Ditch the DEET & Keep the Bugs Away with Natural Insect Repellent

Has anyone else noticed the huge surge of insects already this year? And it’s not even summer yet! I love love love spending time outside in the garden, and always look forward to Summer picnics in the park and BBQs. Nothing is more relaxing than hanging outside around a fire on a balmy night. But then you feel it, a little twinge, an itch. You half ignore it in the hopes you’re just imagining it, and then before you know it you’re swatting and scratching, reaching for the bug repellent. But did you know most commercial insect repellents use harmful pesticides which are awful for us and our skin – there’s a reason the bugs stay away!

One of the main active ingredients in insect repellents, is known as DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide). The Environmental Protection Agency recommends you wash it off your skin when you return indoors, avoid breathing in and applying to your face. DEET is a known skin irritant, can cause breathing difficulties, headaches and burning eyes. A study by Cornell University showed that park rangers regularly exposed to DEET are more likely to have insomnia, mood disturbances and impaired cognitive function than employees with less exposure.

So what are the healthier options? Mother Nature to the rescue - as always, there are herbs to help!

There are dozens of herbs which contain constituents that annoying bugs like mosquitoes hate. One of the best in my opinion is citronella, which is an oil that can be derived from herbs like lemongrass. You might already be familiar with the zesty, citrusy scent of citronella, which is often burned in candles or coils to repel insects outdoors. Well it can also be applied in a dilutd form directly to our skin. The way it works is by masking the scent of carbon dioxide and lactic acid we produce, which is attractive to mosquitoes. Some of my other favourite repelling herbs are geranium & eucalyptus.

The thing I love about these herbs is that they don’t only keep the bugs away, but they smell lovely and refreshing (I have a friend that uses our Bug Balm as perfume!).  They also offer health benefits for your skin acting as an anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory so it can help reduce itching if you already have a bite.

Check-out our Bug Balm which is a combination of Insect-repelling Citronella, Lemongrass, Geranium & Eucalyptus oil, in a shea butter & chickweed base. 

It’s been getting excellent reviews:
“So happy to have found this!
I am so happy to have found this great balm! Mozzies & insects always bite me before everyone else (I must have really good blood). All my life I have just tolerated being bitten, as I just can't stand the smell of the store bought sprays & I worry too about the toxicity of absorbing them into our bodies. Now that I have found this wonderful balm I don't have to suffer anymore, I can apply it & know that it is made from beautiful natural ingredients. I can relax now when we are up the river or out walking on a balmy walk at dusk.” -Julie Birbeck

Bug Balm Natural Insect Repellent
I hope you this helps you beat the bugs this Summer, enjoy the sun, and keep it DEET-free!
xx Charelle