Natural Bug Spray

Updated on July 02, 2010
M.4. asks from Saint Petersburg, FL
7 answers

I have a 5, 4 and 3 year old. The 5 and 3 year old along with my husband have no problems staying outdoors all day and evening and not getting bit by a single mosquito or bug. My 4 year old and I are VERY prone to getting bit, even if we are out for only a few minutes. The kids are out of school for the summer and spend majority of the morning, afternoon and evening outdoors - and although commercial bug sprays work, they are so unhealthy (not to mention expensive!).

I live in hot FL, so wearing long sleeves is not an option without exposing my children to a high risk of getting heat exhaustion.

The main culprits of the bites are mosquitos and sometimes no-see-ums.

Can anyone recommend natural big sprays that work? Please provide proportions so I can work up my own batch. Thank you!

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answers from Tampa on

California Baby has an all natural, organic insect repellent. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

I use a great mixture of natural products that I get from Melaleuca. I also have a mixture that I use in parts of my yard that also works at keeping them at bay. What I love about the products is they have so many variety of uses. Ie the Sol U Mel is also a super cleaner.



answers from Boston on

I haven't tried it yet, but I heard that one part vanilla and one part water works really well. You wipe it on with a cotton ball. If not, jason's organics worked pretty well (some people really don't like the smell though). Good luck.



answers from Indianapolis on

Here's a page from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) website regarding various kind of active ingredients in insect repellants:

They have several different commercial and naturally-derived ingredients listed.

Don't assume that they're unhealthy because you may have heard/read things. Much misinformation is on the internet, and a lot comes from sources without scientific information or credibility.

I'd be more concerned with products that aren't thoroughly tested - Whole Foods announced today that they're requiring allpersonal care products that label themselves as "organic" to have official government certifications by 2011 (
What this means is that there are currently a lot of products on their shelves currently that will not be a year from now because they won't be willing or able to submit to governing bodies to verify their organic ingredients.



answers from Atlanta on

Well, I've never tried making my own, but I've used Burt's Bees natural bug spray when I was pregnant. Quite honestly, nothing (not skin so soft or anything else) truly works on me but DEET, so I use it. I try wait until I have to have it and spray it on my clothes, but I will get bites without it. The Burt's Bees stuff DID keep most mosquitoes at bay though -normally where I would have had 5-8 bites I would only get 1 or 2. It's expensive though -I think more than OFF or CUTTER. I also think Cutter has a natural, no DEET spray out that I also tried and had the same results as with the Burt's Bees.


answers from Pittsburgh on

I also heard that a few drops of vanilla extract in a spray bottle of water (exact proportions not specified) will keep mosquitos and other bugs away. I haven't tried to, but plan on it, since it's non-toxic and super-simple.


answers from Dallas on

It's 2-3 drops vanilla extract per ounce of water and I swear by it. I'm the one person in a crowd of a million who the mosquitoes seek out, I get half eaten alive. This has kept me from getting ANY mosquito bites thus far this year. Again, thanks to the mama who originally posted this. =)

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