Bugs are one of the real occupants of this planet since there are tons and tons of them in various species occupying the whole planet even our homes. Thus, it is practically and virtually impossible to wipe out bugs from the earth’s surface. Also, most of these bugs are not so friendly towards humans, other mammals and to an extent, the environment we live in as some of them feed on our crops. Hence, co-existence has never and will never be an option to reconsider.
The above mention points lead to the production of bug repellent and pesticides. They exist in their numerous types and target particular species of bugs especially those which are harmful to us humans be it directly or indirectly. However, repellent won’t be able to wipe off all the bugs but they would reduce their population drastically to a minimal threshold quantity thus reducing their effects too.
In this write- up, we’ll mostly concentrate on domestic bugs such as common house bugs, room bugs, kitchen bugs or better still, most of the bugs which coexist with humans and have some effects on them. Inasmuch as a vast clear cut of these bugs are nuisance to the human race, some of them are advantageous and play very important rules in our lives. Take for example, bees. Even though they will sting when agitated, but we can’t deny the fact that honey (which they produce) is sweet, rich in nutrients, fit for human consumption and above all medicinal.
List of commonly noticeable domestic bugs:
Cockroaches ranked as the most common house/ building pest. They originated from the tropics where the mostly live in groups. However, we got chances of visualizing them in temperate zones especially in warmth and moist areas. They are more active at night as they search for food in kitchens, rubbish cans, drainage, food storage bands, latrines and sewage. They are filthy and smell terrible as a results of the areas were they feed and what they feed on. They are omnivorous and feed on virtually anything (be it feces or human food).
Even though they don’t destroy crops and buildings, they are responsible for a great deal of health hazards and abnormalities. Cockroaches travel various habitats picking up and depositing microscopic pathogens everywhere along their path. The equally defecate and secret some of their defensive fluids on our food. This makes them great carriers of numerous intestinal diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, diarrhea, dysentery just to name a few.We will scarcely spot them during the day because the hide in wall cracks, beneath and in-between kitchen utensils waiting for nightfall to operate.
They belong in the same family with wasps and bees.Same as cockroaches, ant live in groups ranging from a few dozen individuals to millions of individuals called colonies. Every member of the colony is specialized in a particular function or task for the better functioning of colony at large. It is this social organization which has led to their survival and success in varied environments.
Some of the advantages of ants include, pest control, medicine and soli aeration. They serve as food in some parts of the globe such as South America.
However, they become nuisance when they invade our homes and feed on our food.While others will destroy our domestic structures, others will sting or bite. The most common to fine is the banded sugar ant which invade and raids any sweet kitchen item from sugar cubes to sweet fruits. Due to their ability to adapt in every environment, it is virtually impossible to wipe them out. But however, their population can be controlled.
- House Fly:
Abundant in their numbers especially during the rainy season in tropical areas.The probabilityof encountering a housefly be it at home or at the office is pretty much above 0.7. Mostly attracted to expose wounds, expose food stuffs, rotting food, feaces and urine and garbage collection cans.
House flies pose a problem to health because they are in and almost everywhere carrying microbes on their hairy body and stingy pads from unsanitary toilets straight to our kitchens. Some of the house fly related diseases include leprosy, anthrax, dysentery, tuberculosis, cholera and typhoid fever. Some of the health risky pathogens they carry cause food poisoning. For example, Escherichia coli bacteria and salmonella.
- Fruit Fly:
Easily spotted around overripe and/or rotting fruits in homes. Rotting fruits undergo fermentation caused mainly by yeast and/or fungi.
Fruit flies pose as a major trait and concern to persons in the fruit business (storage, manufacturing and retail), restaurant owners and their customers. This is the case because these flies carry disease causing organisms which contaminate fruits and their products. This is so because flies make use of their saliva to moisten the fruits before sucking up the solution. By so doing, they leave behind bacteria on the fruit. These fruit flies do not bite anyway but if a fruit containing fruit fly larvae is consumed by humans, it will definitely cause gastrointestinal discomfort and/or diarrhea.
- Grain Beetle:
They cause problems in homes and businesses alike. From its name, one would guest correctly that it feeds on grains and cereals which is so true. In addition to grain and cereals, they equally feed on processed food products, flour and spices in fact they feed on virtually everything.
Grain beetles do not carry any disease causing or contaminating pathogens. However, they make human food unfit for consumption. This alone can cause granaries, mills, retail shops and warehouses to fall out of business over a period of time.
Millipedes are slow-crawling arthropods though with thousands legs. They coil and secret a foul-smelly toxin when they sense any danger.They have a hard corded segmented skin with two pair of legs per segment.
