5 All Natural Ways to Repel Insects
Posted on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 7:00 am
Nobody likes mosquitoes! One of the most frustrating aspects of enjoying the “great outdoors” is the potential to end up with bug bites. Some people are hesitant to use bug spray that contains DEET. There are other alternatives! Try some of these all natural ways to repel insects instead.
How to Naturally Repel Insects
Minimize exposed skin.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people cover their exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats. Doing so makes it more difficult for mosquitoes and other bugs to bite you. They also advise sleeping in screened or air-conditioned rooms (instead of outside in the open air).
Remove bug attractors.
Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. Before you spend time in your backyard, take a few minutes to look for places where water has gathered. Check flowerpots, buckets, gutters, planters, bird baths, and even the “kiddy pool”. Dump out the water. This makes your backyard less attractive to mosquitoes. It also helps prevent the mosquito larva that may already be in the standing water from surviving.
Use Citronella Candles.
The National Pesticide Information Center has a lot of information about citronella. Oil of citronella is is a naturally occurring insect and animal repellent that is distilled from two different varieties of grass.
Burning a citronella candle (or many of them) helps to mask the scents that are attractive to insects. This makes it a lot harder for them to find humans to bite. Of course, you need to be in range of the citronella candle in order for it to be effective.
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE)
Oil of lemon eucalyptus is an ingredient in Repel and Off! Botanicals. The CDC recommends that people use EPA registered repellent products that contain the active ingredient OLE. In other words, “pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus, in essential oil that is not formulated to be an insect repellent, is not recommended by the CDC. This is because it has not undergone validated testing for safety and efficiency.
Burt’s Bees All Natural Insect Repellent.
Burt’s Bees makes an all natural insect repellent that includes a blend of “rosemary, Lemongrass, Citronella Oil and other essential oils”. Their description makes it sound as though it works by masking the scents that insects are attracted to (much like citronella candles do). The reviews on the Burt’s Bees website seem to say that it works well as a repellent of mosquitoes and gnats. However, a few reviewers noted that it appears to attract bees!