The Best Bug Sprays for 2023
Cutter, Proven, Natrapel and more: The best insect repellents for every outdoor need.
Whether you're adventuring in sweltering summer heat or raking up leaves in the fall, there are always parts of the world dealing with the one tag-a-long no one ever wants to deal with: bugs. I'm talking mosquitos, ticks, chiggers, gnats, biting flies and no-see-ums. Yuck. (And ouch and itch.)
I grew up in Louisiana and now I live in Florida, so I've spent a lifetime dousing my skin and clothes in insect repellent. Bug spray is a staple in the south, to say the least.
If you plan on spending any time outdoors fishing, hiking, or especially if you plan to go camping or visit any marshy areas, it's best to go prepared with insect repellent. But you don't want to waste money on bug repellent with minimal effectiveness. Here's a compiled list of some of the best bug sprays available right now, as determined by my testing of more than 20 products in the South Florida heat.
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.