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The 11 best mosquito repellents, traps, and zappers to help stop bites

It’s summer, so you should be living the good life. Grilling outside, hiking outside, just… existing outside. That’s what summer is for. But for many of us with sweet, delicious blood, mosquitos make the great outdoors a lot less fun.

Fortunately, there are solutions.

BEST MOSQUITO REPELLENTS

Sure, you’ve probably used bug spray, but what’s the best bug spray? Like most things in life, there isn’t one simple answer. Instead, you should combine layers of mosquito protection by using a repellent for your skin (what we typically think of as bug spray), repellent specially designed for clothing, and if you’re really feeling the buzz, an airborne repellent designed to cover a large area.


Mosquito repellents for your skin

Here you’ve got two main options, DEET and picaridin, and some less effective but more natural options like lemon eucalyptus oil.

DEET is considered the best at repelling not just mosquitos, but a whole bunch of different creepy crawlies, like ticks. If you’ve ever used bug spray before, it was probably a DEET-based spray. It’s good and works well, but you should keep in mind that DEET does degrade some plastics, so it’s important to keep it away from your expensive camping or backpacking gear where possible.

Continue reading about the 11 best mosquito repellents here.

LAST UPDATED

October 22, 2023

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Sawyer has an alternative [to DEET] made with Picaridin, which works just as well without spoiling your clothes.

James Wong
Freelance Writer

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Zinzi Edmundson, the founder of Treehouse newsletter, who gardens in Maine, suggests spraying your shoes, especially (she uses Sawyer’s permethrin).

Laura Fenton
Contributor

Media Mentions

I carry bottles of water, but I also have a Sawyer squeeze water filter. Also, if it’s cold, make sure you sleep with your water filter in your sleeping bag, so it doesn’t freeze.

Shilletha Curtis