Young woman applying bug spray at a camp site.
What's the Best Mosquito Repellent? How to Buy the Right One for You
These are the types of bug sprays that will protect you from bites.
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Picking up a few bug bites used to be one of summer’s rites of passage. But actually, shielding yourself from ticks and mosquitoes is just as important as wearing sunscreen. “People used to hate to wear [insect] repellent, or say, ‘Oh, I don’t care about getting bitten,’” says Walter S. Leal, Ph.D., a chemical ecologist and professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis. While it’s hard to determine why mosquitos decide to bite some people and not others, using a mosquito repellent can effectively lower your bite tally this summer and also keep you safe from the diseases they carry, including Zika virus, West Nile virus, malaria, Chikungunya virus, and dengue. Some will also shield you from other disease-carrying insects like ticks, which transmit Lyme’s Disease.
Whether you’ll be spending your summer hiking and camping, hanging in the backyard, or lounging at the beach, protect yourself and your loved ones from pesky bug bites with the 10 best mosquito repellents. Here, you’ll find top-rated options that have thousands of glowing reviews, plus our handy guide for finding the right one for you.
- Best Overall: Off! Deep Woods Mosquito Repellent Spray
- Best for Hiking: Adventure Medical Ben's 100 Max DEET Tick & Insect Repellent Spray
- Best Wipes: Repel Sportsmen 30% DEET Wipes
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Sawyer Controlled-Release Repellent Lotion
- Best Long-Lasting: Sawyer Picaridin 20% Continuous Spray
- Best Smelling: Natrapel 20% Eco Insect Repellent Spray
- Best for Backyards: Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent
- Best OLE Option: Repel Lemon Plant-Based Eucalyptus Insect Repellent
- Best for Babies and Kids: Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent
- Best for Pets: Vet's Best Mosquito Repellent for Dogs and Cats
You can find more information on each of these repellents compiled by Lauren Oster and Emily Belfiore here: https://www.health.com/home/best-mosquito-repellent
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