Saturday, September 21, 2013

Natural bug repellents that work

Natural insect repellents have come a long way from the cheap, smelling good but working poorly options of a few years back. In fact, my husband who once groaned that I bought "yet another bottle of crap that doesn't work" is now grabbing my greener options over the bottle of Off.

As the summer has finally started to cool, I've had the opportunity to get outside more, enjoying hiking trips and taking a few greener bug repellent options out for a try. They range from the homemade to off the shelf to household products. Here are just a few:

Buy it and be done:

I'll admit it. I'm the first to stop and help a vendor at the farmers market who's selling a homemade bug repellent blend. But for those needing to shop online here are a few options:

Buzz Free: Miessence's Buzz Free is a certified organic herbal extract and essential oil blend spray. It's light enough that I didn't feel sticky afterward, and works well enough that I didn't get the usual chiggers and bug bites from the early-evening soccer practices. I do appreciate that the ingredients in Miessence's body products are Australian Certified Organic and are low risk for cancer as well, according to the Environmental Working Group.

Terrashield: doTERRA TerraShield essential oil blend is the strangest of concepts. I didn't believe that you could only put a few drops on your body for insect repellent. But I took it for a test drive in an afternoon hike through the woods of Monroe State Forest and came out unscathed.

Vanilla Extract: Not the imitation vanilla, the real deal. Splurge on vanilla extract and dab it on you to deter bugs.

Make your own:

Most homemade insect repellent blends involve a blend of various essential oils (typically eucalyptus, peppermint or lavender are in the mix), with water, witch hazel or apple cider vinegar as a base.

Here are a few links for recipes using essential oils or other kitchen ingredients:
Homemade insect repellent from the Daily Green
How to make bug spray from fresh or dried herbs
Natural flea remedies
Five-ingredient blend of eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary and tea tree oils with witch hazel

Need to order small glass spray bottles? Here is a resource.

What are your favorite options or recipes for natural insect repellents?

Disclosure: This post includes an affiliate link for essential oils. Additionally, I did receive a sample of Buzz Free from Ely Organics, a Miessence independent representative. 

1 comment:

Sherri said...

Thanks for sharing. I have been looking for natural bug repellents recipe as I am afraid that putting too much chemical bug repellents might have a bad effect on my kid's skin in the long run.