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Buy or DIY: Insect Repellent

putting on bug spray

Photo by iStock

Summer means spending plenty of time outdoors and in the garden. It also means the height of bug-bite season. Many commercial repellents include DEET, a chemical with a questionable health safety profile. Fortunately, making your own natural repellent is a simple process, and can also be made alcohol-free for those with sensitivities. 

Make your own using this Natural Insect Repellent Recipe.

If you’d prefer to buy a natural repellent, try these effective products:

Lafe’s Organic Insect Repellent

Lafe's Insect Repellent


Developed to deter mosquitoes and ticks, Lafe’s oil-based, cruelty-free formula employs geranium, cedar and lemongrass essential oils to ward off bugs.

Buy Lafe's organic repellent: $9

Photo courtesy Lafe's Organic





Herbal Insect Repellent Spray

Meow Meow Tweet


Meow Meow Tweet’s vegan, handcrafted spray combines essential oils and skin toners for a nontoxic blend that’s safe for everyone.

Buy Meow Meow Tweet's spray: $8

Photo courtesy Meow Meow Tweet





Bug-Bouncer Concentrated Repellent

Bug Bouncer

With 30 years of road-testing to its name, Bug-Bouncer contains ultra-effective, potent essential oils.

Buy Bug-Bouncer: $10

Photo courtesy Bug Bouncer

Bite & Burn Spray

Fat and the Moon


Treat bites (as well as minor burns) with Fat and the Moon’s Bite & Burn Spray, which uses yarrow, witch hazel and tea tree oil to disinfect and promote healing.

Buy Fat and the Moon's spray: $10

Photo courtesy Fat and the Moon





Bug Soother

Bug Soother


Simply Soothing’s Bug Soother repels a range of insects, from mosquitoes to sand fleas. Its castor-oil formula is safe for adults, kids and even animals.

Buy Simply Soothing repellent: $4

Photo courtesy Simply Soothing