Non-Toxic Bug Spray – Is There a Green Solution

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As much as we love the summer, we’re far less keen on the constant drone of bugs, and the inevitable feasting of those aforementioned bugs upon our flesh.

So how to enjoy the heat without becoming a tasty morsel offered up to the insect world?


Why not just use chemicals?

Of course, the obvious solution is to plaster yourself in bug spray. However, there are two pretty compelling reasons why chemical based sprays are not the way forward; first, DEET and other similar repellents have been found to have a negative impact on the environment. A study from France discovered that DEET could have a toxic effect on the nervous systems of mammals as well as insects.

Another equally significant reason to lay off the chemical sprays is this — they repel both bugs and humans alike (at least in intimiate situations). If you don’t mind forgoing holiday frolicking, this is fine. On the other hand, if you’d like to have some summer fun but without the bugs, you can try some of lifehacker’s alternative solutions, or keep reading below.


The DEET free details:

1 – Remove any stagnant water.

Mosquitoes just adore laying their eggs on any stagnant or standing water. So scour the vicinity for any water that might be a bug magnet: paddling pools, buckets and gutters. If removing the water isn’t an option, then cover with window screen and attach securely to the top.

2 – Ditch your trash.

It’s self evident that flies and ants appreciate garbage, so don’t give them a chance to move in. Remove trash cans as far away as possible — without offending your neighbours of course.

3 – Use Essential oils.

Citronella candles can be extremely effective, though only within a four-foot radius, so it’s important to use several candles if you’re outside. Citronella creams, or body lotion mixed with citronella extract are also worth using, and smell far more pleasant than the chemical options.

4 – Get building your own bug trap.

This is by far the most fun option, though with fun comes an increased possibility of disaster. Here’s the most simple bug trap: get a clear bottle, and tie string around the mouth of the bottle, and use this string to hang the bottle nearby. Then mix together sugar and vinegar, pour into the bottle. Cut up some fruit to further entice the bugs. If sadism’s your bag, then add more holes to the bottle for further insect encouragement.

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