Natural Bug Repellant

Updated on July 22, 2008
S.M. asks from Perry, MI
39 answers

I hate using bug spray on my girls, I really do not like the smell and I hate putting all those chemicals on them but....they of course need something on them to keep them from getting eaten alive. So they question is...do any of you use anything natural/ nonchemical that actually works??

Thanks!!!

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H.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

S. try using Listorine (not the orange flavor) or white vinegar in a spray bottle. do not water them down. You can spray it directly on the kids, and in the yard and on toys. The nats and mosquitos don't like it and will stay away

2 moms found this helpful
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E.M.

answers from Kalamazoo on

My family tried the listerine idea this past weekend camping in a very bug filled area. My mom was insisting that it works so I finally tried it. It worked wonderfully and I wasn't leary about spraying it on my 22 month old. :) I've heard Skin-so-soft works great too.

2 moms found this helpful
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J.D.

answers from Detroit on

Bug Bam bracelets work great, and you don't have to put anything on their skin. You can buy them online at www.bugbam.com or you can find them at walmart. They come in child and adult sizes. They are scented with mostly citronella oil.

1 mom found this helpful

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D.F.

answers from Detroit on

I have not tried this but I heard if you put a dryer sheeet in your pocket that it keeps the bugs away.

2 moms found this helpful
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C.V.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi S.,
When I was buying all my flowers for the season I came across a plant called a Mosquito plant. It has a strong smell like a citronella candle. I bought a few and they seem to be working.

I have also heard that if you rub a dryer sheet on your skin it's supposed to help with mosquitoes. I don't know if it works though. Good luck.
Chris

2 moms found this helpful
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L.N.

answers from Benton Harbor on

The Listerine is on Snopes.com as a scam, I wouldn't even bother trying it. Honestly, I use DEET, I just try to keep my kids inside during the worst hours. And when the oldest goes to camp, it's required! To me, it is not worth the risk of disease spread by mosquitoes to try something that may not work. There are better sprays out now that are not so sticky now. When it's 90+ degrees I can't keep them covered head to toe, and when they are swimming I can't keep dryer sheets stuck to them...LOL! Sometimes parenting is choosing the lesser of two evils and factoring in common sense!

~L.

2 moms found this helpful

A.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Listerine mouthwash. The old school brown kind, not mint or anything. Fill a spray bottle and mist your body just like normal bug spray. It works good, but wears off faster than normal bug spray. I use it when the kids are playing in our yard, but if we go to the woods or go camping I still use bugspray.

1 mom found this helpful
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W.F.

answers from Jackson on

I actually got an email a couple of weeks ago about using Listerine mouthwash. I guess you put it in a spray bottle, and spray the area your kids are playing in. It raved about the results, but I haven't tried it yet. It did warn not to spray it directly on wood.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.B.

answers from Detroit on

There are two products that I know of: Buzz Off and Buzz Away. Either one should be able to be located at your local health food store, Better Health or Whole Foods. Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful
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L.D.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,

I use an aromassentials mist from Arbonne for my daughter. The natural ingredients (herbs, spices and citrus) work to repell the bugs, and it smells great! Plus it's not sticky and has no chemicals.There's also a bath gel and lotion with the same ingredients.
If you'd like to know more, you can contact my Arbonne consultant, Karen, at: [email protected]____.com luck!

L.

1 mom found this helpful
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H.H.

answers from Detroit on

I found bracelet/anklets at Dollar Tree that have citronella on them, they're waterproof and work for 4-6 weeks. Forgot to take them with us up North for the fourth, so I haven't tried them out but I was told they work well.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.V.

answers from Grand Rapids on

When my sister and I were growing up, my mom used a Skin-So-Soft Product that was made by Avon to remedy the problem. She stills swears by it to this day! Especially for the mosquitoes. It is a liquid that comes in a spray bottle. Kind of like baby-oil, but not near as oily. It's so light and sheer and has a wonderful fragrance.
Check out this website: www.avon.com and search for SKIN SO SOFT Original Bath Oil Spray.
Good luck and God Bless!!

