Insect Repellent Guide

Nothing can cramp your outdoor adventures like a swarm of pesky insects. Bug bites are itchy and uncomfortable, not to mention that mosquitoes and ticks are known to carry and transmit serious diseases such as West Nile and Lyme. Unfortunately, many of the most popular brands of insect repellents are made with DEET and Permethrin—chemicals that are effective in warding off and killing insects, but can also be harmful to your health. So what's a nature-loving girl to do?

Why not pick up one of the many all-natural insect repellents on the market that make use of essential oils (lemon eucalyptus, citronella, rosemary, soybean, etc.) rather than dangerous insecticides to keep bugs at bay? Two popular brands include Burt's Bees and Bug Off! (available at Rainbow Whole Foods Co-op & Target), which come in spray, rub/ointment and wipe form.

Additionally, you can evade insects by simply forgoing heavily scented perfumes and lotions, wearing light-colored clothing (insects are attracted to darker colors) and covering up with long sleeves and pants. Also, avoid spending time outdoors at dusk and dawn when insects are most active.

If you take precautions to rid insects from around your home, you'll need less topical treatments in general. Eliminate standing water in your yard and burn citronella candles when you're outside for prolonged periods of time.

Don't Forget Fido!
Protecting yourself and your children from insects is a no-brainer. But many families forget to shield their pets. In warm-climate states like Mississippi, it's essential to treat your pet with heartworm (which is transmitted by mosquitoes) and flea/tick preventatives all year round. Heartworm medication such as Heartguard and Advantage are available from your local veterinarian. Flea and tick control treatments—like Sergeant's all natural—are available over the counter at most major retailers.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment