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Everything you need for a bug-free summer outdoors

While summer is usually the time for backyard gatherings, there always seems to be one uninvited guest that shows up and causes a scene.

Creepy, crawly and well, quite annoying, bugs can turn your outdoor oasis into a nightmare … fast. And with more humid conditions inside, they may make their way to your kitchen, bathrooms and anywhere that’s dark and damp.

Various sprays and repellents are useful for keeping mosquitoes, ants and other critters away, but there are so many, it’s tough to figure out what’s really worth it. We spoke with experts and looked through customer reviews to figure out which repellents could save your time outdoors this summer.

Try an odorless repellent

Rather than applying a repellent directly to your skin, you can use a diffuser to fight bugs without the grease. Interior designer Lisa Queen recommends choosing an odorless repellant you can nest somewhere outside and then camouflage. In one client’s backyard, she placed a repellent diffuser inside a stylish, tarnished pitcher with a cloth napkin. This added both color and pattern while being effective.

“Set these as a centerpiece or on a table near where you are working or enjoying your set up, and they do the work of keeping mosquitoes and annoying summer bugs at bay,” she recommends. “They magically use allethrin insect repellent, which is the synthetic form of a natural repellent found in chrysanthemum plants.”

No wonder they’re a favorite of Instagram influencers, too.

Continue reading tips for a bug-free summer here.


December 3, 2023

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Effective against a wide range of insects: Sawyer Permethrin is known to be effective against mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, mites, and more than 55 other kinds of insects.

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Sawyer Products SP5432 Picaridin insect repellent spray is also very small and compact. You can easily take this insect repellent anywhere you want. This makes it an ideal option for any traveler and adventurer who wants to have a safe journey.

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Depending on where you travel, you may want to pack bug spray, too. In places like Florida and North Carolina, summers get buggy, and you’ll be happy to have packed a spray on nights when you want to sit on the porch or dine outdoors.

Madison Flager and Meaghan Kenny