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Home Or Away: Your Best Options For A Insect Free, Stress Free Outdoor Lifestyle With Natural Repellents


Whether you are going on a caravan or camping trip or are simply entertaining family and friends outdoors at home, there are several ways to keep the midges away and without dredging everyone with chemical sprays

MARY QUINN 07/07/2020

The bugs and midges will only get more plentiful now that summer is in full swing. We all know how much a hassle the Scottish midge can be especially just after a period of heavy breeding there are quite literally 10s of millions of the blighters hunting for fresh meat.

The Outdoor Life

Summer is an amazing time best spent outdoors in the sun enjoying many an activity for your family. And as enjoyable as such activities are, there is one down right annoyance we can all agree on. The midge (or the mosquitoe abroad). Midge bites are incredibly irritating, causing your skin to breakout and rash.

But dousing on bug spray is not always the best option and definitely not for children and family pets. Far too much potential toxins to worry about.

Have you thought about a chemical and allergy free natural insect repellent solution?

Natural Insect Repellents

I will plug the award winning Highland Midge lotion (featured in the Herald Scotland1), of course but this guide isn't only about my wonder lotion.

Ultimately, insects are part of camping, hill walking and fishing, any outdoor activity and sport really. There is not a lot you can do to avoid them. You can reduce their annoyance with your behaviour and the right product, or do-it-yourself remedy.

Let's look at a list of activities that most of us enjoy, first of all:

  • camping and caravan, travelling

  • leisure sports, golf and fishing

  • hill walking, hiking, woodland and forest

  • gardening and home life, patio and porch

  • indoor dining, late evening entertainment

Pretty much covers all things that an average family gets involved in really. What can you do then that helps alleviate the suffering during the summer and autumn months? Without:

  • busting the family budget

  • is pet friendly

  • is free from questionable ingredients

  • Only the female midge enjoy feasting on you, the male midge are vegetarian preferring flower nectar.

Flowering Aromatic Plants

There are a few things you can do to keep the midges, other insect life as far away from you as possible. It is commonly known that the oils of Lemongrass are a natural repellent. There are other plants you can grow that qualify as repellent ready:

  • Lemongrass

  • Lavender

  • Geranium

  • Thyme

  • Clove

  • Tea Tree

Simple things such as when walking past, you can rub a leaf between your fingers to release an aroma. Plant the flowers strategically close to those areas where you spend the most time. It is also possible to cut some of the leaves and add them to a table arrangement. You are then sure that no insect are in sight, leaving you alone to get on with your leisure time.

So you now have more indoor plants than you ever thought necessary. Your garden is in full bloom with Geranium as you battle the jungle heading indoors. Anything else?

Families who have young children and pets will need to be careful with berry bearing plants and bushes, as some berries can be poisonous.

The Campers Candle: Midge Repellent Aroma

Don't forget aromantic fragranced candles and diffusers. Popular at this time of the year are Citronella candles. I find them to be really over bearing in strength of fragrance. Often than not the fragrance is questionable as well.

Look for any natural eco-friendly candle with Soy wax and distilled essential oils of those mentioned plants above.

One you should consider is the Mary Jean® Camper's Candle: The Midge Repellent Aroma for indoor use whilst a) camping, b) travelling in your motorhome or caravan, c) kitchen and utility room, d) on the porch, conservatory or patio.

This candle is proving to be downright popular throughout the summer months, well into autumn:

  • easy and light to pack

  • disposable after a weekend away

  • clean and pure for the environment

Affordable and the fragrance is favoured by most people. Your time outdoors is bug free and stress free. Be that in your back garden or your home away from home, or camping.

The Campers Candle, Outdoor living and Home Garden Midge Repellent Insect Aroma
Campers Candle: Midge Repellent Aroma is an eco-friendly option for your peace of mind and planet, this candle has an enjoyable fragrance and one that works at keeping insects at distance, poured by hand in Fochabers, Speyside.

Chemical Insect Repellents

The market is saturated with insect repellent products claiming to be natural and allergy free. Most of them are actually based on synthetic, manufactured chemical compounds, dispersed in a solution of water or an oil.

There are the obvious chemicals, such as DEET well known to have side effects with most humans, and animals. But there are others. Let's go look at them.


Commonly known as DEET and a chemical that is effective at repelling insects but one that is harmful. Your experience may vary but DEET has been found to cause:

  • blistering and skin irritation

  • headaches and memory loss

  • stiffness in the joints

  • nausea, shortness of breath

It is thought that DEET is absorbed quickly through the skin, especially so when in contact with the sunscreen chemical oxybenzone. DEET breaks down slowly in soil and has the potential to contaminate groundwater. Having been found in groundwater, surface water, and drinking water.


Based on DDT, a banned insecticide chemical composition Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, this chemical is extremely toxic, murderous for the environment and no surprise, a carcinogenic.

Honestly, I turned the air blue on finding this one out. How can the synthisis of such poison be justified?

Particularly nasty, linked to:

  • neurotoxicity, cause of nerve tissue damage

  • loss of coordination

  • cause of muscle trembling and behavioural change

You will be hard-pressed to find this chemical used in a UK and European manufactured product, because of our strict regulations. You may, however, find it in any number of imported products so be careful to really understand what is in a product.

Harmful to marine life and our bees.


Another chemical pesticide, this one originally manufactured for use in crop spraying.2 In recent years has found its way into consumer clothing and skincare products. Anything related to repelling the mosquito and other insects.

I don't believe that any synthetic chemical can be "made to be safe" at any minimal level of exposure. That being said there are far worse solutions on the market definitely, yet this chemical could still cause:

  • seizures

  • physiological and behavioural concerns

  • disruption of learning and memory functions

This one as well is poisonous to our marine life and bees. You can't help but think if it can harm them, it can harm us.


There are quite literally thousands of chemicals classified as insect repellents, such as:

  • Lambda-cyhalothrin

  • Prallethrin Metofluthrin

  • dl-allethrolone

  • d-trans chrysanthemate

  • Tetramethrin

  • Phenothrin

  • dl-trans allethrin

Without knowing it, many household products may contain these or similar Pyrethroid classed chemicals. All are potentially toxic to our central nervous system. That is you and your children.. yes? The family pets.

Reactions to Pyrethroids include:

  • dermatitis and asthma-like symptoms

  • nausea and lose of coordination

  • itching and burning-like irritations

The worst reported cases of poisoning have been reported in newborns and infants, their immune system can't efficiently defend against these toxins.


Only the blacklegged tick (also called the "deer tick") can carry the Lyme Disease. Found all over the world and in the UK and Scottish Highlands, be sure to protect yourself and family when out and about.



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