Six Ingredients That Should Be in Your Natural Bug Repellent


What would summer be without bugs and insects? Well, probably even more enjoyable! But the reality is that as soon as warmer temperatures hit, you’re off to buy bug repellent.

Unfortunately, the chemicals in most repellents, especially DEET, can have some most unpleasant effects on your health.

On the plus side, there are awesome plant-derived ingredients for repellents that are extremely effective against bugs and cause you no harm. Even better, you don’t necessarily have to spray or rub them on your body. Some repellent options can be sprayed on your yard, on your lawn, and around your outdoor living areas.

So, instead of the toxic brews out there, try a natural bug repellent that contains these six ingredients that bloodsuckers and creepy-crawlies absolutely hate.

Citronella Oil

In the US, citronella has been registered as an effective insect repellent since 1948. Its oil is distilled from two varieties of grass.

Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil is closely related to citronella and when you combine the two, the bug repelling power goes way up. A 2002 study found that lemongrass oil was comparable in effectiveness to commercial mosquito repellents.

Thyme Oil

Distilled from an herb in the mint family, Thymus vulgaris, this all-natural essential oil keeps pests like mosquitoes, fleas and beetles far away. 

Cedar Oil

Cedar oil is derived from the leaves and roots of various types of conifers and is even cleared by the FDA for use in food. Studies have showed that cedar oil is especially effective against ticks and ants.

Clove Oil

Extracted from the clove plant Syzygium aromaticum, clove oil has been used for centuries to repel ticks, fleas, bedbugs and other blood-sucking critters. Smells great, too!

Garlic Oil

Garlic has a long history as a bug repellent. And, no, it’s not because the little biters are afraid of having bad breath! Garlic’s natural compounds, like allicin, are loathed by mosquitos, so they’ve ‘learned’ over centuries to avoid it. 

Essential Oils, Not DEET

Mosquitos have been around for about 210 million years! For almost the entire time humans have been here, we’ve relied on plant-based repellents against these rascals. Why should we change now? Sure, DEET (the major active ingredient in most commercial bug repellents) is approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but it’s been shown to cause skin rashes, soreness or blistering, and irritation of the eyes. Even more concerning is that DEET has been linked to much more damaging side-effects in children, adults, and indeed pregnant women. Furthermore, according to research at Duke University Medical Center, rats’ diffuse brain cells died and their behaviour changed after exposure to DEET.

Try Spraying Your Yard and Not You – Keep Bugs Farther Away

Nobody likes to smell like insect repellent. That’s another side-effect from using a DEET product. It’s not a hazardous effect, but it’s unpleasant and hangs around. Try a natural bug repellent that you can spray on your yard and lawn and compare the difference. Besides, wouldn’t it be better to keep the bugs and nasties at a greater distance, like off your property, than to use a repellent that keeps them hovering just out of arm’s reach?

This summer, keep the chemicals – and the bugs – away. Spray your yard with a natural bug repellent instead of putting insecticides on you. The season should be about enjoying the outside and being healthy, not smothering your skin with a substance that may be harmful.

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