It's mosquito season in most parts of the country, and there's nothing more unfashionable (or annoying) than repeatedly scratching at itchy mosquito bites on various hard-to-reach parts of your body.
You need bug repellent, and you need it fast, but if you're like me, you're a little, well, repelled by the idea of drugstore insect repellent sprays like OFF!
I'll tell you.
Have you ever actually read the back of a bottle of OFF?
It has all kinds of warnings, including one that you need to wash clothing you've sprayed with OFF! before wearing it again, and that you need to wash areas of skin sprayed with OFF! with soap and water as soon as you come inside.
That freaks me out a little bit, especially where my kids are concerned.
So! Last summer, a friend gave me this Geranium Spray from Thistle Farms here in Nashville.
I used it all summer long on my kids and myself, and while it probably is not as effective as OFF!, it was good enough for us. We were basically bug-bite free! What I loved about it was that it's made of geranium oil, lemongrass, citronella, and lavender. I didn't have to worry about washing off the kids every time they came inside. The smell isn't exactly what I'd spritz on for a night out, but it's not offensive, either. I also loved that one bottle lasted us throughout the summer -- that's important since a bottle costs $14.
Best of all, this Geranium Oil is made by women of Magdelene House, a residential program here in Nashville for women who've survived violence, prostitution and addiction. Magdelene House residents help make bed and bath products for Thistle Farms, and 100% of the proceeds from anything you buy at Thistle Farms goes back into the program. Beyond that, the geranium oil used in the insect repellent comes from a cooperative farm in Rwanda that benefits Rwandan women and children who survived the genocide.
Good Lord, if you don't buy a bottle now, YOU'RE CRAZY. (And no, I don't get anything out of telling you about this stuff. But I did just buy two bottles. At full price.)
In the spirit of natural bug repellents, I also tried this BugBand Wristband, a reusable bracelet that promises to repel insects for up to 120 hours.
I wore a wristband while sitting on my front steps, watching the kids play, and it worked up to a point. While I had no mosquito bites on my arms, neck or face, I got quite a few on my ankles. Perhaps I should have worn a BugBand as an anklet, as well!
BugBand writstbands come in several different colors, which you fashionistas will appreciate, and BugBands also offers moist towelettes that you can wipe on your children's skin, as well as a spray.
Finally, I haven't tried Burt's Bees Herbal Insect Repellent, but it has gotten great reviews from customers, who love it for it's lemon oil smell and bug repelling capabilities. At $8.61 on Amazon, it's worth a try ...
Got any all natural bug repellent ideas you can recommend?
Disclosure: I received a BugBand wristband and a few BugBand towelettes in order to try out the product.