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There’s a New Best Bug Spray in Town

Picaridin hit the US market in 2005 as an alternative to DEET, the long-time (since 1946) champion of keeping insects at bay. As I wrote back in 2012 (Picaridin vs. DEET: Which Is the Best Insect Repellent?), the evidence at the time indicated that picaridin is at least as good a repellent as DEET. What’s more, unlike DEET, picaridin is odorless, non-greasy, and does not dissolve plastics or other synthetics—all significant advantages compared to its stinky, greasy, gear-damaging competitor.

Since 2012 several studies have looked at or tested different insect repellents to determine which ones are indeed the most effective at repelling mosquitoes. The basic upshot of these most recent studies? Picaridin is indeed as good as DEET, though concentration matters. In particular, for maximum and longest-lasting coverage you’ll want to look for products with 20 percent picaridin, the highest concentration currently available for sale in the US.

Full article and recommendations from Matt Heid on Appalachian Mountain Club's website.


May 9, 2022

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Appalachian Mountain Club

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A 20% DEET Premium Controlled-Release Lotion will work well against mosquitoes, but Dr. Zimring says he prefers the 20% Picaridin lotion since it also protects against ticks, gnats, chiggers, and flies. (In both instances, he recommends Sawyer brand.)

Rachel Schultz
Editorial Director


Part of spending time outside means battling ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects. For this, Nelson swears by permethrin.



And out of the products we tested, Dr. Zeichner highly recommends Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent.

Samson McDougall