If you're not a fan of the chemical scent of commercial insect repellents, or feel uneasy about applying them to your kids, here's a natural alternative you can try.
Homemade Bug Spray
Up to 100 drops of essential oils (eucalyptus, citronella & lavender oil are the most well known for their insect repellent properties)
1 Tbsp vodka or rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol, available at chemists)
1/2 cup natural Witch Hazel
1/2 cup vinegar or water
1 tsp vegetable glycerin (optional)
How to make it:
Place essential oils in a glass or amber PET spray bottle.
Add vodka or alcohol and swirl to combine.
Pour in witch hazel and carefully shake to combine.
Add water or vinegar and shake again.
Replace trigger and it's ready to use. (Note: give it a shake before each use to ensure the ingredients are well combined)
Use as necessary. If new to essential oils or have sensitive skin, test a small patch of skin first. Discontinue use if any irritation occurs.
It's handy to keep by the back door for easy application, or pack in your camping or hiking kit.