Outdoor millipedes may destroy sprouting seeds and ripening fruits but not destructive while indoors.They don’t really pose a trait to humans but just their presence is considered a nuisance. Certain millipedes cause skin irritations known as millipede burns.
Centipedes have long thin legs and poisonous claws used in ambushing and disabling prey. They possess venom which is toxic to its prey but not to humans.Same as millipedes, Centipedes are not dangerous towards the human race. Just their presence can be unsettling or disturbing.
Bees are regarded as best give of nature to some persons (mainly for plant pollination, honey farming and wax production) but to others, bees are nuisance with main reason being the risk of getting stung.
Although bees sting only when threatened, they may have fatal effects on the victim if he got stung severally or if he has an allergy to the bee venom.
In addition to the bee sting, another environmental hazard of the bees has to do with their nest locations. Bees can nest anyway where they feel comfortable of course without any prior notice. Some such as carpenter bees may nest on human property such as window trims, decking, wooden shingles, tree branches and even outdoor furniture’s. Others such as the leaf cutter bees do damage a lot of plants in the course of their nesting project as they virtually cut-off leaves of these plants thus damaging the stalks of the plants.
Crickets are often attracted into our homes by the light and warmth. When they succeed in entering, they equally cause a significant range of damage to paper, fabrics, silk and wool. When in outdoor environment, crickets are known for destroying plants shots and roots.
They are considered the nuisance of the era in the tropics. Mosquitoes are known vectors of various harmful diseases for example, malaria. The male mosquitoes feed on nectar and fruits while the female mosquitoes feed on blood (both human and other animals) because blood is vital for egg production.
Also, mosquito bites are usually irritating and painful plus the constant annoying buzzing and flying around. Apart from acting as a vector by carrying the plasmodium pathogen which causes malaria, it equally acts as a vector for the West Nile virus, filarial heartworm(in dogs) and the encephalitis virus.
Moths belong to the same order with butterflies. Thousand species exist with plenty agricultural importance. Moths damage clothing, carpets, wall hangings, furniture, and museum artifacts. Other moth species infest granaries, pantries and warehouses.
During the life cycle of most moth species, there’s production of larvae and cocoons. Accidental ingestion of either of these, may cause gastro-intestinal irritations and stomach upsets. Also, their caterpillars do a great deal of destroying forest.
One advantage of moths is that, their larvae serve as food in some parts of Africa especially the southern countries.
Spiders will rarely bite humans even though it exist. Black window bites maybe very severe but rarely would they results in dead except otherwise, it was left untreated. The venom will affect the nervous system, headache, sweating, muscle cramps and even high blood pressure.
Keeping aside the physical hazards of spiders, the sight of spider webs on buildings are usually very unpleasing. Though not a hazard but it’s more of a nuisance.
Same as ant and bees, they live in colonies. Termite mostly consume wood probably half a kilogram a day. They are sole cause of structural damage of wood, furniture and wood finished products anywhere they dwell.
Three main types of termite species exist and they are classified or categorized either by their main habitat or food source.They include
- Dry wood
- And damp wood.
They are capable of totally excavating through window frames, wooden floors, furniture, doors, and other important building wooden structures. Termites damages and weakens the wood thus making the structure prone to further deterioration. It is pretty much costly to carter for termite related damages.
Wasps belong to the same insect order as ants and bees thus implying that they also live in colonies. The females used their ovipositors (egg-laying structures) to inflict painful stings when provoked. Several types exist and they include; the paper wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and mud daubers. They are always available in their huge numbers during summer and early autumn. They construct nest from mud, paper and plant matter. Also they equally nest under the ground. Wasps are often territorial and also can be aggressive, and very dangerous in large numbers.
However, wasp do not damage buildings or houses. However, these insects are a nuisance to human beings as they cause annoyance as they interfere with outdoor and social activities such as picnics, and swimming.As such, they are equally attracted by the food, beverages, and garbage associated with such events. Generally, wasps are not aggressive. They will not sting unless their protecting nests has been agitated.
Several species of weevils exist, over 40,000 species. They are a set of very destructive insects that destroy mostly agricultural proceeds (especially beans and maize), garden crops and lawns too.
Though tiny, they have a huge negative impact on agriculture, stored foods, and ornamental plants. Large populations of weevils are capable of severely defoliating and damaging entire crop yields. Not only do they feed on our food they bore holes into grains and other stored foods to lay eggs. By so doing, they increase the processes in these storage bands thus increasing the heat and humidity. The heat facilitates the growth of fungi and mold.
How then do we prevent all these bugs and their vast negative effects?
