I had the opportunity in Papua New Guinea to test out a couple of natural safe mosquito repellents. I am not one to take malaria tablets due to their side effects and I go running when I see a DEET-based mosquito repellent. While some might think this is irresponsible, I simply don’t like to ingest unnatural crap and I’m certainly not going to slather my body with toxic oils or creams.
The first mosquito repellent I tried was Avon’s Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus. I had heard for years that Avon Skin-So-Soft was a great mosquito repellent. I kept forgetting to pick this up before a trip because it’s not something you can buy in a store. Knowing that I was going to mosquito-infested PNG, I remembered to order it ahead of time and was ecstatic to have found it on Amazon. By the way, it appears to be on sale at the moment for about $4. Don’t pass up THAT great price!
I know that it works because I only put it on after I first got bitten (I know, don’t give me a hard time about that, please) in the Mt. Hagen region. It goes on more like a moisturizing lotion than a bug repellent so it’s actually quite pleasant. While it’s lightly scented, there’s absolutely no lingering unpleasant smell. And once I did cover my arms, legs and feet in it, not a mosquito bothered me. It has the added bonus of being SPF 30.
Available as both a lotion and spray on Amazon.
The next mosquito repellent I tested out in Papua New Guinea was All Terrain’s Herbal Armor Insect Repellent. I picked up some free samples when I was at the Outdoor Retailer Show and it was easy enough to toss the little 5ml samples into my carry-on bag.
I tested this when I was at the Tawali Dive Resort near Alotau (see photo above). This area actually had more mosquitoes than the area up near Mt. Hagen so I was battling them a bit more.
I found the All Terrain Herbal Armor to be quite effective. Once applying the lotion, I never got bitten and the mosquitoes seemed to have completely disappeared from my range. This product uses a combination of citronella, peppermint, lemongrass, geranium and other ingredients to repel the bugs. Unfortunately, it kinda repelled me, too. I noticed that the strong scent gave me a bit of a headache because it was so strong. I don’t consider myself usually very sensitive to scents and I likely would use this again, but be forewarned that it has a strong enough scent for others to notice. (My escort, Taita, commented about the smell after I applied Herbal Armor, but she liked it.)
It seems that most of the options available on Amazon for Herbal Armor are 4 oz. spray bottles, which obviously wouldn’t work if you’re flying and you only have a carry-on, but they do have a lotion available that you could transfer into a smaller bottle. And with this stuff, a little dab’ll do ya.
These are available on Amazon in a variety of sizes and formats.
Note – I’ve read reviews and responses from many people that non-Deet mosquito repellents just don’t work for them so these products may not be forÂ you. However, if you’re more like me, searching for a natural way to scare away the mossies, either one of these would be a great option.
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