Research shows that natural insect repellents made with essential oils do work, but for shorter periods of time than chemical substances. And not all of them are equally eff ective against all types of insects and ticks. Plant oils that have repellent qualities include citronella, cedar, verbena, pennyroyal, geranium, lavender, pine, cajeput, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, thyme, allspice, garlic, and peppermint.
Neem, although not legally considered an insect repellent in the United States, has a long history of warding off bugs, both as a tree in its natural surroundings and as an oil applied to the skin. And a patented soybean oil combined with other plant oils ( found in Buzz Away Extreme) has been shown in studies to be as eff ective against several types of mosquitoes as a chemical formula with approximately 7 percent DEET.