Why Everyone is Ditching Regular Bug Spray for These Alternatives


bug spray

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its latest West Nile Virus national surveillance data, and it’s not pretty.

In 2012, reported cases West Nile Virus were the highest seen since 2003, and related deaths exceeded the highest seen since 1999, the year the virus was first detected in the U.S. While 2013 data is still being finalized, the CDC reports that, thus far, 2,469 cases of West Nile virus have been reported, including 119 deaths.

As concern continues to spread over the CDC’s recent report on cases of West Nile virus, prevention is at the top of everyone’s mind.

While some people do tend to attract more mosquitoes and bugs than others, due to their body temperature or carbon dioxide output, everyone carries the risk of finishing a relaxing summertime walk with large, red itchy welts. But are conventional insect repellents the only effective solution?

Why you shouldn’t reach for the bug spray

Conventional bug repelling sprays and lotions often contain toxic levels of N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), a chemical that most bugs find repulsive. Unfortunately, DEET has been shown to have adverse health effects when used in high quantities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported 14 to 46 cases of potential DEET-related seizures and 4 deaths, confessing, “… it does appear that some cases are likely related to DEET toxicity.”

While some countries regulate insect repellents to contain no more than 30% DEET, there is no concentration limit for products sold in the U.S., meaning, some conventional insect repellents may contain up anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent DEET.

Do I really have to douse myself in to ward off bug bites?

Of course not! Luckily, there are other, all natural scents and oils that bugs find repulsive and, when applied topically, will ward off insects. Rather than risk absorbing and inhaling the toxic chemicals from conventional repellents, consider one of these great all natural alternatives.


From top to bottom, left to right:

Bite Blocker Organic Insect Repellent Spray

All Terrain Herbal Armor DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent

Tick Tock Naturals Organic Insect Repellent

Loving Naturals Organic DEET Free 4 oz Insect Repellent

Bite Blocker Insect Repellent – Herbal Repellent Wipes

EcoSMART Insect Repellent

Want a recipe to make your own? Check out this one we found over on Wellness Mama.

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2 responses to “Why Everyone is Ditching Regular Bug Spray for These Alternatives”

  1. rosemarie annonson says:

    I’m from Wisconsin where some years we have more blood sucking bugs than others. This year was pretty bad for tics. Not only was I picking them up out of doors but my cats I think were bring them in then sleeping on my bed and sharing with me. I started using Avon Skin So Soft after every shower and haven’t had one on me since. Is Skin So Soft SAFE?

  2. Barbara Prewit says:

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