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If you're looking for DEET free bug spray to protect your skin, USA Love List has researched and discovered several sources made in the USA. Keep reading to find out more!
DEET Free Bug Spray Made in the USA
While vacationing in Florida last February, I brought home an unwanted souvenir: tiny bug bites all over my body. I learned they're called “no-see-ums” because, well, you can't see them! These little flying bugs are smaller than gnats. Had I realized how badly I was getting bitten by them, I obviously would have pulled out my repellent arsenal. While talking with others, I discovered this problem is pretty normal during Florida's late winter-early spring months.
Whether you're vacationing in the South, hiking in the West, or enjoying the outdoors anywhere coast-to-coast, it's always good to have a supply of bug spray. We have found brands of American-made DEET free bug spray to recommend.
What Is DEET and What is the Controversy?
Many bug repellents contain N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), a chemical used to repel mosquitos. DEET is a common ingredient found in bug spray, and the CDC has deemed it safe to use on your skin.
However, many people prefer not to spray anything synthetic on the skin, including DEET. Some people accidentally breathe in the fumes and later feel dizzy or nauseous. And any DEET-infused bug spray should never be used on babies under two months of age.
Others report that DEET dissolves certain plastics or synthetics. While I'm far from experts on the topic, I did read several anecdotes where someone complained of this happening.
Some people prefer not to use synthetic compounds including DEET because they believe these chemicals are harmful to the environment.
For these reasons, manufacturers today offer many DEET-free bug sprays that work remarkably well. The primary ingredients in these sprays typically include:
picaridin, also a synthetic compound that is odorless and non-greasy. Not all DEET-free bug sprays contain picaridin.
lemon eucalyptus oil: PLEASE NOTE: The CDC reports that products containing more than 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus are not safe for children under the age of 3.
You'll find other ingredients in the more naturally-derived bug sprays. Some may contain sesame or coconut oil to help with the application.
How to Apply Bug Spray
Talk to your physician before applying any bug spray to an infant.
Even for older children, never spray directly onto their skin, and don't allow children to apply bug spray themselves. Instead, you should apply the product onto their skin with your hands. Avoid applying to your child's hands because children tend to stick their fingers into their eyes and mouth. And as always, avoid applying near the eyes, nostrils, and mouth.
Do not spray around the face and eyes. To apply on the face, spray first onto your hands and then apply.
Remember that more isn't better. A thin film is sufficient for keeping bugs away.
Shake the container and spray evenly onto your uncovered skin and clothes from about 4 to 8 inches away, or as directed on the label. For lotions and wipes, also follow the label's instructions.
Some sprays protect longer than others, so follow the manufacturer's directions for re-application.
If you can, wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts to protect your skin from bugs.
Always perform a skin check after coming inside from outdoors, and wash off your skin.
Many of the American-made bug sprays are derived from a personal need. A mom or dad desires safe ingredients for their kids and the environment. With research and experimentation, they discover what works while being safe. Most, if not all, of the ingredients, are natural, with some being certified organic.
Several of the websites specifically state their companies aren't large, multi-level conglomerates, but they're family-based businesses. They're simply trying to make a difference in the world.
Keep your loved ones and yourself bug-free with our recommendations while also supporting your American businesses!
Protect Your Skin with DEET Free Bug Sprays Made in the USA
Did we miss your favorite DEET-free bug spray made in the USA? Add it in the article's comments so we can include it in the next update.
Aunt Fannie’s mosquito spray comes both in a spray form and in a wipe. It contains no harsh chemicals and is cruelty-free. It provides up to four hours of protection from mosquitoes when used according to the label’s instructions. Founder Mat Franken named the company after his grandmother. Aunt Fannie’s is located in Oregon.
Babyganics is based in New York. The insect repellent spray is made without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, or dyes. It is made with plant and essential oils of citronella, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, and geranium. The products are not tested on animals.
Badger has been making its products in New Hampshire since 1995. Its Anti-Bug Spray is lab-tested to repel mosquitoes while providing protection with essential oils. It's certified organic and free of synthetic chemicals or petroleum-based products. Badger practices sustainability efforts.
In 2008, the state of Iowa suffered massive flooding. The post-flood stagnant water drew in many gnats, making it difficult to be outside. Bug Soother's founder wanted to make a gentle bug repellent so her 5-month-old grandson could enjoy being outside. She developed a gentle, natural insect repellent that smells great, feels good on the skin, and was safe for her grandson. NOTE: Check with your pediatrician before applying any bug spray on your infant, especially six months or younger.
