These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils unless they are working with a licensed healthcare provider.
I like to tell my readers about natural pest control solutions. That’s because they offer a great alternative to potentially toxic chemicals.
In our house, you won’t find chemical bug sprays. Instead, we use natural essential oils to keep the ants away. In the spring, they like to invade. Last year, though, they seemed to stay away. I like to think it’s because they hate the smell of a certain essential oil I was putting on my kitchen sponge, before wiping down the kitchen counters.
A lot of the icky creatures we don’t want in our house hate essential oils. Although these aromatic plant extracts are pleasing to us, not so to pests. For instance, ants hate the smell of peppermint oil. So do mice. One year I put cotton balls soaked with peppermint essential oil in various places around my house, as a means of natural rodent control.
All Natural Bug Repellent for Kids
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There are a number of all natural bug repellents on the market . The active ingredients are essential oils. Depending upon the mix of oils used, they may or may not be appropriate for young children under the age of 2. Some may not be safe for children under 10. That’s why I recommend running the idea of using an essential oil based product with your pediatrician, if you buy it off the shelf.
Essential oils are wildly popular. They are also very safe, when used as directed. However, because they’re outside the realm of mainstream medicine, everyone seems to have a different opinion on their correct use. When writing for public consumption, I tend to defer to a company called Plant Therapy.
Plant Therapy is one of the leaders in the aromatherapy industry. What I like is that its advice on safe use of essential oils seems to err on caution. This is very important, because everyone is different. Something that doesn’t cause a reaction in 100 people may do so in a very sensitive individual. I like starting from the point that everyone is potentially sensitive.
Chemical Free Non Toxic Bug Sprays
A number of chemical-free bug sprays have hit the market. These products are made with natural plant-based extracts, instead of chemicals. The most common ingredient in all of these products is lemon eucalyptus oil. This aromatic extract is often used as a natural substitute for DEET, the acronym for the chemical named diethyltoluamide. DEET has been linked to a number of health problems, including increased risk of seizure and mood disturbances.
So, unless you’re traveling to an area with dangerous mosquito-born diseases, it makes a certain amount of sense to go as non-toxic as possible. (Talk to your doctor about using essential oils on young children, though.) However, since I’m not a doctor, and I can’t give medical advice, I urge you to speak with your pediatrician to arrive at an appropriate mosquito control plan.
All Natural Bug Spray for Kids
You can probably find all natural bug spray for kids at your local health food store. If not, you can also order these plant-based sprays online.
Since these botanic bug sprays are likely made with essential oils, it might be recommended that they aren’t used on babies or children under the age of 2. I’d also avoid using these essential oil sprays if I were pregnant or nursing. Also, essential oils are strong and volatile. So you need to be careful not to spray them near the eyes.
I haven’t checked out every single natural spray on the market. But I assume the majority contain lemon eucalyptus oil, one aromatic that’s been shown to be effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay. It’s believed to also be good at repelling ticks and other insects. (maybe cite some research here)
All Natural Bug Repellent Recipe
If you don’t mind doing a little mixing, you can easily make your own bug spray with a bottle of essential oil. I own a number of essential oils, and I’ve gotten used to making my own cosmetics and personal care products. Essential oils are some of the active ingredients in the new wave of all natural cosmetics that have hit the market in recent years. However, I prefer making my own skin creams and moisturizers. So the thought of making a bug spray doesn’t phase me, because I know how easy it is.
Child Safe Bug Spray Products
Earlier, I wrote a post about making bug spray with citronella essential oil. This is one of the essential oils that’s often used for natural bug control. However, another aromatic known as lemon eucalyptus essential oil appears to be even more effective at protecting against mosquito bites, according to the Environmental Working Group.
That’s why you’ll often find both of these essential oils in all natural commercial sprays, as well as DIY buy spray recipes. Actually, I think it’s a good idea to use multiple essential oils at once. That’s because it’s believed this creates a more powerful synergy.
DIY Child Safe Bug Spray Recipe
If you spend any time on social media, especially during the spring, you’ll see a lot of recipes for DIY bug spray. However, not all essential oils are appropriate children. That’s why a growing number of essential oil companies have a special line of aromatics known to be safe for children over the age of two. Plant Therapy, for instance, has an extensive KidSafe line that includes a natural bug formula called Shield Me. So it makes sense to make a bug spray with oils that have already been vetted for safety, as far as children are concerned. Anyway, here’s any easy recipe to make a bug spray for children. (Please don’t spray it near the eyes.)
4 ounce spray bottle (You can get one here)
2 ounces of distilled water or pure spring water
2 ounces of alcohol-free witch hazel (You can find it here). This product may not be sold at your local drugstore. I’ve never seen it at mine.
10 drops of KidSafe Plant Therapy Shield Me (It’s available here)