So you missed a spot with your repellent and now you're itchy. Dorie Byers, author of Herbal Remedy Gardens (Storey Books, 1999), recommends applying a crushed plantain leaf directly to the bite for itch relief. Other topical itch relievers include aloe, calendula, clary sage, clove, tea tree and witch hazel. For specific bug irritations, Connie and Alan Higley offer this advice in their Reference Guide for Essential Oils (Abundant Health, 1998):

Bee Stings:
Remove the stinger and apply a cold chamomile compress.

Gnat And Midge Bites:
To quell itching, mix three drops lavender or thyme oil in one teaspoon cider vinegar or lemon juice and apply.

Mosquito Bites:
Apply a few drops of helichrysum (Helichrysum angustifolia) or lavender oil.

Ticks:
Remove entire tick; apply one drop lavender essential oil every five minutes for 30 minutes.

—D.N.