1 mom found this helpful
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M.A.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,
I completely understand not wanting to use chemicals on your children. I have started being a distributor for Shaklee "Get Clean" products and they have this great stuff called Basic H. This can be used for all of your general cleaning, it is totally plant-based and biodegradable. You dilute it to whatever strength you need to do the job. You can mix it half and half with water and spritz it on you and your kids for mosquito repellent. My daughter did it with her children in their woods and said it works. You can call me at ###-###-#### or go to my website www.shaklee.net/marilynmalvey or email me at [email protected]____.com
I live in Davison--where are you?
Get the chemicals out of your home- 'Get Clean' products are safe for you, your home and your planet! Good Luck,
M. Alvey

1 mom found this helpful
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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

Call Better Health or Whole Foods.

Putting Vick's Vaporub on my dogs' ears often did the trick to keep flies off. Pennyroyal or eucalyptus come in drops you could add to water and spray on from a spritz bottle or spray bottle. But give the stores a ring and see what they say. They might have something available.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,

I haven't tried this yet, but heard it works.

A dryer sheet in the pocket keeps mosquitoes away.

Spray Listerine mouth wash in play area. Much cheaper than yard spray too. Just put it in a spray bottle. Suppose to last for days.... (Warned not to get on wood)

Good Luck,

C.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.W.

answers from Detroit on

Skin so soft by Avon

1 mom found this helpful
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K.F.

answers from Saginaw on

S., Tuck a dryer fabric softener sheet under their clothes or rub it on their skin, (arms and legs) tuck one in their shirt to keep away from their face and neck. It works
K.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.H.

answers from Detroit on

I know Avon's Skin so Soft is supposed to be really good. However, because of West Nile Virus, the experts recommend using spray with Deet in it. With my grandsons, I spray their clothes before they put them on. I also have tiki torches in my yard and I bought an Off incense coil, it comes with a little ceramic bowl it sits in. It smells just like incense, not bug spray. And now days Off smells much better - I have Off Skintastic Tropical Fresh and it smells pretty good.
D.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.T.

answers from Lansing on

I have found the best is mixing 1 part skin so soft bath oil with 4 parts water to be the best mosquito repellant. Went fishing in a very remote area thru a swamp, I was the only female. The guys all made fun of me because I smelled so pretty to go fishing. About a half hour of watching all of them with ( deep woods off, and various other heavy duty bug stuff) beating themselves to death, and them watching me enjoying my fishing unbothered, they grabbed my mixture and smelled pretty too!

1 mom found this helpful
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R.H.

answers from Detroit on

When I was pregnant I picked up an all natural bug repellent from Bordines...can't remember the name right now. But it worked GREAT! I am a mosquito MAGNET ... always have been. This stuff was awesome. I need to get more for this season.

Also, www.mercola.com has some natural bug repellent that works well.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.B.

answers from Detroit on

Hi S.,
I understand about not wanting to have your kids exposed to those chemicals. I don't know where you live, but here in Grand Blanc is a store called JJ Cardinals, and they have a mosquito repellent called Happy Trails, and it works wonderful! There is no DEET in it, and it keeps the mosquitos away. Last night at a friends house, a few people asked me for the natural stuff- the OFF wasn't working, and were getting bit. I also use an essential oil called Purification- it works great for a repellent, and is also great to put on the mosquito bites- and stops them from itching. If you are interested in the Purification, you can contact me at [email protected]____.com
K.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.T.

answers from Jackson on

Hi S.,

I ordered bug repellent online from Mercola.com and really like it. I even can use it on my dog!!! No DEET and all plant based. Smells nice too! I even bought the sunscreen and really like that too. Got 2 bottle of bug spray and 2 bottles of sunscreen for $50 which is very comparable to buying retail.

1 mom found this helpful

P.A.

answers from Detroit on

i use all natural almost everything except sunscreen. i actually just got back from camping and we use bug-me-not. the website is www.creationsoap.com. it's made in frankfort mi and it's an oil so about 4 squirts in my hands cover my 15 month old from top to bottom. 4 days of camping and only 1 bug bite...not bad. the last time we went camping she didn't get any, so i recommend it!!! hope this helps...

1 mom found this helpful
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L.H.

answers from Detroit on

We were just camping and there were so many mosquitoes. I did not want to put any bug spray on my 10 month old but I did not want her to get eaten alive either. She mostly stayed in the camper (bummer). I asked the ped when we got home and she said no natural bug sprays really work. They are currently researching alternatives to deet but that is really the only thing that works. So I would ask your ped what he/she recommends the it is up to you...

1 mom found this helpful
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E.E.

answers from Grand Rapids on

skin so soft from avon works great and smells great.....

