Picnicking, gardening or doing most any summer outdoor activity means having to endure pesky mosquitoes and bothersome gnats…

And local health store owners say customers can’t get enough of these organic bug-repelling solutions. The market for green bug repellents has evolved into products that come in a variety of forms – from patches you wear on your skin to towelettes you wipe on in a flash. There are even organic bug repellent sprays made for your home and garden…

Health store owners say the sprays use the power of flowers to ward off insects. Plants such as citronella are Mother Nature’s bug repellents and have worked for centuries to shoo away the critters. The plants give off odors that insects don’t like…

The sprays work just as well as the standard bug sprays without the potential hazards, health store owners say. The natural bug repellents are made by using extracts from plants and are then blended with other natural oils. A lot of the green bug spray brands contain many of the same ingredients such as beeswax, citronella, rosemary and lemon grass…

“What they’ve done is distill the (essential) oils from the plants, and they are very potent and concentrated,” Pilson says. “I think people are just really trying to get back to basics…”

Natural bug sprays don’t carry the same chemical smell as sprays that contain DEET. But, Davis says, “It’s not an odor-free product. It usually smells lemony or like citrus. When you put it on, you smell it for a little while and it dissipates…”

“They are very effective and just so safe for you to use,” she says. “Pretty much most people just slather it on any exposed skin. I never had any complaints about it staining clothes.”

— FayObserver.com, Fayetteville, North Carolina, July 2009
http://www.fayobserver.com/Articles/2009/07/14/915739

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