It’s bug season in New England. Blackflies, mosquitos, deer flies, no-see-ums, and even the ticks are moving northward to invade us.
Being a child playing all day outside can be a feast for these crawly creatures. Right now both my girls have big blackfly bites on their scalps, where it is hard to apply insect repellents.
Over the years, I’ve tried many natural bug repellents, some combination SPF and insect repellents. Most of them have relatively good safety ratings of 3 or under on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. This is a good place to check out to see if your favorite brand has troublesome chemicals, or is one of the safer products.
Here are a few of my favorites:
*California Baby Insect Repellent (good because it is a spray, not greasy and can be easily applied to clothes and scalps)
*All Terrain SPF and Bug Repellent (this has a 3 rating on EWG, which is not great, but is nice if you want to carry only one bottle for both the sun and bugs)
*Burt’s Bees Insect Repellent (kind of greasy, but works well)
All of these carry the lovely citronella scent that will get anyone noticed in a room. But the odor is most certainly better than the chemical DEET smell, and has far fewer health consequences for the whole family. You can also check out my picks for safer sunscreens at Non-Toxic Kids. Now you can get those kids outside without worrying!