1 mom found this helpful
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K.I.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi! I make my own! It is great because it is less expensive, it is nontoxic and it works! I buy all of my household products from a wellness company online. The products are ment to be used together and have alternative uses. I have a few recipes that I use often. I can tell you more about it and refer you. You can only shop there if another customer regers you. I would love to do that for you and give you the recipe for the bug repelent! ###-###-####

1 mom found this helpful
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J.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi S., I know what you mean! I make my own bug spray with these all natural, toxin free products I buy from this awesome store that delivers right to your door! You can mix the different products for solutions to all kinds of problems, I also make my own baby wipes! These products make your home healthier, safer, and save you money! I would love to help you out, you can e-mail me at [email protected]____.com or call me at ###-###-####, hope to hear from you!
J.

1 mom found this helpful
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R.B.

answers from Lansing on

Believe it or not, regular ole Listerine is a bug repelent! More natural without harmful chemicals. Alittle smelly, but so is Off and it's not sticky either! You can spray on yourself and also use it to spray area around where you are hanging out outside.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.V.

answers from Detroit on

I have been using Bull Frog, that is deet free. Make sure and bathe the kids every day you put bug spray on them. I would check into the listerine, sorry ladies, but I would be concerned about how much alcohol that you are putting ont he skin, and what effects it can have, considering the issues with the kids dying from the antibacterial hand lotions.

I know that it is not a popular decision but when my baby was little and in the stroller, and I looked over and saw 15 mosquitoes on her head (i didn't want to put chemicals on her) I decided enough was enough and bought some spray for the yard. i works great for 4 - 6 weeks and then the bugs came back as less of a problem. I feel that is safer than putting chemicals of any kind directly on their skin every day. Keep the lawn mowed and the standing water emptied, blah blah.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.E.

answers from Detroit on

I use an unscented body lotion mixed with a few drops of lavendar or peppermint essential oils.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.C.

answers from Detroit on

Whole Foods used to carry a natural repellent made from mainly citronella. It was on the pricey side, and was stinky but it worked well. I had to use it during the last month of my pregnancy.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.L.

answers from Lansing on

I bought some deet free kind from Walmart (can't remember the name but it was in a dark purple bottle) and it works pretty good. It has a citrus smell to it. If we're going to be outside for a long time however, I use skintastic off with deet and just put it mainly on his clothes and only sparingly on skin-exposed areas.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.D.

answers from Detroit on

We use Bert's Bees Herbal insect repellent. The web site is www.burtsbees.com. It seems to really work for our little guy. It can get a little greasy if you use too much, but a little goes a long way!

1 mom found this helpful
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T.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

see Badger.com product which is either 100% natural or in the high percent organic. I order my bug spray as well as suntan lotion from there and it seems to work great for my two year old.

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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

S.,

I used a product called Bite Blocker this past weekend. http://www.biteblocker.com/intro.html
We where in a very infested area. My son is 6 month old but he was also born three months early. I'm trying to go all natural with him. It seemed to do the job. It comes in a spray and lotion. I opted for the lotion. The only thing We didn't like is that it is very runny, so you have to be careful when pouring it. I found it at my local health food store.
Good luck!!!

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

Listerine mixed 50-50 with water. Works great

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H.M.

answers from Detroit on

Try the Avon Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil. I recently discovered that the Avon SSS bug repellent was originated from the bath oil. The oil is what people used before Avon sold the bug repellent. And without the chemicals in it...it's good for the skin!

There actually is a well known recipe out there using the SSS Bath Oil for keeping flies off horses.

If you should choose a regular bug repellent, Avon also offers a variation without deet, but with a less harmful ingredient, Picaridin.

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M.M.

answers from Lansing on

S.,

I have tried everything and even many of the things that your respondants mentioned. I belong to a healthy shop club online that has all natural products with no harsh chemicals. I use one product that is all natural that is a soothing balm for dry skin. This is small enough to put in my purse and my kid's backpacks. We never are without it. One day, I put it on a mosquito bite to calm the itch, when later I realized that it actually repelled the bugs! I use this now instead of anything else. I love knowing I don't have to resort to something toxic! I learned about these products when my daughter's excema was out of control. I started using these chemical free products for her and her skin cleared up immediately! She's never had another flare-up! I will never use what I was using before. If you want info on safer for your home products and this one I use for bugs, call me at ###-###-####.

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