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.
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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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