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The Best Natural Insect Repellents That Don’t Stink

You wait all year for the warm temperatures and lingering sunsets of summer. Alas, your delight at summertime’s arrival is quickly extinguished by the ghastly horde of insects that also thrive at this time of year. Well played Nature. Well. Played.

For some, the solution to this summertime buzzkill is simple: Drench yourself in insect repellent, many of which have DEET. This harsh chemical spray found in many insect repellent sprays acts like Agent Orange for mosquitoes, ticks, and other blood-sucking pests, interfering with the neurons and receptors that help them find a host. However, just like Agent Orange, this nerve disruptor comes with widespread side effects. You’ve warded off the bugs, but now you’ve got a host of other ills to contend with, not the least of which is that chemical smell that can kill a hot vibe faster than a shred of cilantro stuck in your teeth. And what is summer without those hot vibes?

To save your game (and your skin) this summer, natural insect repellants are the answer. Drop the DEET and reach for one of these natural and DEET-free insect repellents. Some are old tricks derived from antiquity, while others are more technologically advanced. But all of them will work to keep the bugs at bay so you can focus on having fun in the sun.

Interested in learning more? Find Chelsea Batten's complete list of the best natural insect repellents here.

LAST UPDATED

May 8, 2022

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