Repelling insects, bugs, and other pests without the use of chemicals is ideal, especially for organic gardeners or people sensitive to chemicals. There are many repellents that we carry that are made of natural or organic ingredients that you can apply to the areas you spend time in outdoors or to your skin or clothing that will help protect you and your family.
An animal repellent that prevents small animals like groundhogs, skunks, raccoons and rabbits from damaging the garden.
What to Look For In Natural Bug Repellent
Repellent products that contain natural, or botanically derived, active ingredients have been proven to work, but generally do not work as well as DEET or other traditional chemical products. Most will work for only a fraction of the time DEET remains active, but can still offer you protection. You must be willing to reapply when necessary and be realistic about the performance of your natural product. However, here is a list of essential oils that have been proven to offer a level of insect protection, and a combination of these oils should be present in your natural product:
It is better to purchase a product with a specific combination and percentage of these active ingredients rather than purchasing simply the essential oil itself and creating a natural repellent recipe, since the commercial product has been tested and proven to repel. Some natural insect repellent plants seem to have some type of repellent affect on mosquitoes, like citronella, horsemint, marigolds, and catnip, but the plant components rather than whole plants are usually more effective.
Tips for Natural Insect & Pest Repellent Use
Even though the active ingredients are natural, you should exercise the same amount of caution as if they were chemicals. They can be irritating and cause allergic reactions and may be dangerous to young children. Always read labels and follow all application directions. While they may have low-toxicity, they are often not completely non-toxic.
More is not better. Even though these products are usually gentler, applying more is still dangerous and will not make the product work better.
For natural repellents that you apply directly to your skin, those will generally only remain effective for about two hours. Follow reapplication guides on label to continue gaining protection.
For natural repellents you can spray on your body, remember that activities that cause perspiration, swimming, high humidity and hot weather will all affect the product’s effectiveness.
Don’t forget your pets! There are great products, like Pet Peeve Insect Spray, that use botanical ingredients to repel ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects off your pets.
Wildlife animal repellents often include similar natural ingredients but usually include putrid egg solids or capsaicin and are meant to be used around your yard or garden.