Pretty easy, we make use of bug repellent and bug sprays. But before we dive into discussing details about bug repellent, bug sprays, which is the best bug spray, bug repellent reviews, let’s look at a few tips which we can use to stay off harm’s way.
- Keep our homes and environment clean
- Seal all cracks on the walls of our homes
- Clean all food stuffs and store properly.
- All gutters and empty cans should be cleaned and disposed respectively
- Avoid keeping dirty kitchen utensils
- Collect and dispose garbage properly
- Always sweep off or vacuum food debris from floors and carpets
- Increase ventilation and always cover up left over food, and equally store them properly
- Sleep under Nets.
Many always confuse the difference between repellent, insecticide and pesticide. While insecticides and pesticides kill the bugs, repellent, even though still fall under pesticides and insecticides, simply make the environment very uncomfortable for the bugs thus repelling them. Repellent can either be applied on the skin directly, on cloths or in those arears where we need no bugs at all. Thus they all control and prevent the outbreak of bug borne disease such as malaria, west Nile fever, cholera, dysentery, diarrhea, Lyme disease and dengue fever.
We’ve got both chemical bug repellent and natural bug repellent. Chemical bug repellents have some side effects on the user such as skin irritations. In this write-up, we’ll focus more on natural bug repellent.
List of commonly used Bug repellents (both chemical and natural).
- Birch tree bark grinded and diluted with fish oil. When applied on the skin, repels mosquitos.
- DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide). It’s a chemical bug repellent.
- Lemon eucalyptus (Corymbiacitriodora) oil.
- Picaridin, Bayrepel, and KBR 3023
- Nepetalactone, commonly called "catnip oil"
- Neem oil.
- Bog Myrtle (Myrica Gale)
- Dimethyl carbate
- Tricyclodecenyl allyl ether, usually found in synthetic perfumes
- Ethylhexanediol, commonly known as Rutgers 612 or "6-12 repellent,"
- Dimethyl phthalate, though not as common as it used to be, but still we occasionally fine traces of it in some bug repellents.
- Benzaldehyde is used for bees.
- SS220 and the anthranilate-based group of repellents are repellents still under research has been tested and proven to have better protection than DEET.
- Citronella oil spray.
Natural Bug sprays/Repellents.
Natural bug sprays/repellents are preferred to chemical bug repellents because they got little or no side effect. Chemicals such as DEET is one major ingredient present in many commercial repellents.
Although such repellents are approved and do an excellent job, they equally have some side effects. Some of which include:
- Eye irritation.
- Skin rashes.
- Soreness or blisters when applied to the skin.
- Causes adverse neurological effects especially in babies.
- It has a negative impact on water sources and wildlife too.
List of Natural bug spray/repellents plus pictures and brief description:
1. Natural Citizen insects and bug repellent:
This is a combination of natural essential oils, lemon eucalyptus, citronella and cedar bark. It has an earthy pleasant fragrance.
2. Simba Natural Mosquito Repellent Stickers:
These are friendly DEET- FREE stickers which can go about anyway. They offer 72hours protection from mosquitoes. The stickers can be attached on walls, belts, shoes, back doors etc.
3. Burt's Bees Herbal Mosquito Repellent:
It is so close to a homemade mosquito repellent both in terms of ingredients and price. So rather than waste valuable time trying to prepare a homemade repellent, it is better one goes for Burt’s bees herbal mosquito repellent directly. The ingredients include lemongrass, cedar leaf oil, and citronella.
4. Murphy's Mosquito Incense Sticks:
Each tube of mosquito incense sticks, contains 1 dozen of the sticks with each stick lasting for a maximum of two hours or so depending on the direction of the wind after been lighted up. These sticks are very efficient and effective as they hover over almost everywhere in the room or building.
5. Babyganics DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent:
Again, this repellent is powered by aromatic essential oils and it’s applied directly on the baby’s skin directly. It is 100% DEET free so no chances of skin/eye irritation or sores. It is made up of citronella, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, and geranium. Just a little of it goes a long way to get the job done so no need applying too much on the babies skin.
6. Now Essential Oils Mosquito Repellent Blend:
Natural on the go bug repellent essential oils that works perfectly; to be used in out-door environment.
7. The Honest Company Bug Spray:
The honest bug spray is so natural, DEET and formaldehyde-free. It should be applied after every two hours. Ingredients: essential oils such as citronella, cedar blended with lemongrass. Not only does it repel mosquitos but it does repel other bugs too such as cockroaches, scorpions, spiders and ants.
