching and swelling. Stings from wasps can be very unpleasant and cause the most allergic reactions in the UK.

Bee stings are quite similar to wasps. The difference is that the bee leaves its sting inside you and it’s important to remove it to stop infection setting in.

Ticks are small spider like creatures which are becoming a not very pleasant feature of walks through the woods, moors or thick grass. Once they’ve latched onto you, ticks cling to your skin and suck your blood.

Mosquitoes are a real pain in the neck! Their bites cause intense itching and swelling. Whilst they transmit deadly diseases in many parts of the world they do not cause major harm in the UK.

Midge bites don’t transmit illness but they’re painful, itch intensely and can swell up alarmingly.

Harlequin ladybirds are recent invaders to our shores and when the weather is hot and they cannot feed from plants they turn their attention to humans! All ladybirds can nip, but harlequins bite more than others.

Bedbugs are a growing problem. Their bites cause itchy red bumps and some people can have a serious skin reaction with blisters that can become infected.

Horseflies are large, hairy flies whose bite can be extremely painful; the horsefly tends to bite on warm, sunny days, especially the head and upper body.

Ants come in different types – the black garden variety, red ones, wood ones and flying ones! Of these the red, wood and flying varieties are the ones that bite although its usually only a nip which leaves a pale pink mark.

Spiders are many people’s worst nightmare and they are actually capable of giving a nasty nip which leaves telltale puncture marks on the skin which can cause pain, redness and swelling.

 

So here are a few suggestions to try for the above bites:

Wasp or bees Use essential oils which have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. The best ones in this category are Lavender, Chamomile Roman and Basil.

Mosquitoes and Midges – To repel these insects try using a combination of Peppermint, Geranium, Basil and Thyme essential oils or Citronella. To calm the bite after use Lavender with Teatree in Aloe Vera carrier oil.

Ticks – To help with tick bites use a mix of Cypress, Clove and Melissa essential oils diluted in Aloe Vera carrier oil.

For all other bites use a mix of Lavender, Teatree, Peppermint and Chamomile Roman to ease and soothe the skin. Try using these oils in a cold compress over the affected area or dilute in Aloe Vera carrier oil. To repel black flies use Lavender, Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Melissa and Peppermint.

 

HOME INSECT REPELLENT

If you want to make a natural insect repellent for home try this recipe:

10 drops Citronella essential oil
5 drops each of:
Basil essential oil
Cedarwood essential oil
Geranium essential oil
Lavender essential oil
Lemongrass essential oil
Eucalyptus essential oil
Lemon essential oil
Tea Tree essential oil

Mix essential oils in a 100ml spray bottle and add 10ml of neem oil. You can also use castor oil, but neem oil works better for most. Mix well, then fill bottle with vodka or rubbing alcohol. Shake well before each use.