A lot of us have concerns with spraying various chemicals all over ourselves. Especially when we’re doing so outside, where the chemicals are sure to get into the environment.
So for those of us wishing for a more ecofriendly choice, alternative bug sprays are on our mind during the spring and summer months.
All natural mosquito sprays can work just as well as the chemical ones, but you must reapply them regularly as they also wear off much more quickly.
This is especially true if you’ll be doing labor intensive activities that make you sweat, if you go swimming, or even if you’re wearing certain sunscreens since the smell of those actually often attracts mosquitoes.
You’ll also want to reapply the natural repellants more often if you’ll be in a mosquito dense area, such as wooded creeks.
There are quite a few natural mosquito deterrents from which to choose. The most famous mosquito repellant, natural or otherwise, is probably citronella but rosemary and lemongrass are among other popular ones.
Citronella candles are rarely effective as they also give off carbon dioxide and heat, two things that mosquitoes adore, but citronella oil itself is in fact a powerful repellent.
Burt’s Bees, well known for their eco-friendly products and packaging, makes a 100% natural Herbal Insect Repellent which contains all three of the previously mentioned natural oils, as well as 5 others such as soybean oil and clove oil.
It has no DEET and is safe to use even on pets, which can be a big concern depending on pet type and the area in which you live.
One large advantage to this spray is that it contains so many different oils – different oils repel different species of mosquitoes.
Lemongrass oil may keep you bite free from one species but will have no effect on another, so you want a spray that contains as many different natural repellents as possible.
I’ve personally always been well pleased with Burt’s products, and if you forget to apply the mosquito repellent before you go outside, they also carry an all natural bug bite relief balm.
A slightly cheaper option, from a lesser known company, is EcoSmart’s Insect Repellent. The product uses organic plant oils, but seems to be made up mostly of alcohol and wintergreen oil.
It also doesn’t contain citronella or soybean, though it does have rosemary and lemongrass. Overall it has less kinds of oils than the Burt’s Bees product.
Another option is Bite Blocker Xtreme which has soybean and geranium oil but does not seem to contain rosemary, citronella, or lemongrass.
You can also make your own mosquito repellents at home. You can experiment with different mixtures of the reliable oils or you can follow a pre-written recipe. One such recipe can be found here.