REVIEW: Bug Botanist Mosquito Repellent Spray

Bug Botanist
2 oz.

Reviewed by:
On July 6, 2021
Last modified:July 6, 2021


Mosquito avoidance isn't about finding a silver bullet, it's about putting together an arsenal for different situations. Bug Botanist is a great addition to the arsenal.


Bug Botanist Mosquito Repellent Spray is a naturally-derived, DEET-free, mosquito repellent that has been scientifically tested to be safe around kids and pets when used as directed. It contains just 6 essential oils all of which have natural insect-repelling properties.

So does it work?  Sure. 

The real answer is both yes and no, but let’s back up. Spending time outdoors in the summertime is one of life’s greatest joys. If you’re like me you’re very keen on doing so without constantly getting bit by mosquitoes. I’m not a scientist and didn’t run a controlled experiment, but I did climb up to a very cool fire lookout that was swarming with flies and sat by a beautiful mountain lake teeming with hungry mosquitos. So how did it go?

Effectiveness (3) ★★★

When it comes to effectiveness, I think the question is how effective do you need it to be? Up at the fire lookout, what seemed like a hundred species of flies swarmed all around and kept landing on me. The Bug Botanist spray effectively kept them from landing. How about the mosquitoes? We had the most beautiful lakeside campsite for the 4th of July weekend, but the evenings were nearly unbearable with mosquitoes. They were very aggressive and bit us constantly. The Bug Botanist seemed to keep them at bay at first, when the oil was still wet, but after about 30 minutes, not so much. I had to switch to Picaridin and cover as much skin as possible to get some longer lasting relief. 

Smell (4) ★★★★

One thing I really liked about Bug Botanist is that it smells great! It’s got rosemary, citronella, geranium, peppermint & lemongrass oils, so you definitely don’t have that bug spray smell. And while I haven’t found a natural bug repellent that was quite as effective as “the chemicals”, I feel much more comfortable applying and reapplying the natural sprays as needed. When the mosquitoes are particularly aggressive, I’ve found that even DEET or Picaridin will let some bites through, but with those products there are strict warnings about not over-applying. 

Conclusion (3.5) ★★★1/2

If mosquito avoidance is your goal then I definitely think the best strategy is to have an arsenal at the ready. Sometimes you’re playing out in the yard or at the park and the bugs aren’t that bad. In that situation, I’d definitely reach for the Bug Botanist. If I were going into the backwoods or somewhere where malaria is a problem, I’d bring some other options as well. 

Own a piece of gear that you're dying to review? Read our submissions page and let's get it up on the interwebz!

Like Gearography



You may also like...