Monday, August 9, 2010

Bug off!

I was sitting at a baby shower for my daughter yesterday (yes, another one) where I engaged in some interesting conversations. One of which revealed another natural way to repel bugs. Thanks, Erica! I'm thrilled about this one and actually came home and whipped up a batch. She swears it works, and I'm hoping she's right. After all, none of us like getting bitten by bugs, nor do we like spraying ourselves with toxic chemicals. Well, I should say, most of us don't like spraying chemicals on our bodies. I was talking to someone at a party on Saturday who didn't go for my suggestion to rub pure vanilla extract on her skin to keep the bugs away. "I just spray the horse fly spray all over me whenever I'm at the stable. I figure, if it doesn't hurt the horse, it can't hurt me!" Wow. I was speechless.

But for those of us who choose to be wiser about what goes on our bodies, here's a simple solution for keeping the bugs away:

Fill a medium-sized spray bottle with witch hazel and add 8 - 10 drops of peppermint oil.

That's it. Sounds simple enough. Now let's see if it works.

If you'd rather buy a commercial product that is safe, here are a few suggestions, all of which garner a 0 rating (which is the best rating you can get) from the Cosmetic Safety Database by Environmental Working Group:

Badger Anti-Bug Push-Up – 1.5 oz – Stick

I like Badger's tagline with this product: Good for the skin. Bad for the bug.

Brittanie's Thyme Organic Insect Repellent

Bubble & Bee 100% Organic Insect Repellant

Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellant

Graham's Gardens Bug Bar

Purple Prairie Bug Stuff

Peruse some of the great sites above. You just may find some other fantastic organic products to meet your family's needs in other ways.

If you spend a lot of time on your deck, patio or porch, like I do, you can also load up the area with some potted plants that are natural bug repellants, such as catnip, citronella, eucalyptus, marigold, mosquito plants and rosemary.

Perhaps all of this info would have been more helpful a couple of months ago, but here in Pennsylvania, we're looking at 6 weeks or so of warmer weather. Plus you can always print this post and save it for next year. With a new grandbaby due in less than a month, I'm sure we'll be looking for the best options for our little ones next summer.

Keeping it green and healthy,


Photo courtesy of Michael Drummond


  1. We can continue to wait for the Safe Cosmetics Act to pass or we can take matters into our own hands with home remedies like the one you offer here. Legislation is important but so is personal responsibility. Learning how to read labels now while waiting for better legislation is the smartest way to avoid unsafe cosmetics and personal care items immediately. Here is a great article about avoiding reactions and infections from cosmetics/personal items. Let's educate ourselves!

  2. Thank you for your comments, Jennifer. I also appreciate the link!

  3. Cedar oil is also a great repellant - try using ATLAST! Fly Spray -- I use it on my horse AND on me :) it's 100% organic, safe and effective!


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