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Natural and Effective Bug Repellents

06.19.12 Natural and Effective Bug Repellents


You've probably already started to feel the annoying presence of bugs this summer. Even with warning that we were in for a doozy of a buggy summer, it still doesn't register until you are pulled from enjoying the simple pleasures of being outdoors because your kid (or you) is covered in bug bites! 

Most bug repellents found on the market contain a chemical known as DEET (diethyl toluamide), a pesticide with known toxic effects, including endocrine disruption, brain disorders, slurred speech, skin irratation, seizures and even death. Children are more susceptible to subtle brain changes caused by chemicals in their environment because their skin more readily absorbs them (up to 56% of DEET enters the bloodstream!) and their still-developing nervous systems are more potently affected.

Since the chemical solution also cautions that it may damage furniture surfaces and the paint on your car, you have to wonder how it's affecting your skin! Luckily, there's a safer choice for repelling insects in natural formulas that contain effective and non-toxic plant-based ingredients. Studies have shown that essential oils, such as eucalyptus, citronella, and lemongrass are both highly effective and non-toxic alternatives to DEET.

Badger's Anti-Bug Shake and Spray has the essential oils of citronella, cedar, lemongrass, rosemary, peppermint and geranium, along with a soybean oil base. Badger Shake & Spray contains no DEET, petroleum products, or synthetic chemicals, and has been independently lab tested for efficacy - so it's safe and effective for the whole family! Important to note: ALWAYS shake this bottle before spraying, as it needs to be mixed well. It is also good to remember that it does contain oil, so be careful while spraying near clothing. EWG's Skin Deep score is a 1 (that's low).

Badger also makes the highly effective Natural Anti-Bug Balm which comes in the form of a stick. Badger Bill personally tested the effectiveness of the balm in the firece biting climates of Tamil Nadu, India and the wilderness area of Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp. Efficacy remained high up to three and a half hours against mosquitoes and three hours against stable flies. EWG's Skin Deep score for the Anti-Bug Balm is a 0.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), "Oil of lemon eucalyptus [active ingredient: p-menthane 3,8-diol (PMD)], a plant- based repellent, is also registered with the EPA. In two recent scientific publications, when oil of lemon eucalyptus was tested against mosquitoes found in the US, it provided protection similar to repellents with low concentrations of DEET."

LuSa Organics's Natural Bug Repellent Spray is made with lemon eucalyptus essential oil. The list of organic ingredients makes this an ideal bug repellent for the whole family (babies over 6 months of age).

We also stock some very pleasant and effective natural bug repellent candles. Made with 100% soy wax along with the essential oils of either Citronella-Cedarwood or Eucalyptus-Lemongrass-Cedarwood, you'll benefit from 30 hours of burning time and relief from the surrounding insects!

Beyond using bug repellent, keep in mind that bugs prefer to land on darker colors so you might want to pull out your whites for super buggy nights. Vinegar is also reported to repel mosquitos--if you're kept awake by that horrible buzzing sound, dip a cotton ball in vinegar and rub on exposed skin. Also, bugs are attracted to nice smelling floral scents so using as many unscented products (soap, laundry,etc.) helps keep them at bay. And if you have to...pull those socks over your pant cuffs!

What do you do to avoid insect bites?

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