Keep mosquitoes from biting with Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve Company. The Camping and Trail soap contains lemon eucalyptus, citronella, cedarwood, and lemongrass oils and can also be used as a shampoo. Don't Bug Me bug spray contains the same essential oils as the soap and is applied to exposed skin. The lotion contains a slight amount of organic beeswax along with the essential oils to seal in moisture while also protecting you from bugs. Chagrin Valley products are made in Solon, Ohio, near Cleveland. They're USDA-certified organic, GMO-free, and cruelty-free.
Murphy's Naturals contains no synthetic dyes or chemicals. The oil of lemon eucalyptus used in its insect repellent is carefully harvested by hand using a waste-free, regenerative process for soil management. It protects against bugs for up to six hours. It's produced in North Carolina.
Buy on the Murphy's Naturals website or on Amazon.
Nantucket Spider makes two kinds of bug spray: one without citronella that's more kid-friendly, and one with citronella that provides longer protection. It provides a water-based application, giving it a non-greasy feel. The bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.
Nantucket Spider was created by lifelong friends Nancy Jack and Jeffrey Busch when Nancy was on an outdoor business trip. A well-intentioned coworker passed around a popular chemical-based repellent that Nancy sprayed on her legs. To her deep dismay, the nylons she was wearing quickly dissolved.
Natrapel is made by New Hampshire’s Tender Corporation. Choose from spray, aerosol, or wipes. The insect repellent wipes repel mosquitoes, flies, gnats, ticks, and other harmful biting insects. The EPA-registered bug repellent wipes are proven to repel mosquitoes and ticks for up to 12 hours. This choice contains picaridin, a synthetic ingredient. The individually-wrapped wipes are lightweight and easy to transport, perfect for on-the-go use.
No Natz is a Georgia company whose hand-crafted formula is made with the finest essential oils including rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, geranium oil, citronella oil, olive oil, and coconut oil. It works against gnats, no-see-ums, sand gnats, mosquitos, and biting flies. No Natz is a veteran-owned, small family operation that stands behind its products.
Public Goods is a subscription-based company that sells basic toiletries online. The New York-based business sources healthy, high-quality products and ships them directly to consumers, cutting out excessive mark-ups. Its insect repellent goes on lightweight and clear. Along with insect-repelling essential oils, it also contains vitamin E to soften and nourish the skin. It's free of dyes and fragrances. The insect repellent is made in Ohio.
Paraben and aluminum-free, Real Purity formulates its herbal insect and bug repellent primarily with natural ingredients. It's safe for the entire family, including your pets. There are no harsh chemicals or toxic alcohols. This product is packed with antibacterial and antimicrobial ingredients and is cruelty-free. The company is located in Evansville, Indiana.
Buy each Sallye Ander product separately, or purchase as a set that comes with a skin repellent cream in two sizes and a soap. Both contain a blend of essential oils and herbs. Take a shower first thing in the morning using the soap and you'll be protected outdoors for up to two hours. These products are made in New York.
Skedattle Bug Spray is part of the Coral Safe company that produces eco-friendly, biodegradable products, making them acceptable in eco-nature parks and resort areas where biodegradable products are recommended. Made with natural ingredients, it contains vanillin that gives it a pleasant fragrance, along with citronella, lemongrass, and peppermint oils. It's even okay to use on pets! The company is based in Florida.
US Organic Organic Anti-Bug Spray is certified organic, cruelty-free, and has been tested in the largest pests testing lab in the USA. It's proven 98-100% repellency against Yellow Fever Mosquitoes. The spray is made in New Jersey.
Featured on Shark Tank, Wondercide is made in Austin, Texas. The natural insect repellent contains lemongrass oil, coconut and/or palm oil, sesame oil, and cedarwood oil derived from sustainably-derived Texas and Virginia cedar trees. It repels not only mosquitoes but also other pesky bugs.
Tammy Tilley is a southern transplant living in the Midwest. Growing up in the West Virginia hills, she was surrounded by family and friends who made things with their hands, from a penny whistle carved from the backyard tree’s branches to the hand-hewn wooden cradle gifted to her when her firstborn arrived. As an adult, she continues to be fascinated by the small cottage businesses the Amish and Mennonite communities cultivate in Northern Indiana. Tammy holds a B.A. and M.S. in English/Education.