- 8. Kinven Insect Repellent Braided Bracelet
These are waterproof braided bracelets which can offer bug protection for up to 15 days. In as much as they are stylish they are equally very efficient and effective in scaring off bugs. Suitable to put on when going for camping.
9. Osana All Natural Mosquito Repellent Soap:
This is the perfect choice to bath because of its ability to repel bugs (mosquitoes especially). Most suitable to take along when going on a camping trip or maybe visiting a friend in the tropics.
10. EcoSmart Organic Insect Repellent
EcoSmarthas wintergreen oil as its main ingredient. It is applied directly on the skin (of both humans and pets), shoes, cloths, socks and every other thing of our own. EcoSmart is a top-rated company when it comes to pesticides and insecticides due to the results of its organic products.
11. FlashPoint Candle
Not only does it have a decorative pottery full with wax, but also rich in citronella as main ingredient capable of defending us from the buggies. It equally has a sweet floral herbal fragrant which gives the room a great scent.
12. California Baby Natural Bug Blend Bug Repellent Spray
Another natural bug spray which is applied directly on the baby’s skin. Not only is it a bug-busting spray but it equally doubles as itch reliever from already existing mosquito bites.
13. Naturapel DEET-Free 8-Hour Insect Repellent Wipes:
The name says it all; DEET-free 8-Hour. It infuses wipes which last for 8hours and also makes the job much easier. It contains 20% of picaridin that guards against mosquitoes.
14. Badger Anti-Bug Shake & Spray
This is the perfect option to take for parents or guardians who are concerned about the side effects from other sprays if inhaled by their kids. It’s a petroleum-free balm which is very easy to control as it is usually administered in those hard-to-reach areas such as the ears while avoiding easy-to-get spots such as the mouth and eyes.
- 15. Bug Bam! Insect Repellent Wristbands
Stop keeping your kids indoors and preventing them from playing with their peers for fear of bugs. It’s practically impossible for bug sprays and other repellent to be that effective in outdoor environment thus making the bug band an easy, better, efficient and effective repellent to use for outdoor activities. They can put them on their ankles and wrist, baby stroller or car seat. Comprise of citronella, lemongrass, and geranium oils and they can on protect us for up to 100 hours if properly stored between uses.
16. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent.
It is suitable for both adults and kids from 3years and above. An effective and efficient natural bug repellent. Active ingredient: oil drained from eucalyptus plant leaves. It can last for over 6 hours and repels most bugs (especially mosquitoes).
Garlic Liquids and Granules:
It ranks as one of the strongest natural bug repellent which can tick up to a month. It focus most on fleas, ticks and blackflies. However it smells terrible.
18. BTI briquettes:
Some bacteria, same as some fishes feed on mosquito larvae before they hatch. BTI briquettes makes proper use of these bacteria. They spherical in shape and when drop in a pond or an overdue unused pool, they are capable of reducing the mosquito larvae by 90% in just two days while repelling the adult mosquitoes. In reviews of bug repellent, the briquettes technique is efficient, effective and less stressfull.
19. Geraniod Candles:
Geraniod candles works five times better than their citronella counterparts (FlashPoint Candle). They deter both mosquitoes and sand flies and a one-pound candle will last 50 hours. Different individuals react differently to its scent. For others, it’s just perfect and for others it’s just so bizarre. Also open candle flames same like any other flame pose an environmental risk.
Another natural bug spray (mosquitoes to be precise), composed of sugar and garlic oil. Instead of repelling mosquitoes, it attracts them to itself, make them weak enough to bite or breed thus rendering them powerless and useless. Two cans of Gardening spray can cut down the entire mosquitoes’ population by 90% for up to a month. However, they won’t attract bees.
21. Try Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus
Made from both lemon eucalyptus oil and it is recommended by the CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency. This Cutter spray reduced levels of mosquito population.
Homemade Natural Bug Sprays/Repelant
Several homemade natural bug spray recipes do exist. Most of them are very easy to realize plus it’s also relatively cheap. Some of which include:
- DIY Mosquito Repellent.
- 5 Homemade Mosquito Repellent Recipes.
- 15+ Tips & Recipes for Repelling Mosquitoes.
All-bug Homemade Insect Repellents:
- Natural Insect Repellent for Camping.
- Bug-Be-Gone Balm.
- Homemade Insect Repellent Spray.
- DIY Bug Repellent Oil.
- Natural Homemade Insects Repellent.
- Indoor/Outdoor All-Around Bug Spray.
- DIY Marigold Insect Spray.
- Healthy Bug Spray.
- Dried Lavender Insect Repellent.
- Beeswax Insect Repellent Candles.
