Q&A: What’s a Good Non-Toxic Bug Repellant

Question and Answer

The black flies are out in full force in the Hilltowns, and soon we'll all be bombarded by mosquitoes. Oh! And don't forget about ticks! What's a good non-toxic bug repellent you feel comfortable using on your kids to protect them from all those biting, stinging, parasitic summer companions?

What’s a good non-toxic bug repellent you feel comfortable using on your kids to protect them from all those biting, stinging, parasitic summer companions?

  • Marya Kozik LaRoche recommends: “Herbal Armor Kids and EcoSmart Bug Spray.”
  • Anne Campbell recommends: “The natural insect repellent about 3/4 of the way down on mamasherbalsoaps.com. This stuff is amazing – it’s completely safe, smells DELICIOUS, but still keeps all the bugs away. One bottle lasts a couple of years, in my experience.”
  • Arianna Alexsandra Grindrod recommends: “I have MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) so I mix up my own batch of non-toxic Bugs-Be-Gone. In a small spray bottle add 40 drops of each Lavendar and Rosemary essential oils, fill with water, shake, apply. Deters mosquitoes and ticks but come twilight those mosquitoes …will go for anything no matter what. As a camp counselor I noticed parents just drenching their kids in poisonous DEET and really – out in the woods, to mosquitoes, it’s just another flavor. I don’t get nearly as bit as the kids but then also consider – what products are you putting on your kids? Perfumey laundry detergents and hair care products are attractants. Most bugs don’t prefer the aromatic herbs so focus on those scents if you must be scentful.”
  • Megan Rubiner Zinn recommends: “Anything with lemon eucalpytus oil. There’s a brand called Repel, and Cutter makes a version. I hiked Mt. Norwottuck this week, which was swarming with mosquitoes and I didn’t get any bites using this stuff. The smell is strong, but not chemically. My kids have worn it to Arcadia camp for years.”
  • Sue Lowery recommends: “The Bug Buttons that they sell by the register at the Chesterfield General Store are fabulous. And you can store them in a ziplock bag between uses.”
  • Stacie Goeltz recommends: “I use Burts Bees Herbal Insect Repellent. Safe for kids and pets too!”
  • Carrie St John recommends: “You guys posted a list of sites with this last summer plus some sites with recipes to make your own. We use a recipe with tea tree oil from one site.”
  • Brooksley Williams recommends: “Neem. Good to take internally too to make the blood too bitter for biting.”
  • Crissy Halloran recommends: “Herbal Armor”
  • Julie Rodrigues Tanguay recommends: “BugsAWay from the Herbarium in Chicopee.”

(Photo credit: (ccl) Kicki Holmén)

1 Comment

  1. Laura Fortin said,

    July 23, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I second Bugs Away from The Herbarium! (I like the neem idea, too!)


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