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.
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Depending on where you travel, you may want to pack bug spray, too. In places like Florida and North Carolina, summers get buggy, and you’ll be happy to have packed a spray on nights when you want to sit on the porch or dine outdoors.
As a veteran of the Iraq War, I found myself struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder from which greatly impacted my mental health. In 2016, I came across the film “Wild,” an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir about healing by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
Sawyer Permethrin Premium Insect Repellent is used on clothing, not skin, and it provides long-lasting protection against ticks.