Our picks for the best natural mosquito repellent brands to protect your body and the environment. Plus, learn how to make your own natural bug repellent with essential oils at home.

One of the joys of traveling is immersing oneself in nature. However, do you know who else thrives in this environment? Insects! To maintain your tranquility (and protect your blood 😰) during your trip, a good bug repellent is essential. To ensure it doesn’t harm your body or the ecosystem, it’s best to choose a more natural mosquito repellent.

Discover the risks associated with using chemical repellents, why natural repellents should be a staple in every responsible traveler’s toiletry bag, what are the best brands available in the USA, how to make your own homemade repellent, and much more!

Disadvantages of chemical/synthetic repellents

Repellents are excellent allies in protecting our skin from mosquito bites. However, despite their practicality and long-lasting effects, traditional products commonly found on the market contain components that can be harmful to both health and the environment.

DEET is a prime example of such ingredients. It is the main component in many chemical repellents; while not banned, its use should be controlled. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), DEET can be toxic in high concentrations, particularly for children. Other commonly feared ingredients include parabens and mineral oil. Furthermore, chemical repellents can be toxic to birds and aquatic life.

Why use natural insect repellent

Natural repellents, often formulated with citronella extract, are less harmful to both the body and the environment. They offer additional benefits, such as skin hydration, thanks to the vegetable oils commonly found in these products.

Beyond protecting our bodies, natural repellents also safeguard rivers and oceans. Their biodegradability allows them to be better absorbed in natural environments, minimizing ecological impact.

⚠️ IMPORTANT: EWG recommends that if you are traveling to an area where there is a risk of insect-borne illnesses, consider using a product with picaridin at a 5 to 20 percent concentration, DEET at a 7 to 10 percent concentration, or IR3535 at a 20 percent concentration.

Discover the natural repellents we recommend to help you enjoy your outdoor adventures with peace of mind.

Natural repellents for adults and kids

There are natural and semi-natural repellents for adults and kids that are highly effective. See below for some recommendations.

Interesting fact: Adult repellents contain more complex ingredients and often have a stronger scent compared to those designed for babies.

1. Sallye Ander “No-Bite-Me”

SallyeAnder’s All Natural No-Bite-Me™ Bug Repellent is generating a lot of buzz, and it’s not just because of the product’s quality. People love it for the brand’s values, which are evident in the ingredients they use. This organic repellent is free from DEET, coconut and palm oil, artificial chemicals, and synthetic ingredients. So, what do they use? Olive and soy oil bases, pure, edible, organic ingredients, and essential oils, all handmade in the USA.

The brand offers their natural repellent in two forms: cream and soap. It can also be used as an after-bite cream to relieve itching. It is suitable for adults, children, and pets.

SallyeAnder’s All Natural No-Bite-Me™ Bug Repellent
SallyeAnder’s 100% Natural No-Bite-Me™ Mosquito Repellent

Pros: It also functions as an after-bite cream and contains excellent natural ingredients.

Cons: Occasionally, the cream may separate due to the oil, requiring you to mix it before use.

Protection Duration: 4 hours.

Safe for Children: Suitable from infancy onwards.


  • Soap: $8.95*
  • Cream: 2 oz – $14.95*, 8 oz – $39.95*

2. Badger Anti-Bug

Badger offers an extensive range of natural outdoor products, including sunscreen and insect repellent. Within their repellent line, they provide options such as spray, balm, and stick, which can be conveniently combined. For instance, a spray is ideal for applying over your clothes, while you might prefer a balm or stick for other areas.

All of Badger’s repellent options effectively protect against mosquitoes and other bugs. They use 95% organic ingredients and avoid DEET and synthetic chemicals, making it a perfect choice for families. It’s suitable for all ages, including toddlers. Additionally, Badger’s anti-bug repellent is eco-friendly and produced in a solar-powered facility in the USA by a women-owned and operated family business.

Badger stick Deet Free Anti-Bug Repellent
Badger Deet-Free Anti-Bug Repellent

Pros: A wide variety of products to choose from, allowing you to find your favorite.

Cons: The scent can be strong for toddlers or those with sensitive noses.

Safe for Children: Suitable for toddlers and older.

Protection Duration: 3 hours.


  • Balm: $5.95*
  • Stick: $7.99*
  • Spray: 2.7 oz $9.89* or 4 oz $11.80*

3. Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent

Murphy’s Naturals offers a comprehensive range of mosquito repellents for both personal use and your surroundings. For personal application, you can choose from a balm stick, balm tin, regular spray, spray mist, and body wipes. This brand is highly recommended for outdoor activities. Their formula consists of 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus, 70% distilled water, and ethanol derived from corn.

