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8 Lesser-Known Natural Bug Repellents that may Work

Elizabeth Renter
August 5th, 2014
Updated 08/05/2014 at 12:39 am
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bug insect mosquito repellent 263x165 8 Lesser Known Natural Bug Repellents that may WorkWhen the weather is warm, everyone wants to spend time outdoors, but no one wants to hang out with mosquitoes or other annoying bugs. In an effort to deter insects from feasting on our flesh, many people coat themselves in various sprays and lotions loaded with potentially dangerous toxins. Fortunately, you don’t have to opt for these chemical baths; there are natural alternatives.

Insect-Repellent Plants

You can make your yard less pleasant for insects and send them packing by incorporating deterrent plants. Try citronella plant (often called a mosquito plant) in a pot on your patio, or marigolds and lemon balm around your garden area.

Catnip is another good plant to add to your landscaping. One study from Iowa State University indicated catnip was 10 times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitos.

Apply Natural Repellents to Your Skin

Essential oils can often be great natural mosquito repellents, either used in lotions or diluted and sprayed on. These essential oils have shown the most promise in keeping insects away:

  • Lemon eucalyptus
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rose geranium (especially good for ticks)
  • Peppermint

Change Your Diet

Mosquitos are attracted to the odors your body produces. Warm bodies produce more alluring scents and put off more carbon dioxide. NBC News says this is why mosquitos really like pregnant women or anyone who is outdoors and working out. It’s time to use some homemade mosquito repellent.

The Mayo Clinic reports that adding vitamin B-1 could change your scent to make you less appetizing to mosquitoes. Eating more garlic is also said to be effective at deterring bugs (and vampires). NBC News reports you may also want to reconsider that summer brew—mosquitoes are more attracted to people after someone drinks one can of beer.

For the most part, we have to learn to coexist with insects in the summer, though taking a few steps to dissuade them from biting could make your summer season more bearable without requiring you to slather yourself in unknown chemicals.

From around the web:

  • celiayounger

    i believe eating grapes too are repellent (someone told me)

  • dave

    It was interesting to read that Rose geranium was good for deterring ticks, but was hoping to read more on the subject.

    • celiayounger

      me too. I will like to know more on the use of essential oils. how to use them and their properties, what are good for etc.

  • RS Mallory

    Penny Royale is another plant like Marigolds that repeals not only Skeeters but Fleas too, so be sure to plant or pot them near your front and back doors ;-) Another product I love to use After I get bit is an All Natural Pain Relief Cream made from 11 USA Sourced Essential Oils because it goes in through the skin and kills the venom (bacteria) from the insect bite. If you think you want to Learn more contact me on Facebook if you are in need;-)

  • Resident of the Unit

    I eat raw white garlic daily

    • KoolAid

      Better than Kyolic?

      • Hoopla

        Wonder if odorless Kyolic does the trick…since bugs are repelled by the smell. Kyolic is known for its odorless garlic so you don’t go around with a nasty breath.