Last Updated: December 29, 2022

The 6 Best Bug Sprays.

WRITTEN BY Grove Collaborative • 11 min read

The sun is shining, the pool is open, you've got an ice-cold drink in hand…and there's a swarm of mosquitos nearby, waiting for their chance to feast. Give 'em what-for with bug spray! Bug sprays are quick 'n' easy to use, plus they come in handy bottles that you can toss in your bag or throw in the glove compartment. But alas, a lot of sprays on the market contain potentially harmful ingredients that you'd rather avoid. The fix? Choose a bug spray that boasts effective ingredients from plant-based sources.

If you're not sure which natural bug repellent is the best one for you and your family, don't worry. Here at Grove Collaborative, we love sussing out great products that are good for you, your little ones, and the environment. To help you find the best bug spray, we rounded up a collection of products that Grove members are loving — and we think you'll love, too.

This list of products was determined by ratings and reviews from Grove members.

1. Babyganics Bug Spray

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They’re not gonna be an indoor baby forever. But before you have to deal with mean girls and bullies, there are pesky mosquitoes. This DEET-free option is a blend of plant and essential oils from citronella, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass and geranium that's perfect for the whole family.
8 oz
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2. Murphy's Naturals Insect Repellent Spray

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When you take a holiday in the sun, even if it’s a staycation, make sure to put up your guard — your guard against mosquitos and ticks that is. This Murphy's Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent Spray repels mosquitos and other nasty insects for up to six hours, so you can enjoy your time outside without the annoyance of being eaten alive …

4 Oz
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3. Aunt Fannie's Mosquito Repellent Spray - Travel Size

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Pesky mosquitoes? Meet your match. Don't let these annoying insects take a bite out of your summer fun. Stock up on Aunt Fannie's Travel Size Mosquito Repellent Spray and enjoy the great outdoors for up to four hours, pest-free. Specially formulated with hardworking ingredients powered by essential oils, this DEET-free (and worry-free) spray is …

100 ml
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4. Babyganics Kids Continuous Bug Spray

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Don't get bugged by mosquitoes – get DEET-free natural insect repellent instead. This blend of plant & essential oils from citronella, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass & geranium helps repel pesky mosquitoes. The non-aerosol spray is air-powered for quick and easy application.
5 oz
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5. Aunt Fannie's Mosquito Repellent Spray

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Get up to four hours of protection from disease-carrying mosquitos and other nasty bugs with this Aunt Fannie's Mosquito Repellent Spray. This Aunt Fannie's mosquito spray is sulfate-, triclosan-, paraben-, and DEET-free. Plus, it’s vegan, not tested on animals, and made in the US with responsible packaging and renewable energy.

Stock up on …

1 bottle
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6. Babyganics Kids Insect Repellent Spray

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Time in the sun shouldn’t equal time tending to sunburnt skin. This Babyganics Kids Insect Repellent Spray is a gentle, plant-based formula that’s paraben-free, sulfate-free, triclosan-free, fragrance-free, DEET-free, and vegan. It’s made with essential oils like citronella, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, and geranium oil to keep mosquitos and …

6 oz
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How often should you apply bug spray?

How often you apply plant-based bug sprays depends on how long the bug spray you're using lasts. Check the label on your bug spray for application and reapplication directions, but a good rule of thumb is to reapply after you get wet. If you're spending the day at the pool or your kiddo is running through the sprinkle, take another spritz of spray once you and your family are done in the water.

If you're using a bug spray that contains chemicals like DEET, cyfluthrin, or permethrin, you'll want to carefully check the label and only apply as directed. Used in excessive amounts, these chemical bug repellants can have adverse effects.

What's the most effective natural bug repellent?

You don’t have to rely on harsh chemicals in order to protect yourself from hungry pests while you enjoy the outdoors. Here are eleven essential oils that are effective natural bug repellents:

  • Lemon eucalyptus oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Citronella
  • Tea tree oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Neem oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Lemongrass oil

Wearing the right clothes can also have a positive — or negative — impact on how much you get bitten. Dark colors create contrast which allows bugs to see you better, and tight-fitting clothes give pests easier access to your skin. Instead, choose to wear light colors and loose-fitting clothes to stave off insects without repellent.

Need more info? Check out our natural bug repellent guide for an in-depth look at the best natural insect repellents.

Can you sleep with bug spray on?

You've spent all day at the lake, and now you — and your family — are ready for bed. Should you rinse off before you hit the sack? It certainly doesn't hurt. While natural bug sprays are fairly gentle, it's always a good idea to take a shower after you're done being outside for the day. Not only does this rinse off the bug spray, but it'll also help you get rid of any pollen or ticks that hitchhiked a ride on your body.

For folks using chemical bug repellents, it's an especially good idea to take a shower after you're done being outside for the day because chemical sprays could cause skin or eye irritation on some people.

What is Grove Collaborative?

At Grove, we take the guesswork out of which products are good for you and your home. Every product meets strict standards for being nontoxic, effective, sustainable, and cruelty-free. Once you find products you love, we ship to your home on a flexible, monthly schedule.

If you're ready to make the transition to natural cleaning, beauty, and household products, shop Grove Collaborative's natural products for the eco-friendly tools to tackle the job.

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