A local blogger group was having a conversation over bug sprays and repellents because it’s that time of year and it got me thinking I should post my tips and pointers here, not just on Facebook. Now I’m not perfect and my kids swell up when they get bug bites so I do whatever I can to avoid the nasty little blood sucking creators! This at times means I choose a good enough brands that may not be 100% non-toxic but prevents my children from looking like they have hives and suffering the itching, oh the itching is terrible! With camping season in full swing I’m shopping and packing things up so were ready to roll at any given time. I’m always trying new products and replenishing my supply!

Here are a few of the bug repellents I’ve tried over the years and will seek to buy again this year, including making my own homemade repellent (it’s good for light bug days but it is a bit greasy):

Cutter Natural Insect Repellent – It is affordable but as SafeMama points out it has toxic ingredients like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and runs the risk of 1,4 dioxane so it is far from perfect and not so “natural” as the marketing claims. Our family, however, likes that it is DEET free, easy to find at our local grocery store and is affordable. Best of all it doesn’t smell bad and we’ve found it to be effective. Our Michigan bugs bite badly so we need effective!

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Badger Anti-Bug Sunscreen – I like how this kills two birds with one stone but I also like how it is effective. The key to using this anti-bug spray and sunscreen is rubbing it in good. I’ve found it to be thick and very white…which means we have to rub well and make sure the ears, backs of knees and elbows are covered because the blood suckers like those areas. This is a great all-in-one product for camping or overnight summer camp. It is not, however, a product that is cheap but Badger has a commitment to safety and that makes me feel better about spending the extra cash. I just have to make sure I stock up on it because I can’t find it locally very easily. Their bug balm is also very easy to carry in my purse or backpack and we use that too!

DEET Free Bug Band– I dig these because my kids don’t come to bed smelling like greasy bug spray! They are DEET free and the sent repels the bugs and I actually do not mind the scent the kids haven’t complained. They work for up to 120 hours and I have my kids wear one on the wrist and one on their ankle. I find that the knees and legs get bit up if I don’t do this. A great product if I can keep them stocked but I often forget or run out and don’t reorder! Bad mom!

So these are my three favorite bug repellent options for kids. I like to keep my options open and I’m always experimenting and trying new ones but of course I’d like to go as natural and kid friendly as possible. Even making my own when I remember or prepare in advance but it is a little messy and greasy. Be sure to check out SafeMama and her guide for safe options!

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What natural and effective bug sprays do you use or recommend?

Why not? Great tips for free!

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