Bye Bye Bugs: 5 Natural, Safe and Effective Insect Repellents

 

Hiking, camping or simply playing in our own backyard can become more misery than fun when we find ourselves swarmed by mosquitoes and other insects.

 

But before you grab the bug dope from your local drugstore you might ask yourself, “What’s in this stuff?” In addition to DEET, the well-know toxin that powers many insect repellents, conventional sticks and sprays can be packed full of other harmful chemicals — making them downright poisonous to kids.

 

Luckily there are a variety of safe, natural and super effective alternatives.

 

We asked our members what natural bug repellents have really worked for them. Here are their top 5 recommendations. 

 
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Badger Anti-Bug Shake and Spray Insect Repellent

 

Voted #1 by the community for effectiveness, this spray from Badger is safe, easy to find and sure to keep the bugs off.

 

Ingredients:

  • Citronella oil
  • Cedar oil
  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Castor oil
  • Wintergreen

 

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California Baby Bug Repellent Spray

 

Our moms love many of California Baby products and their bug spray is no different. It tied for #2 in our best bug repellents poll.

 

Ingredients:

  • Citronella oil
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Cedar oil
  • Lecithin from safflower or coconut
  • soap bark
  • vegetable glycerin

 

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LuSa Organics Repellent Spray

 

LuSa Organics is a small, family run business that produces some great products. Their bug spray tied for #2 in our member poll.

 

Ingredients:

  • Aloe Vera Juice
  • Witch hazel distillate
  • Lemon eucalyptus oil
  • Cedar oil
  • Rose geranium
  • Polysorbate-20 (olive oil and sugar based emulsifier)

 

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Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent

 

Rated #3 by our members, this bug dope is one of the easiest to find on the shelves and is very effective at repelling many kinds of insects.

 

Ingredients:

  • Soybean oil
  • Castor seed oil
  • Rosemary leaf oil
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Cedar leaf oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Clove flower oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Tocopherols

 

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doTerra TerraShield Essential Oil Blend

 

Rated #4 in our member poll, this concentrated blend of essential oils can be applied as drops to the body or clothing or added to a bottle with water and sprayed on.

 

Ingredients:

 

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Looking for more recommendations for safe summer products? Check out our Safe Sunscreen Guide.