If you prefer not to apply products directly to your skin or seek additional protection, Murphy’s Naturals also provides refillable candles, regular candles, incense sticks, incense cones, wipes, and tea lights. All these products are made with natural ingredients. It’s important to note that these items are designed for outdoor use only and should not be burned indoors.

Murphy's Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent Spray
Murphy’s Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent Spray

Pros: Ideal for outdoor use.

Cons: Contains ethanol, which may irritate sensitive skin. Effective only against mosquitoes.

Safe for Children: Suitable for toddlers and older.

Protection Duration: Body repellent lasts for 6 hours.


  • Balm Stick: 3 units for $17.97*
  • Balm Tin: $14.98*
  • Regular Spray: 4 oz for $9.59* or 6 oz for $16.99*
  • Spray Mist: 6 oz for $16.99*
  • Refillable Candle: 1 unit for $32.99*
  • Regular Candle: 1 unit for $9.99*
  • Incense Sticks: 12 units for $11.99*
  • Incense Cones: 1 unit for $13.99*
  • Tea Lights: 12 units for $13.99*
  • Wipes: $8.29*

4. Beat IT! All Natural Deet-Free Insect Repellent

If you’re seeking protection for your entire family, Beat IT! might be the perfect bug repellent for you. It is safe for use on adults, children, infants, and even pets, including horses. It promises to protect against all kinds of bugs, including household pests, with a protection duration of about 8 hours.

The ingredients in Beat IT! repellent include lemongrass oil, mint oils, citronella, coconut oil, and H2O. The product is packaged in an aluminum spray bottle, making it easy to apply.

Beat IT! All Natural Deet-Free Insect Repellent
Beat IT! All Natural Deet-Free Mosquito Repellent

Pros: The protection lasts a long time and it can be used on pets and horses.

Cons: It wears off quickly if you are sweating.

Safe for children: Suitable for infants and older.

Protection duration: 8 hours


  • 8 oz: $14.25*

5. Sky Organics Organic Bug Spray

The Sky Organics Organic Bug Spray is crafted with minimal, pure, and organic ingredients (USDA Certified Organic) to enhance your routine. It is free from DEET, alcohol, and harsh additives. This bug spray utilizes natural, plant-based elements like citronella and lemongrass. It can be used on children under adult supervision.

Furthermore, it is a great option for outdoor use, but you need to reapply it every two to three hours and after bathing, swimming, or sweating. The insect repellent comes in a convenient aluminum spray bottle, making it easy to apply and spread.

Sky Organics Organic Bug Spray
Sky Organics Organic Bug Spray

Pros: Made with only natural ingredients.

Cons: The packaging may leak.

Safe for children: Yes, but the brand does not specify an age range.

Protection duration: 2 hours


  • 4 oz: $19.95*

Natural repellent for babies 

Typically, repellents are only recommended for toddlers and older children, but babies also need protection. That’s why we have brought two options specifically for the little ones. Please note that these can be used from 6 months of age.

6. California Baby Natural Bug Repellent Spray

California Baby’s Natural Bug Spray provides a practical, DEET-free solution with the pleasant aromas of citronella and lemongrass essential oils to repel mosquitoes and insects. This natural repellent is safe for babies 6 months and older, allergy-tested, free from common allergens, and includes soothing ingredients like calendula and aloe vera to calm irritated skin from existing bug bites.

Additionally, this bug repellent is produced on their own certified organic farm in Santa Barbara, where they cultivate calendula to enhance the purity and sustainability of their products.

California Baby Natural Bug Repellent Spray
California Baby Natural Mosquito Repellent Spray

Pros: Easy to apply, mild fragrance.

Cons: Needs frequent reapplication due to its natural and gentle formulation designed for babies.

Safe for children: 6 months and older

Protection Duration: 30 minutes


  • 2 oz for $12.99*

7. Yaya Organics Baby Bug BAN – All-Natural

YAYA’s Baby Bug Ban is an all-natural mosquito repellent made with therapeutic-grade essential oils such as geranium, certified organic castor, and soybean oils. It is ideal for sensitive skin and babies aged 6 months and older. This family-friendly spray has been independently lab-tested for efficacy and is perfect for outdoor adventures, travel, camping, and hiking.

The spray ensures easy application, while the 100% plant-based, vegan, and cruelty-free formula provides a fresh floral scent that bugs detest. Free from DEET, synthetics, alcohol, and other harsh chemicals, this eco-friendly and biodegradable bug spray is extra gentle on delicate skin, making it a must-have for protecting little ones.

