Natural Insect Repellent | Effective & Safe Bug Repellents 

Some insects carry viruses and parasites that are a global public health concern. Their bites can cause not only disease but irritation too. If you’re tired of dealing with itchy, bumpy skin resulting from insect bites, then natural insect repellents are the solution for you. They’ll come in handy if you enjoy hanging out in the great outdoors; fishing, hiking, or camping.

In this blog article, we’ll explore some natural insect repellents and discuss their benefits as well as the risks associated with using chemical insect repellents.

Risks of Using Chemical Insect Repellents 

People use chemical insect repellents to keep annoying bugs away. These are available on most store shelves, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t contain harmful ingredients. Most of the species you encounter, whether in liquid, lotion, or spray form, will most probably contain DEET, which repels mosquitoes and other biting bugs. These repellents work by blocking the bugs’ ability to smell humans. They, however, have the potential to cause health problems like:

  1. Tears and pain if they touch the eyes.
  2. Irritation, rashes, and swelling if they touch hypersensitive skin.
  3. Nausea and vomiting if accidentally ingested.
  4. Neurotoxicity (damage of nerves) and sunburn if applied underneath sunscreen.

The hack when using chemical insect repellents is to:

  1. Not use too much product.
  2. Not apply on wounds, irritated skin, or mucous membranes.
  3. Not apply on hands or around the mouth and eyes.
  4. Wash it off as soon as you’re back indoors and safe from insect bites.

Benefits of Choosing Natural Insect Repellent Products

Natural insect repellents do not contain toxic chemicals as they’re made using natural plant oils, yet research has indicated that they’re effective just like their commercial counterparts. This makes them better for you, your family, and your pet’s health. 

Let’s dig deeper into the benefits of using a natural insect repellent.

1. Safe for Health

Natural bug repellents do not contain any harsh chemicals like DEET which is the active ingredient in most commercial bug repellents. This makes them better for use on the skin and safer for the nervous system.

2. Safe for the Environment

Not only do the natural insect repellents have fewer side effects on humans and pets but they’re also safer for the environment. This is because they contain biodegradable ingredients. Chemical repellents are not biodegradable and are, therefore, harmful to the environment when released into the water or air. 

3. Pleasant Smell

Natural bug repellents smell a lot better than chemical bug repellents. The mental and emotional benefits of the pleasant smell are explained further in aromatherapy education.

Most have a scent that resembles either of the following because insects hate these fragrances: orange, lemon, mint grapefruit, lavender, citronella, vinegar, etc.

4. Very Versatile and Effective

Natural bug repellents can either come as sprays or lotions. This allows users to choose the version that best suits their preferences.

Additionally, they have been proven to work against different types of bugs like mosquitoes, fleas, flies, and ticks.

5. More Affordable

Overall, chemical repellents are more expensive compared to natural repellents. This is particularly true if you need to use them frequently. Natural repellents are affordable when bought and can also be made at home using simple ingredients like carrier oils, herbs, and vinegar. 

Best Natural Insect Repellents by Nila

As more people are turning to natural solutions to ward off bugs, the options in the market are becoming more diverse. In this section, we’ll take a look at our top 8 recommendations, to make things easier for you when choosing a natural insect repellent that works.

1. Clove Absolute 

Clove Absolute has warm, spicy notes that blend beautifully with floral notes. It’s useful in providing pain relief, digestive support, and bug repulsion.

This product is a rapid-acting natural repellent against bugs like anopheles mosquito, thrips, armyworms mites, and arthropod pests. It may also be used to kill mold while still deodorizing the area naturally.

Nila Clove Absolute.
Nila Clove Absolute.

2. Lemongrass c/t Rhodinol 

This essential oil is made from a rare variety of lemongrass giving it a softer, less herbaceous scent compared to regular lemongrass. It has a refreshing citrus scent with delicate floral notes and is gentle on the skin.

Some of the bugs repelled by lemongrass c/t rhodinol are mosquitoes and house flies. Due to the odor, it also helps deter pests like cockroaches and bugs like ticks that can make life uncomfortable.

