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Natural Bug Spray Review: Greenbug All Natural Pest Control for People

Greenbug All Natural Pest Control for People
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Ease of Application
  • Scent
  • Kid Safe
  • Effective


Greenbug Natural Pest RepellentPrice: $8.95 for 2 oz. (~$4.50/oz.)

Where to Purchase: Greenbug online or Amazon (prices vary)

Safety Notes: Cedar is a “0” rating (extremely safe) at EWG, and I can’t find anything on liquid quartz

Active Ingredients: cedar oil (10%)

Other Ingredients: silane fluid (90%) liquid state of quartz

Easy to use? Yes, spray is simple

Sticky? No

Katie’s notes: This formula is the only one to rely on a single ingredient, which I think is fantastic. I figured being totally different, it would either succeed wildly or fail miserably. Cedar oil doesn’t show up in many other natural bug sprays, either. Although upon further digging, I think it’s the same as “cedarwood” essential oil…if it’s even an essential oil. 

How does it smell? The bottle says “pests can’t stand it!” Unfortunately, people can’t either (in our house). When I sprayed it on my son, he nearly cried and was mad at me for half an hour for putting it on his arm and not his leg. This stuff really does stink (but then again, so does the DEET-containing competition). I could smell it on myself – and didn’t like it – after using it outside and coming in to type up results! To be fair, everyone reacts to scents differently, so it’s very possible that some may love the smell – it’s cedar, like a cedar chest but less woody.

In fact, when rollerblading near Lake Huron recently, I smelled something that seemed familiar, and I realized I was reminded of Greenbug and was rolling through a grove of cedar trees. It made me wonder: if I hung out there, would I never see mosquitoes? 😉

Did it prevent mosquito bites? Tested twice; no bites on son at day camp, but it didn’t keep mosquitoes away by the pool for hubs and me. No bites, but they were annoying enough to chase us inside.

KS recommends? Tough one. I think this stuff really works, but my kids hate the smell. I really want to look into their other products for keeping bugs away from the house in general and am going to order this one to battle our carpenter ants! (see below)

I love the reason it was created: CREATED FOR OUR TROOPS: Gulf War Syndrome has been directly linked to chemicals including pesticides, so the US Department of Defense went to the manufacturers of EPA 25(B) products asking them to create a safe, yet effective pest control solution to deal with sand fleas (sand gnats, no-see-ems) creating misery for US Troops in the Middle East. Greenbug met the challenge and these standards wonderfully. Note: EPA 25(B) is a list of active ingredients for pest control that have been tested and proven to cause no harm to humans, animals or the environment.

Additional Notes: Greenbug also works on fleas, ticks, ants, head lice – even bed bugs. Read more about it here. I’m pretty excited to know the natural solution for lice, since it’s always been a fear of mine to get lice in the family and be forced to use super strength chemicals on everyone/everything! I also love the idea of spraying it on hotel sheets to prevent bed bugs. :/ RELATED: More on naturally eradicating bed bugs from your home, although I’d rather use one spray and rid hotels of them when I stay there!

I tried spraying Greenbug near some ants outside, and here’s what happened:

killing ants with greenbug all natural pest spray

The ones who stayed directly in the spray died within a minute, and the others wouldn’t go near it. (The photo above is probably after two minutes; many of the ants scattered to the left, and most were smart enough not to go anywhere near the patch of Greenbug on the right.)

If you don’t buy Greenbug for your skin, I would definitely have some on hand for home pest control and head lice. I wish I would have remembered this use when we had ants in our kitchen (again) this year! I was trying all sorts of things from the how to get rid of ants naturally post and it took forever for me to win the battle.


  • Single active ingredient
  • Works on ants and head lice
  • Great mission and story


  • Too stinky!
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