Everything You Need To Know About Natural Bug Spray

Sep 27, 2021

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Last updated on November 9th, 2021 at 06:43 pm

If you are anything like my husband (or kids), you are a natural mosquito magnet – and would probably like to keep yourself (and your kids)  protected from those pesky and itchy bug bites.

It makes me cringe to think about all the toxic products I have used over the years, but the truth is I didn’t know what I didn’t know.  I am so thankful for all the learning that has come my way over the last 10 years.

When it comes to bug spray, many of us reach for bottles of bug spray filled with DEET to keep those pesky blood-sucking pests away.

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DEET also known as N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide is ultimately a pesticide, and I don’t like pesticides, especially toxic ones.

There are numerous studies that suggest that up to 17% of DEET can be absorbed straight into the bloodstream, leading to a whole host of health-related issues.  Unborn babies are not exempt as it has been shown that this toxin can cross the placenta.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) states:

“When EWG started our research, we were particularly concerned about the potential downsides of DEET. We still are. We urge consumers to handle DEET with caution. It is known to irritate the eyes and in intense doses, it may induce neurological damage. In very rare cases, DEET has been reported to impair the nervous system, with symptoms including seizures, tremors, and slurred speech – this most often occurs after exposure to high concentrations of the chemical.”

The Environmental Working Group is such a fantastic resource, bookmark them.

Did you know that the USA and EPA currently allow the sale of insect repellents with up to 100% DEET concentration?  It should also be no surprise that Canada only allows 20-50% for adults and 20-30% for children.  Even the European Union doesn’t recommend using concentrations of 20% or more.   I don’t understand why the United States can’t take a page from Canada or the EU who have always been a little more cautious and have had way higher restrictions on toxic chemicals.

It doesn’t really matter how you feel about DEET, the fact of the matter is, it is a toxin and toxins build up in the body.  It is not a matter of if it will impact your health but rather when it will impact your health.

I always advocate for reducing and limiting exposure to toxins within your reach.  If you can take steps to reduce your toxic load within your control, it will enable your body to handle the daily assault out in the world so much more efficiently.

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My absolute favorite all-natural bug spray!

Nature is simply incredible, with so many natural and effective solutions to promote health and wellness.

If you have been here for a while you know that I am a huge fan of essential oils, and as nature would have it essential oil-based bug sprays and repellants are also very effective.

Our family has been loving and using Primally Pure’s Nature Spray since it came out several years ago, and it works.  Like it really works, my husband and my daughter are mosquito magnets.  We also used it on our regular trips to Africa.  I feel confident spraying this on my kiddos (and myself) knowing that it is protecting their health and preventing those pesky bug bites!

The Primally Pure nature spray is considered as a “medicinal” type of essential oil dilution (11-13%).  This is important because the effectiveness of the spray hinges on the concentration of essential oils.

What are the magical yet natural ingredients in the Primally Pure Nature Spray?

I am so glad you asked….

Citronella::  It works similarly to DEET – masking the smell the body produces that attracts insects, but without all the negative side effects.  Did you know that it has been registered as a plant-based insect repellent in the United States since 1948?
Geranium:: repels insects.
Peppermint:: It is a known fact that bugs absolutely can’t stand peppermint oil, especially spiders.
Rosemary:: H
as a strong smell that bugs absolutely can’t stand.
Cedarwood:: Is effective in repelling ants, ticks, and a bunch of other insects.
Castor oil:: Has an incredibly bitter scent and taste that does a great job at repelling insects.

Another option for a natural and effective bug spray is doTerra’s TerraShield.  I can’t really speak for any other brands because these two are the only ones I have used.

A note on aerosols:
As I have mentioned before in my sunscreen posts, aerosol sprays should always be avoided as they are harmful to both humans and the environment.

Aerosol uses a colorless and orderless chemical propellant that spays the substance onto the skin.  Liquified petroleum gas is made up of butane and propane, and always comes with the “extremely flammable” warning!  That alone is a no thank you in my book.


Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Use code “NURTUREMEWILD” at checkout to save 10% off your entire first order over at Primally Pure!


I personally use DoTerra essential oils.  If you’d like to purchase essential oils at wholesale prices, click here or email me here if you have any questions or would like more information.

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