Getaway Gear: Lita’s Natural Insect Repellent Belongs in Your Bag

It keeps the bugs away and smells pretty nice in the process.

Litas insect repellent
A lot of bug sprays feel sticky and smell like, well, bug spray. Lita’s is a gamechanger.Lita's Natural Insect Repellent

Most of the time we are so focused on the right kind of bag to buy or the perfect packing list for a carry-on bag to beat luggage fees that we don’t pay attention to the little things that can make a trip so much better. Just last month I purchased a new toiletry bag for a quick trip to Turks and Caicos, and I was so concerned with choosing one that would fit in my bag that I forgot roughly half the items that I typically need.

Fortunately, I remembered my bug spray. As someone whose skin is like Skittles to skeeters, and really just bugs of any variety, I know that I should wear bug spray at all times. But I rarely do because I typically dislike the smell of bug spray and generally feel icky when applying it. So, when someone recommended I try Lita’s Natural Insect Repellent, I figured why not. Anything is better than having to put my marg down to keep scratching an annoying bug bite.

What Makes Lita’s Better Than That Other Stuff?

Well, for starters, I’m a sucker for things that simply smell nice. You know how sometimes a sunscreen just smells too sunscreen-y? That’s how I feel about most bug sprays. Obviously, that’s not the best way to judge any kind of product, but I was immediately drawn to the pleasant patchouli scent of Lita’s Green Label Dual Purpose spray because it simply didn’t smell like bug spray. (The Yellow Label repellent also has a very nice lemongrass scent, with the difference between the labels being that green both repels bugs and treats insect bites, but we’ll get to that in a moment.)

Aside from the scent, Lita’s is free of DEET and synthetic chemicals, made from a blend of essential oils, including sesame, patchouli and tea tree. The sprays and roll-ons also come in small bottles that slide right into my toiletry bag, and they’re reusable (Lita’s sells a refill bottle that saves plastic and money). We’re big fans of any product that is both eco-friendly and able to stop sand flies from nipping at us.

What About Those Other Bugs That Bite?

In addition to sand flies and mosquitos, Lita’s repels black flies, chiggers, ticks, deer and horse flies, fire ants, no see-ums and more. I can’t pick half of those bugs out of a police lineup, but knowing that they can’t bite me while I’m snorkeling or visiting the swim-up bar for the eighth, I mean first time of the day.

Tell Us More About the Green and Yellow Label

The key difference between labels is the yellow only serves as a repellent, while the green can also treat insect bites if you didn’t apply the spray in time. So, for travel purposes, a bottle of the Green Label is perfect because it saves space in your toiletry kit and provides the full range of protection.

This is especially crucial for traveling with a child, because my four-year-old is like human fly paper. If I look away for a split second, he collects about 10 bug bites, and so we are always applying spray to him before we go anywhere. Now, I keep a Green Label in my pocket or dad-pack.

Oh, Let’s Not Forget the Candles

Lita’s also sells 4- and 8-ounce scented candles that will keep the bugs away when you’re relaxing on the balcony or in your backyard after a long day, at the beach or work (or both, if your office is the beach). The candles come in three scents—cedarwood, lemongrass and original (sesame-patchouli-tea tree)—and they’re all so pleasant that you can use them indoors and not feel like someone just set off a bug bomb, as is often the case with those other skeeter candles.