- Tips for naturallykeeping the Bugs Away.
- Bug Bit Relief Stick.
Garden & Barnyard Pest Control
- Strategies for Fly Control.
- DIY Liquid Fence.
- Homemade Fly Spray Recipefor Livestock.
- Garden Pest Control Spray.
- Three-Ingredient Pest Deterrent mostly used for mice and spiders.
- Organic Bug Spray Recipe.
We will pick out one Homemade natural bug spray/repellent and discuss its production. But before we do so, let’s discuss on essential oils (EO) since we’ll be using much of it in our homemade natural bug spray experiment.
Essential oils, in simple terms are liquids distilled from plants (be it from their leaves, roots, bark, seeds or flowers). This liquids are extremely powerful as they have been proven to cure a plethora of ailments. Only very small quantities would do the job. They can be used as body lotion, although optional. EO have been around and in for thousands years (as we realized from ancient Egyptian and Chinese cultures). These EO are mostly harvested via gentle chemical means. Although we can harvest some via simple human manipulation.
EO have a vast variety of uses to humans. Not only does it cure humans from diseases but also it helps in the killing of some insects which are harmful to humans which boils down to our topic of bug repellent.
Two Examples of most widely uses EO’s.
Tea Tree Oil
It is also known as Melaleuca Oil and it is a wonderful essential oil. Among its other plenty uses for humans, it can equally be used as an antibiotic, cure inflammations plus it can be used for any microbial infections. Also they are toxics to many insects which are harmful to us humans.
Popularly known for its strong wound healer. It also possesses most of the same properties as Tea Tree Oil, such as keeping insects (especially mosquitoes) away.
AIM: Effective DIY Bug Spray Recipe.
- Spray Bottle
- Essential oil (both Tea Tree and Geranium Essential oil).
- Vegetable glycerine.
- Distilled Oil
Procedure:Put all in a bottle:
- 30 drops of Tea Tree Essential oil
- 10 drops of Geranium Essential Oil
- 1 T Vegetable Glycerine
- Fill the bottle to the almost the bream with distilled H2O
- Shake and apply as needed
Applying this homemade natural bug sprays and/or repellent won’t only stop at repelling bugs but also, it will make us smell great.
Now that we’ve discussed about most bugs sprays and bug repellents both chemical (synthetic) and natural (homemade), let’s narrow down a little bit and go into details. We will pick two notorious and dangerous bugs and review the best bug sprays and/or repellent that keep them out of human immediate environment. Also we’ll make mention of those repellents which are not so effective and efficient in getting the job done.
Best bug Spray
Best Bug Spray for Mosquito
The following are a list of generally accepted ingredients that can keep us save from mosquitoes, ticks, and some flies.
- There’s DEET, the ubiquitous bug-thwarting chemical compound;
- Picaridin, the newer alternative to DEET that has proven just as effective;
- IR3535, another chemical subset that’s slightly less reliable than DEET and Picaridin;
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus, the only natural derivative recognized by the CDC.
Burt’s Bees Bug Spray
According to the bug repellent reviews of some customers, Burt’s Bees is not the best. It has as main ingredient citronella plus essential oil (in a lesser proportion though). Studies have proven that this bug spray is somewhat inefficient and ineffective in warding off bugs. However the essential oil in it gives the spray a nice fragrant and it’s also nourishing and skin-softening.
The Honest Company Bug Spray
The Honest Company Bug Spray also has citronella oil as its main ingredient.Same as Burt’s Bees, the Honest Company’s insect repellent relies on an array of essential oils to stave off biting bugs. Judging from the reviews of bug repellent from customers, it smells great but it’snot really effective.
Avon Skin So Soft
Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard has picaridin as main ingredient. With the use of cotton, we can apply the product on our arms and legs. According to bug repellent reviews from shop keepers, Avon seems to be very efficient in preventing bug bites because of the amount of income generated from its sales.
Bull Frog Mosquito Repellent
Bull Frog Mosquito has IR3535 as repellent ingredient. This is rated as one of the best bug sprays because it has sunscreen as an additional feature which is an important value added service for summer. Also, it is less waxy than essential oil sprays. In reviews of bug repellent, bull frog mosquito repellent stands out as one of the best.
Jersey Kids Natural Bug Spray
Main Repellent ingredients: eucalyptus oil and potent lemon (in lesser quantity).
Many people really don’t believe so much in natural bug sprays. But jersey kids natural bug spray is one of the best bug sprays. According to bug repellent reviews, it seems to stand out in terms of its effective and efficient performance. Its effects are Similar to that of essential-oil such as a strong, biting scent which wafts through the spray.
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