Camping season is in full force and the number one concern always seems to be how to ward off pesky mosquitoes!  Many of us don’t think twice about picking up some bug spray and just misting it all over before stepping out into the woods.  What is especially alarming, is that most bug sprays on the market use the active ingredient, DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) which is known for its neurotoxicity.  While you may be doing some good by avoiding the risks of potentially being bit by a disease carrying insect, you are putting your body at risk for other health hazards.

DEET is an effective pesticide for good reason.  It inhibits the activity of the central nervous system by blocking a certain enzyme in the brain which is involved in the hydrolysis of a neurotransmitter.  In doing so, DEET is playing an essential role in neuron activity that controls your muscles.  In layman’s terms, DEET affects muscle function and in large doses can cause neuromuscular paralysis and death by asphyxiation.  Well, ‘mission accomplished’, we suppose.  Mosquitoes are dead!  And soon you will follow suit.

Okay, so that was a bit dramatic, but certainly you can see that DEET is probably not the best option when it comes to insect repellents.  There are many natural alternatives on the market.

Safe Non-toxic Mosquito Repellents

  • Pheromone-based mosquito traps
  • Electric mosquito traps
  • Herbal insect repellents
  • Citronella candles

Better yet…… Make your own!

Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipe


  1. Choose One Essential Oil:

    citronella oil

    cinnamon oil

    lemon eucalyptus oil

    castor oil

  2. Choose One Carrier Oil or Alcohol:

    olive oil

    sunflower oil

    any other cooking oil


    witch hazel


Mix 1 part essential oil with 10-20 parts carrier oil or alcohol.  Store in a dark spray bottle (keep away from heat and sun).

Camping will be a much more enjoyable experience now that you know how to make your own mosquito repellent!  Plus, you’ll avoid having to apply that awful sticky DEET bug spray.



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