Repel Bugs, Gnat-urally

Jun 6, 2014

This spring, Freda Sojka says there's only one way to describe her business: busy. 

She's the brains behind the bug repellent "Bug Soother," that has become overwhelmingly popular over the last few years in Iowa. She says she discovered the recipe for the repellent by accident. “My grandson was at my house, and I didn’t want to put anything on him with DEET in it. I threw a few things together, and it worked.”

Since 2008, she and her husband have been bottling the concoction with great success. They’ve shut down their website because they can’t keep up with online sales and expect to sell more than a million bottles this year, something Freda laughs about. “My nephew asked my husband if we sold more than 500,000 bottles if he would get a tattoo. Not thinking we would, he agreed…” Sojka says he’ll probably get the “Bug Soother” logo, a gnat.  

The recipe for the formula is secret, but Sojka tells us that it does contain lemongrass, lemon, vanilla and castor oil.