Here’s some cool news: Calgary-based company Xerion Dispensary has created a homeopathic mosquito-repelling pill, Mozi-Q, recently launched across Canada. Instead of soaking yourself with bug spray, you take a pill containing all-natural ingredients and 30 minutes later, it should “reduce the frequency and severity of mosquito bites.” Apparently, there are no side effects, and it works on other bugs too (ticks, head lice).

Hmm, an all-natural bug repelling pill. Maybe it’s something to consider. Lately, I’ve started to worry that, over the years, I’ve applied an excessive (some might say “insane”) amount of chemical bug spray. As a kid, I was so determined not to get bitten—ever—that come summer, I went into obsessive bug-avoidance mode: Long sleeves! No dark colours! Stay indoors! And I wore those mosquito-repelling bracelets around my wrists and ankles at all times (even inside, and sometimes in the bathtub). I also wore tons of bug repellent, indoors and out, the reekier and more DEET-heavy the better. Each night I sprayed my hair, pajamas, and every inch of exposed skin before climbing into bed. Later, as a teenager and university student, I had summer jobs at camps, forests, and farms, so I loaded up on bug spray multiple times per day. I was hooked, applying the stuff practically every hour.

This wasn’t a great way to live. I pretty much stank 24/7 between the ages of 9 and 22. Plus, I doubt that much DEET was good for my health. Even though now I’ve toned down, I’m still a bug-spray wearer, and thinking about that long period of excessive use—bug-spray abuse, really—makes me feel like now, to undo any possible negative effects, I should abstain completely, at least for a while. You know, take a real break and let my body rebalance, the way some people cut out alcohol or sugar for the first month after Christmas. A detox would do me some good: I’d probably sleep better, have less stress, and be more clear-headed…Or maybe I’d be exactly the same, but with a lot of bug bites.

So, any advice on natural bug repellants?