The 6 Best No-See-Um Repellents
If you’ve been left with itchy welts after being bitten by no-see-ums, you know a good insect repellent is crucial. While the best no-see-um repellents contain ingredients that are effective against biting midges (and mosquitoes), some are more effective and work longer than others. Whether you want chemical or plant-based repellents, here you’ll find both topical options as well as repellents that can be worn on clothing or used as a device.
Repellents Applied To Skin
Most topical repellents interfere with an insect’s senses to help prevent it from finding humans, and certain ingredients are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as safe and effective. According to Consumer Reports, DEET is the most widely used topical repellent, and a controlled-release formula with a concentration around 30% can offer up to 12 hours of protection. The EPA has found DEET safe, but some people don’t like its scent and it may damage plastic, like your sunglasses.
Read on for the best no-see-um repellents that’ll help prevent pesky insects from biting, written by Masha Vapnitchnaia.
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.)
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.