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The 9 Best Fly Repellents For Outdoors And Indoors

Nothing derails a picturesque scene faster than a barrage of annoying flies. Whether you want to banish flies from your patio or playroom, or you need a reliable bug spray to wear, having the right repellent is key. These days repellents take many forms, but the best fly repellents will either have active ingredients or tech-savvy features that have been proven to be safe and effective. This list incorporates both body repellents and environmental fly deterrents, so you can opt for the approach that works best for you.

What is the most effective fly deterrent?

These are the most common ingredients and solutions for banning flies:

  • DEET or Picaridin: The EPA considers both DEET and picaridin as being highly effective as wearable repellents against insects when used in the proper concentration. A product with either 20% DEET or picaridin can repel insects for up to 4 to 5 hours. Although DEET has the backing of several decades of use and research, it can often be greasy and have a strong odor. Picaridin is newer than DEET, but it’s odor-less and goes on more smoothly.
  • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus: Even though plant-based deterrents aren’t usually as effective as DEET or picaridin, studies show that oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) can be as effective against insects and black flies as 20 to 30% DEET, but it lasts for a shorter amount of time. OLE also gets the EPA’s seal of approval.

Rachel Bar-Gadda gives more details on the best fly repellents for outdoors and indoors, find it here

LAST UPDATED

May 19, 2022

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Bustle

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While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere

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SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team