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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.


May 5, 2022

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Apply the Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent to clothing and furniture, not skin, to keep pests away.

Chris Thomas
Best Reviews Staff


Plus, everything you need to know about DEET, picaridin, and what's best for safeguarding against ticks and mosquitoes.

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Media Mentions from Good Housekeeping


Faster and more efficient than pumping or waiting for chemical treatments, the Sawyer Squeeze System offers on-the-go hydration at a good flow. This product is long-lasting, affordable, reliable, cleanable, and very user-friendly.

Alan Dixon