Being a Mainer who owns a camp, I feel that, over the years, I have tried just about every product or home remedy for getting rid of pesky biting flies. Tons of sprays, oils, lotions...You name it, I've tried it. Although, to be honest, I've never really tried any of the natural homemade repellents.

I looked at a few different articles, to see if there was a lot of overlap, or trends to what people think work. We shall look into a few of these. Also, be advised, I haven't tried many of these personally, so this isn't really any sort of endorsement for what works. But I'm a sucker for arm-chair science, thanks to the wonderful world of the internet.

According to a piece on, there are actually a few well-researched remedies, with things that you could find at any health food store, or pharmacy, or even right online. If you're looking to reduce your exposure to potential toxins, or don't want to apply a lot of harsh chemicals to small children, some of these might be the way to go for you.

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil is right at the top of the list for natural remedies. Recent studies have shown that lemon eucalyptus oil, in the right proportions, can provide protection for up to three hours. If you want to make your own, you can mix one part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts sunflower oil or witch hazel, and get a good ratio for protection. Although, perhaps it shouldn't be used on any little one under 3 years old.

Another magical scent is Lavender. The natural oils from crushing the flowers and rubbing them on bite-sensitive areas, is a great way to keep the little blood suckers at bay. Lavender has also been shown to have anti-fungal, antiseptic, and analgesic qualities. It's pretty much a miracle scent. You can grow it just about anywhere outside your house, or even indoors in an herb garden. You can also get the essential oil, apply some to a cloth, and rub it on your body.

And last but not least, Citronella is a tried and true repellent for biting bugs. We've all seen the torches, and candles, and the like, but that's just because it's like magic when it comes to driving away bugs. It's already found as an ingredient in most over the counter sprays anyway, showing it's effectiveness. Mixing it yourself needs a bit of attention to get it just right, but when it is mixed properly, it's shown to be every bit as effective as DEET.

There are many more other things you could try as well. Like tea tree oil, cinnamon oil, soybean oil, and thyme oil. Mostly you need a strong, earthy scent that will send the buggers packing! So try some of these out for yourself, and see if you've got a sweet new remedy to try that doesn't involve a lot of extra, harsh chemicals. You just may be surprised!

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