Natural Bug Repellents

Spring is here and unfortunately, so are the mosquitoes.  Many of us will turn to insect repellents, candles and oils that are full of nasty chemicals.  Luckily there are some preventative measures that you can take and some bugs sprays that do not contain any chemicals.

How to prevent mosquitoes:

  • Avoid being outside at dawn and dusk.  This is the time mosquitoes are most active, if you are outside at this time wear long pants and long sleeved shirts or use one of the natural bug repellents.
  • Use LED bulbs for your outdoor area.  Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs emit light that attract mosquitoes.
  • Install a ceiling fan outside if possible.  Carbon dioxide, perspiration and lactic acid all attract mosquitoes.  Using a ceiling fan in your outside space will disperse the air and reduce the concentration of these attracting scents.

Ingredients to avoid:

  • DEET or N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide.  DEET has been shown to cause eye and skin irritation, headaches, muscle weakness, fatigue, nausea, difficulty with concentration, memory loss, and tremors.
  • Permethrin.  This is a synthetic pesticide that is a neurotoxin to bugs, animals and humans.  Research has been shown that exposure to Permethrin can cause headaches, skin irritation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, seizures, immune dysfunction, lung and liver cancer.
  • Parabens have been shown to cause endocrine disruption.  Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that when absorbed into the body either mimics or blocks hormones and disrupts the body’s normal functions. This disruption can happen through altering normal hormone levels, halting or stimulating the production of hormones, or changing the way hormones travel through the body, thus affecting the functions that these hormones control.
  • Fragrance which also goes by the name triethanolamine has been shown to cause allergies and disrupt the immune system.

Non-toxic insect repellents

  • Candles. Instead of those bug repellent candles, try using unscented tea light candles with 3-4 drops of geranium and citronella essential oils added to the candle before lighting.  If you have an essential oil diffuser you can add the geranium and citronella essential oils and place the diffuser outside.
  • Natural Bug Sprays  
    • California Baby Bug Repellent Spray
    • All Terrain Natural Herbal Armor Insect Repellent
    • Babyganics Shoo Fly Bye Natural Insect Repellent
    • Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent
    • Nourish Natural Medical Center's Bug Be Gone Spray (available at NNMC)