Bug sprays that won’t make you cry

Here are some great alternatives to DEET mosquito repellents. Source: Shutterstock.

THE great outdoors is an adventure playground.

Whether it’s hiking through jungles, clambering over sand dunes, swimming the deep blue or just lying on the grass watching the clouds dance pass, nothing beats it.

But with the great outdoors comes the great pain in the backside, legs, arms, face, feet, and hands caused by mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes have a knack of ruining what’s supposed to be a fun day. They even come over in the night when the doors are shut, the lights are out, and you’re trying to sleep until you hear buzzing right in your ear.

When they bite, the human body reacts by sending a rush of white blood cells to the bite as a histamine response which causes the bite to itch unbearably.

However, if you get away with an itchy bite for a few hours after being bitten, consider yourself lucky. For thousands of years, mosquitoes have bedevilled humans and brought about deadly diseases such as the Zika virus, malaria, and dengue fever.

There’s no absolute way to protect yourself from mosquitoes, except from getting your necessary jabs if you’re going to a high-risk destination, sleeping under a mosquito net, and lathering on mosquito repellent.

Thankfully there are some proven methods to deter mosquitoes from feeding on you:


Mosquitoes hate the smell of citronella as much as humans hate waiting for a delayed bus in the rain.

Citronella is a cheap and easy plant to buy and grow in your garden.

Source: Shutterstock.

The leaves work well on their own as a repellent and the plant can also be turned into candles and oil.

Lemon eucalyptus oil 

DEET products already contain lemon eucalyptus oil as the two ingredients work well at repelling mosquitoes.

Lemon eucalyptus oil works just fine too with researchers claiming it can repel mosquitoes for up to three hours.


Keep your cats happy while repelling mosquitoes with catnip.

Source: Shutterstock.

Catnip contains the essential oil nepetalactone which has been found to be effective at repelling mosquitoes.


Having garlic breath or garlic-smelling sweat is usually an annoyance but if you’re trying to scare away mosquitoes, it’s brilliant.

Sitting in an area where garlic is growing will also keep them away.

Cinnamon oil

In ancient Roman times, cinnamon was considered more valuable than gold as it contains so many beneficial properties.

Cinnamon oil is known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-diabetic, and anti-cancer properties. It also drives away mosquitoes.

Source: Shutterstock.

Cinnamon oil is incredibly strong though so it needs to be diluted with water and then sprayed in a mist form onto your skin.


Normally reserved for the Christmas ham, cloves also work wonders at keeping the mosquitoes away.

If you’ve got some spare cloves in the cupboard, decant them into a teabag-like sachet and carry them around with you.