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Treatment for gnat bites – essential oils and apple cider vinegar

Gnat bites are present on every continent on the Earth, Antarctica included. They can live anywhere on our bodies with a body of water or damp soil. Gnats are also known as Biting Midges. They are small flying insects that are related to mosquitoes. Gnats are literally a pain. Fungus gnats or fruit flies are what people call gnats, and they can be a serious nuisance.

Gnats are tiny flies, and in some cases, they can be called blackflies or midges. Some varieties of gnat bites are annoying, while others bite. Population control is the best way to prevent gnat bites, but also there are some things that you can do to soothe your skin if it is bitten.

Similar to mosquitoes, these insects want to be in warm and moist places where they can lay their eggs.
Also, they need blood to survive. Gnats cannot bite through the clothes, but they can get underneath your clothes, and they even can crawl into your hair. Gnats are tiny creatures. The eye gnat can transmit conjunctivitis. Gnats can bite humans. Talk with your doctor if you have been bitten by gnats because we do not guarantee you that these home remedies will work 100% for you.

18 Home remedies for gnat bite

Wash the bitten skin

A gnat that is biting has a 4 razor–sharp blades in its mouth, which tear your skin and they leave a small open wound. You should clean and around the affected area with mild soap and water. You should use a paper towel or a washcloth to remove any excess moisture.

Essential oils

Essential oils are very effective home remedies for gnat bites. You will need a few drops of essential oil, and you will notice that you will find relief from the swelling and itching. Also, many essential oils can help to prevent infection, which can help you to take a 3-prong approach to treat your gnat bite. The best essential oils for treating gnat bites are:

  • Peppermint;
  • Eucalyptus;
  • Basil;
  • Thyme;
  • Chamomile;
  • Lemon balm;
  • Tea tree;
  • Lavender.

When thyme is mixed with a little apple cider vinegar, then this is one of the best home remedies which you can use for treating gnat bites. It is very important to remember that essential oils are very powerful, and this is a reason why they should not be applied directly to your skin. You should always dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut, jojoba, apricot, or almond oil. Also, you should be sure that you are using true essential oils, not fragrance oils because they have synthetic ingredients. The best natural treatments which will work great for gnat bites are therapeutic–grade essential oils. [1,2,3]

White vinegar

There are some people who have said that when they have applied white vinegar on their mozzie bite, then this helped them to cure it. They have used it frequently, and this has always worked for them. You should put some vinegar on a cotton bud or tissue and then apply it to the bite.

gnat bites natural treatment

Cedar oil

There are some people who have said that cedar oil has worked very effectively for them but talk with your doctor before you use it as your natural treatment [3].  They have put 30 drops of cedar essential oil into 2 ounces of rubbing alcohol. They put this mixture in a spray bottle. They have sprayed themselves, and they have noticed that gnats have left them.

Baking soda and water

You should put baking soda in a bowl, and you should put less water than baking soda, and you should mix them until you get a paste from these ingredients. Then, step into the bathtub, and you should rub it generously on the bites. You should let it sit on the bites for three to four minutes. After that, you should turn on the shower and you should wash off the baking soda. This natural cure may take a little bit for it to work, but when it works, then it works awesome and perfect, and you can get relax from the opening and itching of the bites.

Monitor the wound for changes

If you have noticed that pus is forming in the bite, then you should know that this is a sign of bacterial infection. This is a reason why you need to see your doctor as soon as possible.

Oil of cloves

When you are using the clove oil for No–see–ums in the ears, then you should be sure to dilute a concentrated solution of oil of cloves because it can cause your skin to peel. You should start with a small diluted amount and work up a little at a time until No–see–ums are gone. [4]

Avoid peak biting times

You should know that mosquitoes and gnats are most often active around pools and ponds during the daylight hours. Also, they are active near porch lights during twilight hours and early evening.

Apply antiseptic

You should know that gnats can carry bacteria from some things, such as rotten food, and this is a reason why you should swab the area thoroughly using a cotton ball. You should tape the cotton ball to the wound, and you should allow the antiseptic to soak into the bite. In most cases, topical antiseptics include hydrogen peroxide, iodine, and alcohol.

