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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.

LAST UPDATED

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 BobVila.com.

MEDIA MENTIONS

Of all the creepy crawlers, ticks keep me on high alert. They can be very tiny in the nymph stage and difficult to see. They love to hang out in tall grasses along the trail and hitch a ride on hikers passing by. I plan on treating most of my clothes and gear with Sawyer Permethrin.

Joanne Gigliotti

MEDIA MENTIONS

Ultra-compact and lightweight

House Grail
Media Mentions from House Grail

MEDIA MENTIONS

I would often just drink directly from the sawyer squeeze if I was feeling lazy- which by the way works wonderfully.

Rachel McVittie