I’m not one to take a hike in the deep woods but lately we have been enjoying the outdoors on these summer nights and the topic of bug repellent has been coming up a lot lately. We have been trying more natural repellents. Some say only DEET will work to repel mosquitoes and ticks. Some would never use DEET and opt for natural oils. Here are a few we tested:
I am liking this OFF!® Clip-On™ repellent as you do not have to apply anything to you skin. The battery-powered fan circulates repellent all around you. Batteries are included. It says it provides up to 12 hours of head-to-toe protection.
Avon Skin So Soft bath oil spray – this can work for some people but not for others. We joked at a recent barbeque as we sprayed this on our dry skin (directions say to apply to wet skin) and thought that the mosquitoes would slide right off! I like how it moisturizes too. However it does contain mineral oil.
Avon also has the Bug Guard Plus Picaridin. Don’t really like the smell but worked for me. Just be careful with the one with sunscreen as with picaridin as well as DEET you do not want to keep re-applying. Just read the labels and follow directions.
Purple Prairie is a new line of botanical soaps, lotions, sunscreens and more. Their bug spray provides a natural, safe way to keep gnats, biting flies and mosquitoes away. They sent us a one ounce sample to test out. It contains a special blend of essential oils and plant extracts and is DEET free. It also soothes bites and poison ivy. It smells so good – very herbal with ingredients like peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass and eucalyptus oil. I found it worked very well and was great for my daughter’s sensitive skin.
We also like Buzz Away Extreme which is a DEET-free formula in a spray bottle that combines essential plant oils with soy bean and geranium oil for long lasting natural protection. The web site says it works for up to 4 hours against mosquitoes, up to 2.5 hours on ticks, and also repels fleas, gnats and flies. If you don’t mind smelling like a citronella candle this one works well for us!