With summer here you are probably considering spending a good portion of your time outdoors. The weather is perfect for time outside, but it is also when biting insects of all forms tend to come out to play. What’s the best way to keep your family safe from bites, but also safe from the chemicals contained in conventional bug sprays?

Here are a few natural bug repellent alternatives that will keep the bugs at bay and your skin chemical free.

What Not to Wear

First things first, what should you avoid. Never wear perfume, scented lotions, or body sprays outdoors when you are trying to ward away insects. Bugs are drawn to these scents.

Plant a Garden Insects Hate

There are certain plants that repel certain biting insects like ticks and mosquitoes. Planting a garden of marigold, rosemary, basil, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and catnip around where you will be spending most of your time outdoors (patio, etc) can ward away these unwanted pests. 

Lemon-Eucalyptus

This is one of my absolute favorite insect repellents. It not only smells fantastic, but works great as well. If you are looking for a wonderful mosquito repellent this is my top pick. Stop by your local natural foods store and pick up some Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil. Add approximately 25 drops of oil to about 4 ounces of coconut oil or witch hazel and pour into a small spritzer bottle. Spray all over your body and you are ready to go.

Catnip Oil

I already told you these insects hate catnip, so why not use the oil? Add a little catnip oil to your skin before heading outdoors and insects will fly in the opposite direction. Cats, on the other hand, will find you very attractive.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another ingredient that insects seem to despise. Place a little cinnamon essential into a scentless lotion and apply to your skin before leaving the house. You can also apply cimmaon oil directly to your skin by diluting it in some coconut oil or witch hazel like described for the Lemon Eucalyptus.

Buy It

If you aren’t in the mood to make your own repellent consider using a more natural over-the-counter product. Here are a few more natural repellents that are readily available to give a try.

Combining the tips above can provide significant insect relief and you can rest easy knowing there are no harsh chemicals involved. Many of these combinations also have the added benefit of beautiful skin in return.

What is your favorite natural insect repellent method?