Wear protective clothing

If you are going to an area in which there are a lot of gnats, then you should wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. You should know that gnats cannot bite through clothing and generally bite only exposed flesh. When you go outside, then you should spray the clothing with insect repellant. Also, you should buy hats and hiking socks because they can help you to stay away from gnat bites.

Watch for symptoms of anaphylactic shock

There are rare cases when insect bites can cause a severe allergic reaction which can be dangerous for our health or even fatal [5]. If you know that you have insect allergies or if you experience symptoms from the list we gave below, then you should talk with your doctor as soon as possible.

Here are 8 symptoms of anaphylactic shock:

  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Stomach cramps or nausea
  • Flushing (a hot, red sensation on the skin)
  • Itching around the eyes, lips, ears, throat, or roof of your mouth
  • Shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty catching your breath
  • Difficulty swallowing or talking
  • Swelling of the throat, tongue, or mouth
  • Collapsing or passing out

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most used home remedies to get relief from redness, pain, and swelling in bee stings and wasps. Also, it can help you to reduce the itch and pain of gnat bites. You should soak a cotton ball in the apple cider vinegar, and you should apply it to the affected area until you feel better. This natural cure is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and also it can give you relief from itching.

You can try Neosporin plus pain relief ointment

This type of ointment is available over–the–counter, and it has pain-relieving and antibacterial properties. You can apply some of it because, in this way, you will get relief from the gnat bite.

Apply ice

If you have noticed that there is swelling in the bitten area, then you can use an ice pack or ice cubes because they can help you to reduce the swelling. You should apply ice to your skin, and then you should hold it in place until you have noticed that the swelling is gone. Also, if your swelling and itching have become unbearable, then you should apply an ice pack to your wound. You should allow the ice to work for fifteen to twenty minutes. The cooling sensation will help bring down the swelling, and also it can numb the skin to alleviate the itching. You should not apply the ice directly to your skin.

You should keep the pack between a towel, and you should not let the ice pack sit on your wound for longer than 20 minutes. Also, you should not fall asleep with the ice pack.

Take a cold shower

You can use cold water to reduce the swelling and itching which are caused by bug bites. If you have noticed that you have multiple bites, then you should take a cool shower for 10 minutes or so, and you will notice that you will feel better.

Avoid scratching

When you are scratching some types of bites and stings, then this can spread the venom through your skin which can cause more itching and pain. Scratching can also open wounds, which can lead to infection.

Rubbing alcohol

When you apply the rubbing alcohol, then it can help to stop no–see–ums or biting midges.


This may sound weird, but this vegetable has lycopene which, in a natural way, can reduce swelling [6]. Cut open a tomato. Hold it to your skin for a few minutes.


[1] Kalita B, Bora S, Sharma AK. Plant essential oils as mosquito repellent – a review. International Journal of Research and Development in Pharmacy and Life Sciences. 2013;3(1):741-47.

[2] Trongtokit Y, Rongsriyam Y, Komalamisra N, Apiwathnasorn C. Comparative repellency of 38 essential oils against mosquito bites. Phytotherapy Research. 2005;19(4):303-9.

[3] Maia MF, Moore SJ. Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing. Malaria Journal. 2011;10(Suppl 1):S11.

[4] Baker BP, Grant JA, Malakar-Kuenen R. Clove & clove oil profile: Active ingredient eligible for minimum risk pesticide use. New York State Integrated Pest Management Program.

[5] Kemp SF, Lockey RF. Anaphylaxis: A review of causes and mechanisms. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2002;110(3):341-48.

[6] Kong K-W, Khoo H-E, Prasad KN, et al. Revealing the power of the natural red pigment lycopene. Molecules. 2010;15:959-987.

Dr. Emil Sarsath (aka) Vijila, a licensed naturopathic doctor (BSMS) who always ensures his patients receive compassionate, and individualized care. He has extensive experience in primary care, digestive health, mental health, nervous system disorder and more.Area of Expertise – Naturopathic Medicine, Whole Foods-based Nutrition, Siddha, Panchakarma.She is always available through [email protected]


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