The Best All-Natural and Safe Insect Repellents

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We love the spring and summer and the longer days full of adventure but there’s nothing worse than having that summer bubble POPPED by a bite.  Warmer weather means insects; gross ticks, biting flies, mosquitoes, and gnats! Always on the hunt for all-natural and safe products for our kids we complied a list of some of the least toxic bug and insect repellents on the market with no DEET. Check out some of our top picks and be stay bite-free this summer!

1. Badger Anti-Bug Balm, USDA Certified Organic Insect Repellent:
Rated as one of the top repellent’s on cosmeticdatabase.org (a fantastic resource created by the Environmental Working Group where you can locate chemical-free products such as sunscreen, make-up, oral care, skin products, etc), Badger Anti-Bug Balm contains no DEET and includes all-natural ingredients such as castor oil, rosemary and extra virgin olive oil. They also sell a spray called Badger Anti-Bug Shake & Spray Insect Repellent that offers the same benefits and protection as the balm that can last up to 3 hours!

2. BiteBlocker Organic Xtreme:
Considered safe for children of all ages (even babies) and for pregnant women, BiteBlocker Organic is made from plant-based ingredients such as soybean, coconut oil, purified water, geranium oils. According to Consumer Search, BiteBlocker works to fight off mosquitoes, ticks and black flies, but performance seems between individuals. It is also sweat-proof, non-toxic, and DEET-free. We used this one all last summer and felt it was very effective. However, you need to put it on a full 20 minutes before you head out to Blood Valley!

3. Bubble and Bee Organic Bug ‘Bee’ Gone 100% Organic Insect Repellent:
An all-natural product, Bubble and Bee Organic Insect Repellent contains organic soybean oil, organic eucalyptus essential oil, and organic lemongrass essential oil. This DEET-free and synthetic-free spray is also said to smell good and protect against mosquitoes and bugs. When using, be sure to re-apply every two hours (or as needed).

4. Brittanie’s Thyme Organic Insect Repellent:
An all-natural product that contains soybean oil, rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, and cedar oil that also provides a light floral and woodsy scent. The company recommends that you apply it every 4-5 hours or when needed.

5. Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent:
This herbal insect spray by Burt’s Bees contains rosemary, lemongrass, and citronella oils mix with five other oils that bugs hate. This 100% all-natural blend should be applied liberally to exposed skin, particularly to ankles, legs, arms and the hairline.

6. Purple Prairie Bug Stuff:
The Bug Stuff by Purple Prairie is an all-natural, safe way to protect your kids from gnats, flies and mosquitoes. As a lotion base, the product is safe for all ages and contains a blend of essential oils and plant extracts such as rosemary oil, lavender oil, tea tree and eucalyptus.

7. Buzz Away Extreme Natural Insect Repellent:
Available in a spray bottle or handy towelette wipe, Buzz Away Extreme contains essential plant oils such as soybean, lemongrass, and geranium oil. This DEET-free formula also lasts up to 4 hours against mosquitoes, up to 2.5 hours on ticks, and also repels fleas, gnats and flies. It is also non-greasy and is said to smell nice.

8. California Baby Citronella Summer Lotion:
A gentle bug repellent that contains citronella, lemongrass and cedar essential oils that is safe for newborns. Made from organic and sustainably grown ingredients, this DEET-free product is said to repel bugs while also soothing any exciting bites.

9. Loving Naturals Insect Repellent:
Loving Naturals Insect Repellent contains a blend of 100% natural/organic ingredients such as organic witch hazel extract, organic citronella oil, lemongrass oil, organic rosemary oil, and aloe vera gel. As a DEET-free product, it is quick drying and non-sticky that is safe for babies and those with sensitive skin.

10. Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent:
A safe formula, Repel’s insect repellent is a plant-based formula that is said to protect against mosquitoes, sand flies, ticks, midges, and stable flies for up to 6 hours. This all-natural product also contains lemon eucalyptus, a natural and renewable resource and an ingredient recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Further Reading:
For additional information, you should also read “Which Insect Repellent is Right for Your Kids?” by Healthy Kids, Healthy World that emphasizes that kids should stay away from DEET. Some points in the article said that DEET causes lethargy, headaches, tremors, involuntary movements, seizures, and convulsions in children.

We also discovered Safemama.com and her Bug Repellent Cheat Sheet that includes prices, reviews, a Skin Deep Rating, and an extensive product list featuring repellents that are free from DEET, parabens, phthalates, PEGs, Sulfates, Dioxanes, Proplyene Glycols and synthetic fragrances.

We also love the Environmental Working Group’s extensive list of safe bug and insect repellents for further product reviews and comparisons.

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13 Comments

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  2. Thanks for the link!

  3. Thank you for including us! We just wanted to let you know that all of our Anti-Bug products have been independently laboratory tested for effectiveness, and we’ve published the test results here:

    http://www.badgerbalm.com/s-7-safety-efficacy.aspx

    Love,
    Badger

  4. Fragrances, especially floral and fruity ones, attract mosquitoes. You will find these in hair products, perfumes and colognes, and deodorants. All are enticing for mosquitoes.

  5. I’ve used Buzz Away for the last 2 summers. Works well with re-applying pretty often. I do like the scent but it is strong so keep in mind while spraying around others. We have a new baby and haven’t used it on her yet but might try something that is specific for young babies…

  6. I tried all the Bite Blocker products and they were useless. I mainly wanted them to repel mosquitos and they did not do that at all. I reapplied often to no avail.
    Sandye

  7. Lavender Oil is so good for horrible insect bites, it really soothes and calms them. You can read here about the diverse used of Lavender Essential Oil.

  8. We used Buzz Away all last summer and thought it was pretty good. It definitely needs reapplication after a couple of hours. I also recommend applying it a good 15 minutes before going out.

  9. We like the Badger Anti-Bug Balm. I ordered some a few weeks ago and we tried it out this weekend on a camping trip. No bug bites. I had ordered in in a stick form off of Amazon. I like the stick, as it makes it so easy to apply, then just rub in. Just wiped the residual off of my hands onto our clothes for extra protection.

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