13 methods for keeping bugs away, according to entomologists and experts
- Some insects are nuisances, but others, like mosquitoes, can pose a health risk.
- There are ways to deter these bugs while keeping your local ecosystem safe.
- We asked three entomologists about the types of products that deter insects and which don't work.
Warm and sunny days are prime times for outdoor gatherings. But the nice weather and smell of humans and their barbecues and picnics also bring on a variety of bugs. We asked three entomologists how to best keep them at bay.
While they didn't offer specific recommendations, they steered us toward the types of products that can help deter mosquitoes, bees, ants, wasps, flies, and other insects.
"Although most people think of insects as something to be avoided, many of them are so important to the environment," said Corrie Moreau, PhD, director and curator of the Cornell University Insect Collection. For that reason, we don't recommend products like bug zappers and insecticides that kill a variety of types of insects.
Many of the suggestions below aren't meant to be used on their own. Instead, you'll want to employ several of them to reduce your risk of attracting insects.
June 27, 2022
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Even if you remember to wear insect repellent and regularly check yourself, it’s easy to forget that your pets are vulnerable to these sneaky critters, too.
Choosing the right repellent matters: Our top products provided several hours of protection, and some of our lowest-scoring ones failed in as little as 30 minutes.