When it comes to repelling insects, we fortunately have dozens of products, herbs and chemicals at our disposal.
However, not all of us are willing to buy and use the commercial-grade insect repellents and for a very good reason, as they may contain harmful chemicals that trigger allergies, skin reactions or severe respiratory conditions.
If you are a fan of picnics and camping trips or you just like to hang out with your friends in your back yard without being invaded by mosquitoes and other insects, you might want to consider these DEET-free, cost-effective and natural insect repellents:
1. Use Citronella To Keep Mosquitoes At Bay
It is a known fact that mosquitoes (and virtually all the other insects) cannot stand the smell of citrus, and lemons in particular. Citronella being a lemon grass-like plant, is certainly your biggest ally in your fight against insects of all kinds, and it is mainly found in the form of candles that can be used both outdoors and indoors. Citronella is available as a natural essential oil/plant extract as well!
2. Bay Leaf
Although this is a lesser known herb, bay leaf has been used for a very long time both in the international cuisine and in the traditional medicine field. Known for its bitter taste and intense fragrance, the bay leaf is an efficient and natural insect repellent that can be used to keep roaches, moths, earwigs and mosquitoes away without too much effort.
Catnip is yet another great natural insect repellent that is free of DEET and other toxic chemicals, and it can be used for all types of insets. You can crush the plant and gently rub it onto your skin, and the strong scent will keep cockroaches and mosquitoes away, thus allowing you to enjoy a pleasant night out.
4. The Wormwood
Scientifically known as the Artemisia, but commonly referred to as the Wormwood, this plant is legendary for warding away the mosquitoes. The leaves are used to keep insects away!
Rosemary has an amazing scent, but did you know that you can either use it alone or in conjunction with other insect repellents to keep mosquitoes at bay?
A rare woody plant, rue has also been widely used in the Ayurvedic and traditional medicine due to its advanced disinfectant and antibacterial properties. In addition to this, rue is also used for its natural insecticidal effect as well!
Known for its very strong scent and flavor, peppermint is also a great natural way to repel insects whenever you go outdoors. No insect or biting bug likes the scent of peppermint, so simply crush the leaves, rub them onto your skin and let them work their magic!
8. Coconut Oil
Widely used in the beauty industry, the coconut oil is also highly efficient against insects. Commonly available as a spray or as a lotion, you can either buy this natural oil from the local store or make it yourself, at home.
9. Avoid Scented Toiletries
One of the biggest mistakes that we do and that tends to attract mosquitoes is that we use strongly scented toiletries such as flowery or fruity toiletries. Opt for unscented toiletries, as it is better to prevent the insect bites than to treat them!
10. Use Clothes To Repel Insects
This is a known natural mosquito repellent that repels mosquitoes and other biting bugs in an instant, if used properly!
11. Eucalyptus Oil More Effective Than Synthetic Insect Repellents
Most of us are charmed by the pleasant smell of the eucalyptus oil, but how many of us are aware of its mosquito repelling properties? It can also keep stable flies, ticks and sandflies at bay!
12. Wild Bergamot, The No.1 Insect Repellent
Also known for its pleasant smell, wild bergamot can easily repel insects when diluted with water and gently sprayed onto the skin.
Basil is a trustworthy ingredient in the kitchen, but you might want to plant this herb in your back garden as well if you want to keep insects at bay during the summer!
14. Marigolds Are Great!
Marigolds will benefit you on many different levels: not only will they prevent biting bugs such as mosquitoes from feeding on you, but they will also ward off all the pests around your veggies!
15. Use Tansy To Keep Mosquitoes Away
Another highly efficient and natural insect repellent is tansy, which is a flowering herb that is known for keeping flies at a safe distance. Highly efficient for keeping roaches, bedbugs, mites, ants and moths away, tansy can be found as an essential oil that you can rub onto the skin.
There is nothing more beautiful and soothing than planting lavender around your house and garden, as it will keep bugs away with its lovely (for us!) scent.
17. Use Baby Powder
This is a good trick to keep insects away when you are indoors – lightly sprinkle the baby powder around the corners of your home just to keep wasps, mosquitoes
and bees at bay.
18. Tea Tree
Tea tree is a very common ingredient in the beauty and health industry, as it is known for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Known as Melaleuca in the botanical industry, the tea tree has a very strong scent that no bug likes!
19. Citrus Peels Also Come In Handy!
Another useful tip for keeping insects away from your home is by cutting and using citrus peels – place them around all the areas of your home where insects (and spiders in particular) may use to crawl inside.
Most people are fond of cinnamon, given its pleasant smell and taste, but apparently it is a great and natural way to keep insects away – sprinkle it lightly around your house and it will keep you safe!
21. Vanilla Extract
This is another pleasant smelling extract that will act as an efficient insect repellent – you can either use it alone or you can mix it with mint extract, lavender or lemongrass extract, for the best results.
22. Do Not Underestimate The Power Of Natural Cedar
Cedar blocks or simple cedar shavings are also great for keeping mosquitoes, bed bugs and any other creepy crawlers away. These pesky little bugs will not bother you anymore if you insert the cedar in the right places!
23. Use Garlic!
If you thought garlic is only great for keeping vampires at a safe distance, think again! Garlic is also great for keeping mosquitoes away – just sprinkle some garlic powder around your home and see for yourself!