7 Best Natural Bug Sprays
When the temperature starts to climb and the great outdoors are calling your name, you’re ready to get out there and have a good time. Of course, that means you also have to deal with insects that would love to ruin your fun. That’s why you should turn to the best natural bug spray.
When you use natural insect repellent, you don’t have to deal with nuisance bugs or worry about dangerous chemicals being absorbed into your skin. Check out this list of the top natural bug sprays and pick out the ones that will work best for your family!
Why Choose a Natural Bug Spray
There are several reasons why you should use a natural bug spray. The first reason has to do with the insects themselves. Not only are they an annoyance that can ruin your outdoor fun and leave behind irritating bites, but they can also spread very dangerous diseases.
Mosquitoes can spread diseases like the West Nile virus, dengue fever, and the Zika virus. Additionally, ticks can transmit a variety of diseases, such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tularemia.
So you decide to turn to an insect repellent to keep bugs away. But then you have to deal with dangerous chemicals in the repellents. Many insect repellents contain synthetic ingredients like DEET or picaridin.
We have to be very careful about what we apply to our skin because it absorbs everything. This is one reason why there’s been a big push for people to switch to a natural sunscreen. Instead of using oxybenzone, which studies have shown to disrupt the endocrine system, natural sunscreens use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which the Food and Drug Administration say are safe and effective.
One study on DEET performed by Duke University pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia found that rats treated with DEET performed significantly worse on physical tasks requiring muscle control, strength, and coordination than control rats. He also found that DEET killed brain neurons that control muscle movement, learning, memory, and concentration.
These findings are especially problematic for children because their brains are still developing and their skin absorbs chemicals more readily.
While we certainly need to be concerned about keeping nuisance insects away from us, we also don’t want to turn to dangerous chemicals that can also cause health issues. That’s why it’s important to choose one of these best natural bug sprays.
1. Best Overall Natural Bug Spray
REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent is the best overall natural bug spray because it works so well in a variety of situations. This DEET-free insect repellent uses oil of lemon eucalyptus to repel mosquitos for up to 6 hours.
It’s safe to use on people 3 years old and up. The formula won’t leave your skin feeling greasy or sticky. Instead, it leaves behind a cool and refreshing scent that you’ll love and bugs will hate.
2. Best Natural Bug Spray for Kids
Buzz Away Extreme is an entirely plant-based natural insect repellent that’s formulated to repel both ticks and mosquitos. While the DEET-free spray is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for kids because it doesn’t contain any toxins, harsh chemicals, artificial preservatives, fragrances, and parabens, it’s also something you can use on the entire family.
The active ingredients in this natural insect repellent are castor oil, geranium oil, soybean oil, cedarwood oil, and citronella oil. Keep in mind that to ensure effectiveness, you’ll want to reapply the spray approximately every 2 to 2.5 hours.
3. Best Natural Bug Spray for Babies
Many bug sprays aren’t recommended for babies because they contain ingredients that aren’t safe for their little bodies. Fortunately, this Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent safely and effectively does the job.
The DEET-free formula doesn’t contain any parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial fragrances, or dyes. Instead, it uses plant-derived ingredients like citronella, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, and geranium to keep away mosquitos, gnats, and flies.
Plus, not only is this natural mosquito repellent safe for your baby, but it’s never tested on animals, so you know the other creatures we share this planet with are safe as well.
4. Best Zero Waste Natural Bug Spray
Most of the natural bug sprays on this list create some waste. If you’re trying to live a more zero waste life, this can cause an issue. Fortunately, you can effectively repel insects without all that waste when you choose Badger Natural Anti-Bug Spray.
This all-natural bug repellent uses non-toxic essential oils like citronella, rosemary, and wintergreen to ward off mosquitos. It also uses organic soybean and castor oil to provide a smooth and non-sticky base that also soothes itchy skin.
If you do happen to end up with a few bug bites, you can use this Badger After-Bug Balm to help ease the itching and irritation. This anti-itch cream uses colloidal oatmeal, menthol, organic beeswax, and vitamin E-rich sunflower oil to soothe, soften, and nourish your skin.
Best of all, the natural bug spray and anti-itch cream are both available at EarthHero, which is one of the best online zero waste stores. This means you know you won’t receive any excess plastic waste with your order. If you’re interested in getting Badger Natural Anti-Bug Spray from EarthHero, be sure to use the code EARTHFRIENDLY to get 10% off your order!
The bug spray comes in an aluminum bottle that you can recycle. You can also send the bottle and its plastic pump back to EarthHero for recycling through its TerraCycle program.
5. Best Natural Bug Spray With Sunscreen
Sometimes your outside fun requires a combination of sunscreen and insect repellent. When that’s the case, turn to this Badger Anti-Bug Sunscreen.
To protect your skin from the sun, it contains reef-safe non-nano zinc oxide that scatters and absorbs UVA and UVB rays and won’t absorb into your bloodstream. To keep those annoying bugs away, it also has organic citronella, cedar, and lemongrass essential oils.
The sunscreen is naturally water and sweat resistant for at least 40 minutes, and the bug spray can repel mosquitos for over 4 hours.
6. Best Natural Insect Repellent Candle
You can keep bugs away from your outdoor picnics and barbecues without using toxic chemicals when you use a Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Candle. Instead of using petroleum, dyes, synthetic fragrances, and harsh chemicals, these soy and beeswax candles use rosemary, peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, and cedarwood repellent oils.
Related: How to Have a Zero Waste Cookout
Each full-size repellent candle burns for up to 30 hours. Once it’s empty, you can clean out the tin and recycle it.
7. Best Natural Bug Repellent Wipes
Insect repellent sprays are sometimes hard to apply because they can drift into your eyes, nose, or mouth when you’re using them. Fortunately, these Auntie Fannie’s Mosquito Repellent Wipes provide worry-free bug protection in an easy-to-use wipe.
Wipes make it much easier to apply insect repellent to squirmy kids who just want to get out there and play. They use essential oils like peppermint, lemongrass, cedarwood, geranium, and citronella to effectively repel mosquitos for up to 4 hours. Plus, to help you cut down on waste, the wipes are biodegradable and compostable.
In addition to being DEET-free, these wipes are also cruelty-free and vegan, so you can rest assured that no other animals suffered just to give you some relief from those annoying bugs!
Best Natural Bug Spray for Summer
You don’t have to use dangerous chemicals that could severely impact your health to keep biting insects away. Instead, choose the best natural bug spray that works for your family and enjoy all of your favorite outdoor activities without any bothersome bug bites.
More Outstanding Eco-Friendly Tips
Did you enjoy learning more about the best natural bug spray? Interested in discovering even more eco-friendly tips? Then please be sure to check out some of our other popular posts: