The summer season represents the fun times like swimming, camping, fishing, hiking, having picnics and well, spending lots of time outdoors. It is safe to say that while you’re having a good time, there are those pesky invaders always ready to crash your party- the uninvited guests we affectionately refer to as bugs.
There are lots of products on the market promising protection against mosquitos, fleas, ticks and an array of other biting bugs. But, it can be hard to choose which repellent is best for you. Today, we are reviewing the results of our tests for Mere’s ATLAST Bug Repellent.
This particular bug repellent is labeled as all natural. It contains 3% cedar oil as its active ingredient and water and ethyl lactate as its inert ingredients (97%). It does not contain DEET which is typically found in many conventional bug repellents and sprays. If you are unfamiliar with the pesticide DEET, you can learn more about it and its most recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The product was tested throughout the month of July in the state of Florida at a variety of outdoor locations.
Our first test was in the backyard of a home on a lake. After a full day of on again, off again rain, and the sun about to set, it was a good time to see just how well this product really repelled the bugs.
I admit I was skeptical at first. We have been to the lake many times and I always felt like a giant buffet for mosquitoes. The repellent is in a 16oz bottle with an easy trigger sprayer. 4 testers sprayed all of their exposed skin and lightly rubbed it in. The smell is fairly light with a slight smoky tinge and it doesn’t leave a sticky residue. After spending a solid 4 hours outdoors in the humid Florida air, all 4 testers (2 adults and 2 children) reported that they were bite free.
Our next test was at an outing at a local park where there are dense mangrove areas surrounding the walkways. Again, we made sure to spray the repellent on all of the exposed skin including our sandaled feet. We spent about 2 hours wandering the park in areas near the water’s edge and on walkways above and within the mangroves. There were just two of us in the party, but once again we had a successful adventure of avoiding any bug bites.
The final two tests involved the swimming pool area in the early evening and the sun getting ready to set. The pool does not have a cage and is located close to lush wooded areas. I learned a quick tip from the maker of the product about using it around swimming pool areas. She recommends that before you head out there, you can spray down your lawn furniture to help keep bugs at bay. They don’t like the smell of cedar and it creates a barrier around the vicinity.
We tried this technique on our first test. We only sprayed the furniture, but not ourselves. The result was that we did receive some bites from mosquitoes, but it was very few for the 1 hour duration we spent outdoors. We then applied the repellent, and for the next two hours we remained bite free. It is important to note that we did not enter the pool itself, we remained solely on the pool deck. If you enter the water, you may need to reapply the spray for it to be effective.
The last and final test was at the pool area again. This time we applied the repellent only to ourselves and not on the patio furniture. There were a larger gathering of people and we had 8 adults to also test it out. We varied it up and sprayed 4 individuals on only parts of their exposed skin, but we did spray it on their clothing. The remaining 4, we made sure to cover all exposed skin.
Interestingly enough, those that did only a partial spray, still did not report any bites. Those that did a full spray also reported that they didn’t receive any bites as well. It appears that the act of spraying some repellent and not everything did the trick and kept the bugs away.
Overall, we highly recommend this product. It is easy to use, smells decent and you don’t need to come home and take a shower to rid yourself of that chemical smell. It certainly kept the bugs at bay and was highly effective in all of the areas we tested it in. We care very deeply about what we put in and on our bodies, so we felt relieved to not worry about putting pesticides on ourselves to remain bite free.
I would recommend that the product maker add some further instruction to the outer label. It does provide a caution about keeping the spray out of the eyes, however it would be beneficial to also state what to do in case of accidental spraying in the eyes or ingestion.
ATLAST also has a line of other natural bug repellent products which include Fly Spray for Horses, Lawn Spray and Flea and Tick Spray for your dogs.
For more information on ATLAST and to purchase their products, visit their directory listing here.
Disclaimer: We received one or more of the products mentioned above for free in exchange for an unbiased review of the product(s) on our website. We only recommend products or services that we use personally and believe will be beneficial to our audience. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.