Stop the Itch With
Organic Bug Spray

Organic Bug spray keeps the bugs at bay while protecting you from harmful chemicals in commercial varieties like Off bug spray. There has been lots of press about West Nile Virus, so people are reaching for bug spray more than ever if they are spending time outdoors. While it's prudent to protect yourself from the risks of a virus, it's just as important to protect yourself from the effects of DEET.

Here's the deal about DEET.....

Studies have shown that DEET can cross the placenta during pregnancy, exposing the infant to it's chemical effects. There have been documented cases where women who wore DEET for extended periods of time (several days) during their pregnancy, birthed children with severe neurological issues. As well there are numerous cases of children, who after repeated exposure to DEET, were hospitalized for neurological issues, some of which recovered and some who didn't.

Adults, after heavy, repeated exposure have also reported altered levels of consciousness resulting in medical treatment. Many of these cases were just wearing popular, basic repellent like Off bug spray. Researchers, after looking at the evidence, find that there are so many cases that can be attributed to DEET exposure that people need to be at least cautious about using this chemical.

If you do choose to use DEET, think about the following:

  • Never go to bed with DEET applied to your skin, wash it off prior to hitting the sheets.
  • If you are needing heavy, continuous protection over several days from bugs, consider using a natural bug spray
  • As children and pregnant or lactating women may be at higher risk, consider switching to a natural bug spray.
  • Avoid applying DEET in extra sensitive areas, like near mouth and eyes and areas that DEET can sit in tissue folds like the crook of your arm, behind the knee, underarms, groin, etc.
  • The higher the DEET content, the greater the health risks, so choose sprays with the lowest DEET content.

Keep Bugs at Bay With Natural Spray

After reading the evidence, my husband and I decided that it's prudent to avoid the whole DEET thing altogether and use organic bug spray. We used this summer to put several sprays to the test.I was actually surprised by how many natural bug spray products were on the market when I started testing sprays. I was even more surprised (unimpressed!) by how many didn't work as well as commercial repellents like Off bug spray.

Finally after testing many, many products, I found a couple that work very well and are completely natural. These sprays are great for the whole family, including the kids and preggo mamas!! Like commercial bug sprays, they need to be applied every few hours when out with the bugs to be protected. I would still advise washing your organic bug spray off prior to bedtime, especially with little kids, as the essential oils inside are pretty potent and could possibly cause a rash or irritation if left for a long time.

One natural organic bug spray we liked was Buzz Free Zone Organic Bug Spray by Miessence. It has tons of essential oils and aloe in it that is gentle enough for kid's skin, but still keeps the bugs away. It also doesn't have a horrible scent like Off bug spray or other commercial brands. Again, if applying to young children, make sure to wash off before going to bed.

Here's a cute little video about the bug spray (and sun screen) I use on my little girl.

All Terrain makes a great variety of adult and kid organic bug spray products. They contain all natural ingredients like Citronella, Lemongrass, Cedar and many other essential oils and are extremely effective in buggy weather. Not only do they have adult and kid bug sprays, but lotions that are both a natural sunscreen and bug repellent. I find that I like the sprays best as I can also spray my child's clothing so bug don't bite through.

For the Do-It-Yourself-Crowd!!

There are many homemade bug spray recipes out there that are just as effective as the natural commercial varieties. If you choose to make your own, try this recipe and experiment with essential oils that you like. A natural bug spray needs two main ingredients to work

  • Essential Oils that repel bugs (like Citronella, Clove Oil, Eucalyptus, etc.)
  • And a liquid that will serve as a "Carrier" for the oils (Witch Hazel, Aloe juice, or Olive/Jojoba Oil)


20 drops Eucalyptus Oil
20 drops Cedarwood Oil
10 drops Tea Tree Oil
10 drops Geranium Oil
2 oz Jojoba or Olive Oil

Mix well and pour into a spray bottle. Store your homemade bug spray in a cool, dry place for up to one month.

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