The 8 Best Mosquito Repellents of 2023, According to Our Testing
We consulted entomologists and spent hundreds of hours testing to find the best mosquito repellents.
While we love the blooming flowers, chirping birds, and rainy afternoons, there’s one part of warmer weather we could do without: mosquitos.
Board-certified entomologist Wizzie Brown explains that mosquitoes are attracted to and bite many animals, including humans. “[Mosquitoes] are looking for animals where they can get a blood meal because they need protein so they can lay eggs,” Brown shares. However, their life-sustaining process can often leave us with itchy, uncomfortable bites, or worse, potential diseases.
Thankfully, there is an abundance of products to help repel mosquitoes and protect us from these pesky insects. To find the best mosquito repellents, we spent 600 hours testing 15 different products outside to determine which ones were effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay. When testing the repellents, we considered factors such as effectiveness, ease of use, coverage, smell, and value.
When looking for the best mosquito repellent to use, Brown has one main recommendation. “My first rule of thumb is to look for a CDC-approved one,” she says. “They’re going to protect you against West Nile and Zika.” Brown suggests looking for a mosquito repellent with one of the following CDC- and EPA-approved ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone.
You may also notice that percentages of the main ingredients vary depending on the mosquito repellent. Brown explains that these percentages depend on what you plan on doing outside. “If I'm going hiking in the woods, I'd use something with a higher percentage,” she says. “If I'm sitting on my back patio, I'm going to use a lesser percentage. You could go with 10–15%.”
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