Natural insect repellents?

I would like to use an insect repellent that doesn’t have any harmful chemicals in them. Maybe some kinda essential oil or something? Research shows that repellents with deet in them are harmful to salamander larvae.

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Welcome to the forum! You may be interested in this thread. I might add that DEET is recommended by health experts for regions where insect-borne illnesses are common and lethal.


Lots of aromatic plants can help repel insects. Look up which ones would be native/suitable to your area and what their uses are - some species repels certain insects better than others.

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My insect repellent I use works so well. It is fully organic and natural.
This insect repellent uses citronella and peppermint. I used this while walking through tick hell and got no ticks on me.

The leaves of Callicarpa americana (American Beautyberry) can be used as a natural mosquito repellent. Check out this article:


You will find that a good health food store will sell several different natural insect repellents that are a mixture of various essential oils.

For example, there is one called Repel. And I have used one called Bug Off.
Bug off works great for about 2 hours, but then you need to put more on.

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Lemongrass essential oil works well.
Vinegar works well too.


I use American Beautyberry with very good results and have been using it for over 8 years. Here’s some research on it…

PLEASE DON"T USE DEET…if you are concerned about the environment or sensitive organisms.
DEET gives off a distinct odor, and can damage plastic, rubber and vinyl on clothing, backpacks, glasses, watches and cameras. If it will damage plastics, rubber and such just imagine what it will do sensitive creatures like salamanders, etc and your body.

Permethrin and Health
Permethrin is linked to neurotoxicity, which acts on sodium ion channels, causing repeated nerve impulses. At high levels, it can affect the function of chloride channels, which may result in seizures. One study found that permethrin and DEET, either in combination or alone, were linked to the death of neural cells in various parts of the brain which may lead to many physiological and behavioral issues, including problems with motor skills, learning and memory. Another study found that newborn exposure to permethrin impaired working memory by interfering with neural processing in the frontal lobe of the brain.

Permethrin and the Environment
Permethrin is toxic to fish, aquatic life, and bees.
the residue off of your clothes etc., gets into the water that you come into contact with and kills aquatic life, fish, etc.

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I’ve used Eucalyptus Oil successfully for both mosquitoes and ticks. Spicebush leaf sap also works for keeping gnats off my face for a few minutes. I’m still trying to come up with something that’ll keep stuff off as long as a commercial DEET-based repellant, which lasts longer.


I second that insight on Eucalyptus Oil. I was recently gifted some nice smelling aromatherapy lotion sold by a major retailer of such things. It has Eucalyptus Oil and Tea Extract in it. I happened to rub some on my arms before going to work in my vegetable garden during my mosquito season (I live not far from a marshy water preserve in Florida). It made a normally unpleasant experience quite pleasant!

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