Years ago, I was sitting on a beach in Prince Edward Island with my friends and neighbours and every minute or so someone would yelp and slap at their ankles. It was horsefly season! Regular insect repellents didn’t seem to have any effect on the horseflies and if you ventured into the ocean for a swim—watch out. They liked the taste of salty skin even better. Being the owner and operator of a natural skin care company, everyone turned to me to come up with a solution. The ask: create a natural bug spray that worked on even the most relentless of horseflies. I do love a challenge!
I wasn’t too keen on using DEET-based products on my kids or myself. There’s a reason why it’s regulated by the government; it's a pesticide with concerning side effects. Besides, if you ask me, commercial insect repellents stink! I really wanted to create a natural insect repellent for kids and adults that was safe, effective, and smelled good too.
I started where I always do when creating a new product: research. I looked into what essential oils various cultures have used for centuries as natural bug repellents. I researched what ingredients conscientious horse owners use on their horses to keep the flies away (yes, horse owners are just as concerned for their animals as I was for my children!). Finally, I looked at the insects themselves. Which essential oils had been studied and found to repel mosquitoes, blackflies, deerflies, AND salt-loving horseflies? From there, I developed a 100% natural bug spray formula.
After that came a lot of experimentation. And with the help of my friends at the beach, who tested batch after batch, I eventually came up with the winning formula. I can’t tell you which specific ingredient is the secret to keeping the horseflies away, but I can tell you that the Crawford Street Outdoor Body Spray is a skin-safe bug repellent that smells great and really works!