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The Best Bug Sprays of 2023

Bugs aren’t just a nuisance—their bites can lead to serious illness. These easy-to-use sprays are designed to let people enjoy the great outdoors in comfort and safety.

Bug sprays are a convenient way to keep biting insects at bay. A quick application can last for hours, and make it a lot more pleasant to be outdoors, as well as safer. For instance, chigger bites can result in severe rashes, blisters, and bleeding. Mosquitoes and ticks carry diseases that can cause long-term illness or even death.

There are lots of effective bug repellents available, but there is understandable concern about some of the ingredients. After we took a careful look at the facts, we assembled this comprehensive article to provide in-depth answers to many questions about these products. We have also provided a list of the best bug sprays for just about any situation.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Repel Plant-Based Insect Repellent
  3. BEST NATURAL: Murphy’s Naturals Insect Repellent
  4. BEST FOR KIDS: Off! Family Care Picaridin Aerosol
  5. BEST FOR SENSITIVE SKIN: Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus
  6. BEST WITH SUNSCREEN: Bullfrog Mosquito Coast Bug Spray
  7. BEST TICK REPELLENT: Ben’s Tick Repellent Spray
  8. BEST FOR FABRICS: Sawyer Products Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent

Learn more about the various options for insect repellents, written by Bob Beacham here.


January 16, 2024

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Bob Vila

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You probably know Bob Vila from TV, where for nearly 30 years he hosted a variety of shows: This Old House, Bob Vila’s Home Again, Bob Vila, and Restore America with Bob Vila. Or perhaps you caught Bob starring as himself on Tim Allen’s sit com, Home Improvement. You can now watch Bob's full TV episodes online.

Before his life in broadcasting, Bob launched his own residential remodeling and design business. Earlier still, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer, building houses and communities in Panama. He learned first-hand about home building from his father, who hand built their family home. He's written 12 books about remodeling your home, buying your dream home, and visiting historic homes across America. It’s fair to say that buildings, especially homes, are his life’s work.

Now he's breaking new ground on the web, at

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Personally, I use Sawyer’s Fabric Treatment–available in pump or spray–for my hunting and hiking clothes.

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Casserly’s favorite water treatment is a squeeze filter like the SAWYER SQUEEZE filtration system ($29,, which screws onto the included flasks or a plastic water bottle. Squeeze filters are ideal for individual use. They’re light and inexpensive, and you can drink the water immediately through the filter.

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While young babies should be protected with clothing and netting (not chemicals), older babies and children should use a suitable repellent to help avoid bites, discomfort, and insect-borne illnesses.

Molly Bradac