While most people opt for chemical laden insect repellents to keep mosquitos and other pests away during the summer months, there is concern that these chemicals act as endocrine disrupters and neurotoxins and can impact one’s health. Luckily, there are natural alternatives that can safely and effectively do the job.

Most natural insect repellents contain a variety of essential oils including eucalyptus, citronella, catnip and lemonbalm. These scents are off-putting to the pests but require dilution before they can be used topically by both humans and pets. Below are some of my favourite brands of natural insect repellents containing already diluted essential oils that are safe on the whole family and pets.

  1. Green Beaver Andiroba Outdoor Lotion – This company is a favourite of the Lakeside Natural Health Centre team. It offers a blend of skin soothing andiroba and soybean oil as well as lemongrass to deter insects. Health Canada recognizes soybean oil as an effective and safe insect repellent.
  2. Clinical Luxury by Nature Outdoor Spray – Based on a traditional Métis recipe, this non-irritating, unscented formula (which has undergone efficacy testing at The University of Guelph) works amazingly well to keep critters away from your skin.
  3. LaLa Soap Company Buzz Off! Natural Spray for Outdoor Play –  This is a local company from Milton, Ontario and is  available at Whole Foods Market in both Oakville and Mississauga. I have used this on myself and my dog with good results.
  4. Druide Insect Repellent – This company offers an extensive line of insect repellent lotion, soap, shampoo and shower gel so protection can be layered for the best effect. This is a great product line for days spent at the cottage.

This post was contributed by Dr. Jen Newell, ND. For more great information from Dr. Jen Newell, visit newellnd.ca/blog