Nila Lemongrass c/t Rhodinol.
Nila Lemongrass c/t Rhodinol.

3. Patchouli 

The Patchouli essential oil has a distinct earthy aroma that banishes lethargy and negates depression. It’s also used in skin care to reduce inflammation, assist in wound healing, and address skin ailments.

Thanks to its strong scent, it’s also used as an insect repellent providing 100% protection for over 4 hours. Patchouli is used against bothersome mosquitos, moths, flies, ants, and fleas.

Nila Patchouli.
Nila Patchouli.

4. Lemon Eucalyptus 

Lemon Eucalyptus shouldn’t be confused with eucalyptus, lemon, lemon balm, lemon verbena, or lemongrass, as they aren’t the same. 

This essential oil is used for various medical reasons like treating colds, fevers, respiratory infections, joint pain, and osteoarthritis. It also contains chemicals that kill fungi and repel mosquitos, ticks, spiders, lice, roaches, and ants.

Nila Lemon Eucalyptus.
Nila Lemon Eucalyptus.

5. Citronella

This oil has a rich, crisp, lemon-like scent which is very helpful in air purification. It also has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties.

Citronella is a common natural and effective repellent for mosquitos, flies, gnats, ticks, and other bothersome pests. Its distinctive odor works against bugs just as effectively as commercial repellents offering protection for up to 2 hours.

Nila Citronella.
Nila Citronella.

6. Cajeput 

Cajeput oil is used in food and in alternative medicine to treat inflammation, skin infections, colds, congestion, headaches, toothaches, joint pain, muscle pain, and other conditions.

The oil is used to effectively repel pests such as ants and mosquitos. It not only helps protect the skin from bites but may also be used to soothe the skin around the bite and relieve any symptoms of itching.

Nila Cajeput.
Nila Cajeput.

7. Natural Mosquito Repellent 

This natural mosquito repellent from Nila has a refreshing aroma and comprises the best insect-repelling formulation. It contains Methyl Anthranilate which is an effective compound against insect’s host-seeking ability. Together with essential oils, it repels mosquitoes by interfering with and inhibiting their carbon dioxide and body odor-seeking receptors.

This alcohol-based mosquito repellent offers long-lasting protection against mosquitoes and other bugs. It works similarly to the non-alcoholic-based repellent and is suitable for use by adults, apart from pregnant women and children below 3 years.

Nila Natural Mosquito Repellent & Natural Insect Repellent
Nila Natural Mosquito Repellent.

8. Unscented Body Lotion 

This lotion base is made using a luxurious formula that enables it to be easily absorbed into the skin for a smooth and refreshing finish. It is lightweight and hydrating, designed for everyday use in combination with your favorite essential oils.

The unscented body lotion is available at our shop and is gentle yet effective in moisturizing all skin types and is suitable for use as a hand cream or body lotion.

Nila Unscented Body Lotion.
Nila Unscented Body Lotion.

Other Natural Bug & Insect Repellents 

Are you on the hunt for more natural options for keeping bugs at bay? Maybe you have hypersensitive skin or just prefer to use the ingredients you have in your home. Here’s a list of some temporary natural insect repellents you can find at home:

  1. Garlic – useful in repelling ticks, beetles, and mosquitoes for up to 30 minutes.
  2. Thyme – helps repel mosquitoes for up to 90 minutes.
  3. Castor oil – used as a pesticide, especially against the dengue fever-carrying mosquito and the bruchid beetle. 
  4. Cinnamon oil – wards off ticks, acts as a repellent against adult mosquitoes, especially the Asian tiger mosquito, and kills off mosquito eggs. Effective for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  5. Peppermint oil – an effective insect repellent that keeps away spiders and mosquitoes for up to 3 hours.


Many insect repellents on the market help prevent insect bites. Some of these are chemical-based while others are made from naturally occurring ingredients. The latter are just as effective and a great alternative, especially, for pregnant women and children who are more risk-prone when using chemical-based insect repellents. 

Visit Nila to shop for unique natural insect repellents and have fun while staying safe from bug bites. We have different options, so you’re sure to find one that works for you and your loved ones.

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