The best organic mosquito repellents are fast becoming the go-to product for outdoorsmen everywhere. In some areas and for some conditions, nothing stops the bugs from biting like DEET. But the fact is that this chemical has negative outcomes that outweigh its effectiveness against those annoying biting insects. There are other alternatives that work great and have far less of an effect on us and our environment. Organic, earth-friendly, DEET-free repellants can indeed work well to get the mosquitos off and keep them off. Even the big three brands (Cutter, Repel, and OFF) have seen the light and now offer some other options that really work. Most of have changed our thought process as outdoorsmen and women, especially since we are trying so hard to get kids involved, and have come around to safer, chemical-free insect repellants. They still need to be effective for our outdoor adventures in the deep woods and anywhere near the water. The best part is that many of these products work without the harsh chemicals by substituting them for natural ingredients that are proven bug stoppers. When you factor in your kids and your pets, that's a great way to enjoy the outdoors. We like to keep an open mind about what works and why, so here are a few possibilities to keep in your arsenal whether you are fishing, hunting, hiking, or camping.
Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Spaces are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Wondercide is a great, made in the U.S.A., DEET-free choice that is as good for kids and pets as it is for adults. Our editor Eric gave this stuff a test drive and he (along with his wife) loved the effectiveness, the non-chemical smell, and the lack of a greasy feeling on your skin after applying it. Not only does it defend against mosquitoes, but it works on ticks, too.
"Fiercely effective" is the kind of thing we like to hear in the mosquito repellant department. This balm from Murphy's Naturals might take a little more work to apply, but it's worth it. The five plant-based oils that go to work in this balm are castor oil, lemongrass oil, rosemary oil, cedar wood oil, and peppermint oil. That's a cocktail that mosquitoes hate, but we absolutely love.
For those who have the desire to keep the repellent completely off of their skin, the PARA'KITO is a great option which is said to effectively mask the scents of your breath and body, making it difficult for mosquitoes to find you. Most mosquito repellant bracelets of this kind will work for the whole family, as they're customizable to fit any size wrist.
This repellant includes essential oils for use on either your skin or clothing. For peace of mind, it also repels gnats, chiggers, no-see-ums, biting flies, fleas, and ticks. Skeeter Screen also has a good option in their yard "smudge" sticks that, when burned, will keep an area mosquito free while you use the backyard.
"Nantucket Spider" is an interesting brand name, but with peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass, clove, and citronella at work in this natural formula, you'll understand why a repellent doesn't need to smell like chemicals to work. It'll work for camping, fishing, and even those Little League games that almost always happen in the evening, a mosquito's favorite time of day.
Great for fishing, hiking, biking, camping, gardening, and really any other outdoor activity, this Bug Soother spray is all natural and has even been reported as effective against fruit flies and Japanese beetles. That's above and beyond the call of duty, but as a heads up, you should be sure to acknowledge that it doesn't work great against every type of mosquito known to inhabit the U.S.
Proudly made in USA, this is an all-natural repellent that many reviewers say really does the trick. The ingredients include soybean oil, caster oil, lemongrass oil, citronella oil, cedar oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil, geranium oil, lavender oil, and deionized water.
Cutter makes a good, solid mosquito spray that does the one thing that they've been known for all these years: keep biting bugs away for good. But it does so in organic fashion, with no DEET but instead oil of lemon eucalyptus, which has proven to be effective against skeeters.
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