There are many natural alternatives that you can use instead of a chemical bug spray. You can protect yourself without having to use a DEET-based bug repellent, which can cause many health and environmental effects. Especially, if you are just sitting in your backyard, playing games outside or taking a hike, a more natural alternative might be a better option.
Natural Bug Repellents:
- Lemon eucalyptus oil: This is one of the more well known options as a natural repellent. You can create your own spray using mostly witch hazel mixed with a few drops of lemon eucalyptus oil.
- Lavender: If you grow lavender in your garden you can crush the flower and it creates a fragrance and oil that repels mosquitoes.
- Citronella: This essential oil is made from different species of cymbopogon. Lighting a citronella candle while you are outside can help provide extra protection against bugs.
- Cinnamon oil: This can act as a repellent against mosquitoes and it can even kill mosquito eggs. To make a natural spray you can use ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon oil for every 4 ounces of water. Then you can use it to spray on your clothes or skin while you are outside.
- Thyme oil: This is another great option to help repel mosquitoes. If you are camping you can even throw some thyme leaves into the fire and it will help provide protection. Or you can make a spray using 5 drops of thyme for every 2 ounces of water.
It is important to remember that while using some of these essential oils, you should never directly apply it to your skin as it can be very irritating. They should always be diluted either with water or another carrier oil.
There are also DEET free bug sprays that are easy to purchase and are safer alternatives to regular bug spray:
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