5 DEET-free bug sprays that actually work

Mosquitos love Hong Kong’s humid climate. To get rid of the itchy bites (and irritating buzz in the middle of the night), you may be tempted to douse yourself in insect repellent, but beware of the potential harm that could come with this. Many popular sprays contain pesticides as their active ingredient, which are deemed to be safe in recommended doses, but can be harmful when applied incorrectly or in too-high doses. One of the most controversial ingredients in insect repellents is DEET. Here’s our pick of five of the best DEET-free insect repellents in Hong Kong.

What is DEET? 

N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, or DEET, is the active ingredient in most common insect repellents. It’s highly effective at repelling mosquitoes, but it can irritate eyes and cause blisters and rashes. It also pollutes the environment, breaking down slowly in soil and seeping into waterways, where it can make the water toxic to fish and birds, eventually contaminating drinking water. To avoid this and put your mind at ease about what you’re putting onto your and your family’s skin (and into the environment), check out our list of DEET-free insect repellents below. 


burt's bees insect repellent
Source: Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent (HK$89)

This DEET-free spray is made of 100% natural ingredients, mainly rosemary, lemongrass and citronella oil.

Available at Mannings Superstores


deet-free insect repellents badger company
Source: Badger Company

Badger Company Anti-Bug Balm (HK$70)

Avoid irritated eyes with this organic, DEET-free, all-natural balm that you can simply dab onto exposed areas. This balm doesn’t stain clothing and smells yummy.

Available at iHerb


deet-free insect repellents all terrain
Source: All Terrain

All Terrain Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent (HK$117)

This DEET-free, all-natural spray contains a mixture of six essential oils (soybean, citronella, peppermint, cedar, lemongrass and geranium). It’s also non-irritating, making it suitable for the whole family.

Available at iHerb


deet-free insect repellents sky organics
Source: Sky Organics

Sky Organics Organic Bug Spray (HK$112)

This spray is DEET- and alcohol-free, using plant-based ingredients like citronella, lemongrass and lavender essential oils to repel bugs and insects naturally.

Available at iHerb


deet-free insect repellents parakito
Source: Para’Kito

Para’Kito Family Spray- Mosquito & Tick Repellent (HK$175)

This DEET-free, botanically-derived repellent provides protection of up to 8 hours against mosquitoes and 5 hours against ticks. It’s also alcohol-free and non-greasy, making it comfortable for the whole family to use.

Available at Para’Kito

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