Natural Repellants for No-See-Ums

No-see-ums, also known as biting midges or sandflies, can be quite bothersome with their itchy bites. While there’s no foolproof method to completely eradicate them, there are some natural repellents you can try to keep them at bay:

1. Geranium rose oil:

Geranium oil is a good ingredient in repellents for insects that bite like ticks and no see ums.

Geraniums are made of organic ingredients (organic and pure rose geraniums) which are not toxic to humans. It has a pleasant smell that will stay with you for hours and is also used in many other bug repellents on the market today.

They balance skin pH levels and open up skin pores so they work well with repellents.

  • Geranium oil can be applied as an insect repellent or diluted into your skincare products such as lotions and shampoos, which will provide protection for either two or four hours.

2. Citronella oil:

Citronella oil is made from the leaves and stems of lemongrass. Lemongrass usually has a lot of geraniol, citronellol, and citronellal.

You can use citronella oil to protect yourself from bugs. But it is not as good as DEET. Vanilla can help extend the protection time. It is often found in vanilla beans or in the CO2 extract.

If you like making candles, this is something to explore. If not, consider buying no see um repellents with citronella such as

  • Cutter-Citroguard Triple-Wick
  • TIKI-1418014 Brand 17
  • Murphy’s-Naturals Mini

3. Lemongrass oil:

You can try burning lemongrass oil using oil lamps to see if it will help keep the no-see-ums and Sand Flies away – that is one reason why it is in some mosquito repellents.


Mix ¼ cup of witch hazel together with ¼ cup of distilled water and Lemongrass Essential Oil (Aura Cacia Organic – 21 to 26 drops).

This can be sprayed on your clothing, body, or exposed skin surfaces in order to repel insects from biting you – as noted by the Entomology & Nematology Department.

4. Special garments:

To avoid insects from getting into your clothes and biting, you should wear special clothes that have a net that keeps them out.

When your vacuum cleaner is not enough to keep the critters away, you can protect yourself with long pants and long shirts, as well as by switching on the air conditioner.

6. Small Mesh Screening

Mosquitos can get into your home through open windows. You can stop them with screens on all the windows in your house.

The small mesh screens can stop tiny bugs that people can’t see including no see ums. 


Remember to perform a patch test before applying any essential oil directly to your skin, as some people may have sensitivities or allergies. Also, reapply these repellents frequently, especially if you’re sweating or swimming, as they may wear off over time.

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