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.
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Sawyer Insect Repellent is a versatile picaridin spray recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as safe and effective for most people. Our testers liked the evaporating smell and how the spray feels once it dries.
Insects and arachnids that bite in self-defense instead of to feed -- such as yellow jackets, bees, wasps, hornets, certain ants or spiders -- cannot be repelled with insect repellents.
The number of bug-borne diseases is increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the number of places they're spreading to is also on the rise.
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