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The Best Insect Repellents to Keep the Bugs Away

When spending time outdoors, bugs can be a bother—and a health concern. Stay protected with the best insect repellent for you.

From swatting mosquitoes around the campfire to batting away blackflies on the lake, insects can really put a damper on outdoor time. It can be difficult to fully enjoy a scenic hike or a backyard BBQ when the bugs are biting. Mosquitoes, ticks, mites, sandflies, blackflies, and other insects are more than just a nuisance: they can transmit potentially life-threatening viruses, bacteria, and parasites. A reliable bug repellent can reduce the risk of infection, and help you get the most out of your time spent outside.

The best bug repellents are proven safe and effective—safe in that they pose an extremely low risk of side effects and no negative environmental impact, effective because they’re proven to reduce bug bites by a minimum of 50 percent when used as directed––or they can’t claim they are repellents. Insects don’t all respond to the same repellents, so it’s important to choose the right one. Repellents are available in different types and applications, as well. This guide breaks down these considerations and presents top recommendations for each category, to help you find the best insect repellent suited for your needs.

Continue reading the full article from Bob Vila here.


May 5, 2022

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Bob Vila

Media Mentions from Bob Vila

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


Depending on where you travel, you may want to pack bug spray, too. In places like Florida and North Carolina, summers get buggy, and you’ll be happy to have packed a spray on nights when you want to sit on the porch or dine outdoors.

Madison Flager and Meaghan Kenny


As a veteran of the Iraq War, I found myself struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder from which greatly impacted my mental health. In 2016, I came across the film “Wild,” an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir about healing by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

LeAura Luciano


Sawyer Permethrin Premium Insect Repellent is used on clothing, not skin, and it provides long-lasting protection against ticks.

Media Mentions from Wirecutter