YAYAs Baby Bug Ban all-natural mosquito repellent
YAYAs Baby Bug Ban all-natural mosquito repellent

Pros: Easy to apply, made with organic ingredients.

Cons: Can be a bit oily.

Safe for children: 6 months and older

Protection Duration: No information available


  • 4oz $13.99*

How to make a natural mosquito repellent

Have you ever considered making your own natural insect repellent (DIY) at home, using the power of essential oils to not only protect yourself from insects but also enjoy benefits like skin hydration? Give this recipe a try and let us know your thoughts!

How to make a natural mosquito repellent spray?
Learn how to make your own natural insect repellent (DIY)

How to make a natural mosquito repellent spray?

  • Gather the ingredients

    Collect the following ingredients for this natural bug repellent recipe:

    – 3.40 oz grape seed oil
    – 6.76 oz almond oil
    – 0.17 oz lemongrass essential oil
    – 0.13 oz orange blossom essential oil
    – 0.06 oz rosemary essential oil

  • Prepare a bottle:

    Select a 10 oz amber bottle with a spray nozzle. Clean the bottle thoroughly and disinfect it with 70% alcohol.

  • Mix Ingredients:

    Pour all the ingredients into the bottle, secure the lid, and shake well. Once blended, you can spray this homemade natural mosquito repellent on your skin and enjoy your day. For convenience, you can fill small spray bottles for beach outings or hikes.

    Note: Always shake before use!

Other ways to protect against mosquitoes

In addition to using repellent, there are several other methods to protect yourself from mosquitoes, some well-known and others less so.

Invest in mosquito screens

Install transparent mosquito screens on doors and windows. This is undoubtedly the most effective way to keep insects out of your home while allowing air and light to circulate. There are discreet and transparent screens available that are worth the investment.

Wear long clothes

Dress in long-sleeved clothing that covers most of your body; this creates a protective barrier against many mosquitoes. Opt for lightweight cotton clothes to stay comfortable while keeping mosquitoes at bay.

Avoid certain colors

Avoid wearing black, red, orange, and cyan, as studies show these colors attract Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Conversely, green, purple, blue, and white are less attractive to mosquitoes. Wearing light-colored clothes on trails, as suggested by locals during my stay in the Amazon, significantly deterred mosquitoes.

Apply repellent on clothing

In mosquito-prone areas, apply repellent directly to your clothing while on a trail to enhance protection.

Use a fan

Use a fan to disperse your body’s scent and confuse mosquitoes. Running it at maximum speed can even disrupt the flight of these insects.

Promote Mosquito Predators

Encourage mosquito predators like geckos, frogs, and spiders. While you don’t have to share your bed with them, allowing them to live peacefully around your home helps maintain the food chain and reduces the number of mosquitoes in your vicinity.


Why do repellents keep mosquitoes away?

Repellents contain ingredients that confuse the insects’ antennae, which they use to locate their target by scent. Unable to smell their prey, mosquitoes avoid approaching humans.

What repellent can pregnant women use?

Pregnant women can use repellents that are safe for children. For more options, check out some natural repellents specifically recommended for pregnant women here.

What mosquito repellent is safe for babies?

Babies can use infant repellents starting at 6 months old, but it is crucial to consult a pediatrician until they reach 2 years of age. Here are some alternatives.

How do you protect babies under 6 months from mosquitoes?

To protect babies under 6 months from mosquitoes, take the following precautions:
– Use protective screens in the room.
– Dress them in light, natural fabrics that cover most of their body.
– Close windows and doors before sunset.
– Keep the surroundings clean to prevent mosquito breeding.

What bug spray is safe for kids?

The ideal bug spray for children should be age-appropriate and primarily made from natural ingredients. Good options available on the market include YAYA Organics and California Baby Natural Children’s Repellent.

What is the best mosquito natural repellent?

I personally like to use the SallyeAnder’s All Natural No-Bite-Me™ Bug balm repellent and get additional protection with the Sky Organics Organic Bug Spray.

Do you have any more tips? Share in the comments.

Enjoy your everyday life and nature trails with protection and awareness! 💚

🦊 Sincere fox informs:

  • The prices mentioned in this article were collected in May 2024, are available for reference only, and are subject to change.
  • This post contains affiliate links, which means that when you buy a product or service after clicking on our links, LMTM earns a commission that helps us maintain free content for all traveling foxes around the world, including yourself. ✌🏽🦊
  • The images were collected from the brands’ websites or Amazon.

Read more: