Natural Insect Repellent Suggestions

Updated on August 19, 2009
B.P. asks from Lutherville Timonium, MD
18 answers

Just wondering if anyone has had luck with any natural (non-chemical) insect repellents. I'd like to not spray my children with chemicals, but if I don't we get eaten alive! Also, I've been trying Burt's Bees with some success (less bites than using nothing, but still getting bites), so I thought I'd see if there's anything better out there.
Thanks!
B.

3 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

E.K.

answers from Washington DC on

I use a combibation of Melaleuca products with water in a spray bottle. If you have Melaleuca's Wellness Guide, it's in there. We used it all summer long, we were at state parks with Maryland DNR's Park Quest program.

Edit My Answer
1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Skin So Soft products (lotion, oil, sprays)by Avon all work. Thats what I use on my entire famil when outdoors. Its also good to keep deer ticks off as well! Smile

More Answers

E.K.

answers from Washington DC on

I use a combibation of Melaleuca products with water in a spray bottle. If you have Melaleuca's Wellness Guide, it's in there. We used it all summer long, we were at state parks with Maryland DNR's Park Quest program.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.G.

answers from Washington DC on

Here are some alternatives I looked into:
http://safemama.com/tag/bite-blocker/

I used this with my first child when she was young:
Bite Blocker® Herbal Spray
Bite Blocker® Herbal Lotion
Main Ingredients: Soybean Oil

I purchased it at MOM's Organic Market in Rockville.

Our ped. says to use DEET, as it's the only chemical proven to keep bugs (esp. ticks) away. She suggests that if you do use a DEET repellent, spray it on clothes (bottom of pants, sleeves), but avoid the face.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.C.

answers from Washington DC on

garlic. everyone i know that eats garlic on a regular basis does not have a problem with bug bites.
M.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.D.

answers from Lynchburg on

Lemongrass oil works great (completely natural). You will have to go to a natural food store or buy it online; it's not sold in regular retail stores. It even repels ticks!

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

i like badger anti-bug balm, all organic. it's along the lines of burt's bees, doesn't completely stop the bites but reduces them drastically, and it's not something i'm worried about putting on skin like OFF.
khairete
S.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, personally use the bug bracelets and they work great for my family, but I have a friend whose 1 daughter is extremely allergic to mosquitoes. 2 summers ago, she came in from an evening of playing covered in mosquito bites (over 50!) while her sister had none. She took her to the Pediatrician and he recommended Vitamin B1. She immediately started both of her children (and herself) on B1 vitamins and they have had no problems in the past 2 years! They also use B1 patches when they are going to be outdoors for extended periods of time (like camping). If you want to try the supliments, I would check with your ped for the proper doses for your children. Hope this helps you. ~ B.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.L.

answers from Norfolk on

Try Skin-so-soft by Avon. I believe that it has no chemicals. It can be a bit greasy since it is oil based but once you put it on you won't get bitten by the bugs or the mosquitos for that matter. I believe that it also comes in pads but they are move expensive that the liquid. Competely up to you or your budget they both work.

K.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.A.

answers from Washington DC on

Try Avon's Skin So Soft. Avon also has insect repellents.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

I use natural products as much as possible and love the burt's bees line. I have also used Avon's Skin So Soft. I find they do a so-so job of keeping the bugs away when we are outdoors doing normal activites - at the playground, going for a walk, yard work. However, I feel pretty strongly thar there are some situaitons where it is safer to use the heavy duty products (like Off) regardless of the chemicals beacuse they ar ereally bes tfor keeping the bugs away. So if you are doing any heavy hiking or going in places with long grassess or weeds, please consider the real stuff! the risks of lyne disease, etc. seem to me to outweight the limited exposure to the heavier chemicals. Just always bathe afterward.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.R.

answers from Washington DC on

We've been using All Terrain Kids Herbal Armor. Found at Whole Foods. It's natural and DEET free. It does, however, have a fairly strong smell.
E.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Skin So Soft products (lotion, oil, sprays)by Avon all work. Thats what I use on my entire famil when outdoors. Its also good to keep deer ticks off as well! Smile

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

W.S.

answers from Norfolk on

There are some store bought products that are DEET free, such as Off family version with Picaridin as the active ingredient. It is a plant-based chemical that naturally repels mosquitos, and works almost as well as DEET. Avon repellants do work well also, but if you buy the sunscreen/bug repellant combo product, don't reapply to get more sun protection. Just add more suncreen only.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Vinegar. I swear it works and its harmless if swallowed. Something else I've done is Off has the clip ons now, I clip it onto the canopy of the stroller and my son and whoever is pushing the stroller are bite free!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.K.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, camping supply stores (like Bass Pro Shop/Gander Mountain etc.) have these little wrist bands that you can wear that keep the bugs away. I think they still have some sort of chemical, but it's in a non-ingestible and non-saturating format, so it's a lot more acceptable for moms of little ones. We took several with us camping in Shenandoah a few weeks ago and they worked great (over the whole 3 day two night trip we suffered maybe three bites collectively). For my littlest one (almost two) I either put it around his ankle or most often tied it to the draw strings of his shorts.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.M.

answers from Washington DC on

-Putting a dryer sheet inside your pocket or tucked in the baby stroller works pretty good.
-One of my friends just got involved with DOTERRA essential oils which are all natural and one of their products acts as an insect repellant among other things.
-Skin-So-Soft lotion from Avon is really good. Not sure why, but it works and smells really good!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

I think we were pretty successful with stuff called "Badger Balm" we bought it at whole foods.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Make sure you all eat plenty of vitamin B and garlic. I used to attract mosquitoes like crazy until a dermatologist recommended Brewers Yeast. That tastes terrible-- there are much more pleasant B vitamins now. You can also put an electric bug zapper in your yard.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.R.

answers from Washington DC on

I saw a test done on the TOday show-Deet does work the best, you can put it on their clothes and not their bodies, but I am like you and don't like to spray my kids with chemicals. I got a natural one at the grocery store-it doesn't prevent it, but slows them. Also, Avons Skin so soft seemed to do well if I remember correctly. I would look on their webpage (Today show.)

Next question: Infant Insect Repellant?