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Bug off! The insect repellents that actually work, according to shoppers

The best part about summer is getting to spend more time outdoors. Whether you're an outdoorsy person or simply like a nice sit on your back porch, bugs and mosquitos can quickly shut an outdoor adventure down. There are tons of options to deter those pesky bugs from interfering with your evening but which ones really work? Well, we've spent hours reading user reviewers to help find the bug sprays shoppers find the most successful. Many include ingredients like DEET or picaridin, which are safe to use according to the EPA and CDC, but which actually work? Shop the list below to find the top-selling mosquito repellents and bug sprays that have thousands of reviews.

Continue reading to learn which insect repellents actually work, written by Korin Miller and Katelyn Mullen.


July 8, 2024

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Korin Miller and Katelyn Mullen

Health, Lifestyle and Commerce writer and Director of Content Strategy, HuffPost

Korin Miller is health, lifestyle and commerce writer who does everything from covering infectious diseases and health trends to testing fitness equipment, whitening toothpastes and everything in between. Korin has worked for years researching and investigating new shopping trends, and is always on the hunt for a good bargain to share with readers. She has been published in Forbes, Women's Health, Prevention, Health, The Bump, and more.

Katelyn Mullen is the director of content strategy and HuffPost.

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Media Mentions

Sawyer has an alternative [to DEET] made with Picaridin, which works just as well without spoiling your clothes.

James Wong
Freelance Writer

Media Mentions

Zinzi Edmundson, the founder of Treehouse newsletter, who gardens in Maine, suggests spraying your shoes, especially (she uses Sawyer’s permethrin).

Laura Fenton

Media Mentions

I carry bottles of water, but I also have a Sawyer squeeze water filter. Also, if it’s cold, make sure you sleep with your water filter in your sleeping bag, so it doesn’t freeze.

Shilletha Curtis