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Natural Insect Repellent: If They Aren’t Crawling, They’re Flying

Posted Jun 05 2008 12:00am

I was at my son’s travel soccer tryouts last night. The setting: a beautiful local winery that rents its fields to our town for the kids to play soccer and lacrosse. The winery is surrounded by dense New England forest, the kind every kid dreams about running through if it weren’t for the deer tick checks that inevitably follow each romp.

In New England, we wait a long time to wear tank tops and capris, following our dreadfully long winters, only to be bombarded by flyinmosquito.jpgg, biting bugs of all shapes and sizes. Black flies, gnats, mosquitoes… if you have ever been to New England in the summer, you know what I am taking about. The beauty is like no other, and so are the bugs.

People love to have me around because I am a natural magnet for these venomous creatures. They tend to leave others alone when I am around. Unfortunately for my daughter, I passed this gene on to her.

As a result I have been forced into finding the perfect natural insect repellent, while avoiding conventional sprays that contain DEET. And let me tell you, I have tried them all!

Here’s what works: essential oils of citronella, lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, lemongrass, cedar, peppermint, clove, and geranium.

The down side of these is that they require frequent application to be effective.

My personal favorite formula, Buzz Away Extreme, is made with all natural ingredients (and it smells good, too). Not only did it last an entire soccer practice, but it allowed me to water my garden three hours later, at dusk with not a single bite!!

Dr. Keri Marshall MS, ND is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in holistic pediatrics and women’s medicine.

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