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When you are going out camping or even just having a picnic in your yard, bug sprays are one of the things that are on the top of your checklist, particularly if you have little kids.

Although chemical bug sprays like DEET, permethrin, and picaridin may or may not be harmful to humans, they may be highly toxic to aquatic fish, may have a bad odor, or just ruin your clothes.

For those of you who do not enjoy the idea of using these chemical and synthetic bug sprays and creams on your skin, here are five of the best natural bug sprays that are not harmful to humans or the environment.

Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

The Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent is a DEET-free formula that works well for both adults and kids over three years of age. The active ingredient is the oil from the lemon eucalyptus plant which has bug-repelling properties that are effective in protecting against ticks, mosquitoes, and gnats.

Customers who used this product say it is just as good as a bug repellant that contains 25 percent DEET, so there is a good reason why it has been making the top list for bug sprays for the past few years.

Pros

  • It creates a natural barrier against several bugs, including mosquitoes that may transmit malaria, yellow fever, dengue, Zika virus, West Nile virus, and chikungunya virus.
  • The natural repellant keeps adults and kids over the age of three protected for up to 6 hours.
  • One of its biggest benefits is that it does not have a foul odor. Instead, it has a cool and refreshing smell much different from the wonky scent of other bug repellants.
  • It does not have a sticky or greasy texture that is associated with many other bug repellants.
  • It can be used on all kinds of fabric without destroying them or melting them.

Cons

  • Not safe for use among children below three years of age

View on amazon here

Babygenics DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent

Babygenics DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent is a 100% natural insect repellent that has been designed specifically for your baby’s sensitive skin.

This bug repellent consists of a highly effective blend of natural essential oils, including citronella, peppermint, lemongrass, geranium, and rosemary that keeps children safe from pesky biting insects, including mosquitoes.

The formula contains a lower percentage of the active ingredients and it has a 95 percent base of soybean oil. Since the formula does not contain any toxic chemicals and has a low percentage of essential oils that can irritate sensitive skin, it is safe for everyone in the family.

Pros

  • The formula does not contain any known irritants like DEET, sulfates, and phthalates as well as artificial dyes or fragrances.
  • It is made with 100 percent organic essential oils
  • The bug spray keeps away gnats and flies as well as mosquitoes
  • Just a little product can go a long way
  • It is safe for children under three years of age

Cons

  • Some parents complain the formula is very oily and sticky
  • The oil can ruin clothing or furniture
  • It needs to be reapplied every two to three hours so it is not as long-lasting as other products which can last for six hours or more.
  • It is not recommended for babies under six months of age

View on amazon here

Skedattle Natural Insect Repellent

If you are looking for another great insect repellent for your baby, Skedattle Natural Insect Repellent fits the bill. Additionally, this product is also safe for adults as well as pets, so it is an all-rounder when it comes to bug sprays.

The formula is made up of natural essential oils including peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, and vanillin. These ingredients are safe to use and have proven to be effective in keeping away mosquitoes, flees, and ticks.

In fact, according to an independent lab test, the Skedattle Natural Insect Repellent is up to 16 times more effective than DEET sprays.

Pros

  • It contains 100 percent natural organic product
  • It is safe for use on babies and pets
  • It is very easy to apply
  • It has a pleasant scent
  • The formula protects from a variety of biting insects
  • The packaging is biodegradable and it is very easy to carry around.
  • The formula does not harm plastic or clothing

Cons

  • You will need to apply a lot of it for best results
  • The formula tends to wear off after two to three hours so you will need to reapply it diligently
  • Some customers also complain its bottle has a leaky design

Learn more here

MadeOn Bug Block Bar

MadeOn Bug Block Bar is a solid bug-repellent lotion stick that is made with 100 percent organic ingredients, including the potent essential oils like citronella, rosemary, and cedarwood.

The formula is considered to be very effective by parents and works well on kids. Users say that some mosquitoes may hover near you or even land on your skin; however, they will be unable to bite you.

The best thing about this formula is that it has a lotion base which means it will keep your skin moisturized as well as provide you protection from the bugs.

Pros

  • It contains natural bug repellent ingredients as well as moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax.
  • It has a very pleasant smell

Cons

  • The bar is a bit difficult to apply and it will take you longer
  • The formula is a bit greasy, though, for most people, this isn’t a problem and just part of its moisturizing effect.
  • Rosemary is not rated safe for small children

Purchase here

bug block product photo

Badger Anti-Bug Balm

The Badger Anti-Bug Balm is one of the most effective and favorite bug repellent formulas for many families. This natural mosquito repellent is totally organic and is free from petrolatum and DEET. It contains the bug repelling properties of cedar, lemongrass, and citronella to repel mosquitoes as well as stable flies.

It also contains organic extra virgin olive oil and castor oil to soften and soothe your baby’s skin. However, like all-natural bug repellents, you need to apply it liberally for it to be effective.

Pros

  • The formula is completely organic
  • It repels mosquitoes as well as stable flies
  • It is very moisturizing on the skin
  • It has a very pleasant smell
  • It is easy to apply making it very easy to put on squirming babies and energetic toddlers

Cons

  • It needs to be applied two to three hours for the best results
  • Some parents complain the formula attracts bees

Purchase here

Bottom Line

Although no bug repellent is 100% effective, the above sprays and lotions are highly rated and reviewed. Not only are they very effective, but they are also safe to use. If you live in or near Maine, Portland, Falmouth, Brunswick, Augusta, Lewiston, Androscoggin County, and Cumberland County and your yard is overrun with insects this summer- call our pest control and extermination service and we will get rid of these pesky pests for you. Contact us here.