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The most effective, best-rated bug sprays — all under $10

The nonprofit research organization Environmental Working Group notes that their top picks for bug repellents include those with ingredients like Picaridin and DEET

Don’t let insects bug you too much this summer.

You can prevent that from happening by picking the right insect repellent — one that’s both safe and effective. The nonprofit research organization Environmental Working Group notes that their top picks for bug repellents include those with ingredients like Picaridin (a 20% concentration can protect against ticks and mosquitoes all day) and DEET (a 20% to 30% concentration can protect against ticks and mosquitoes all day) — though they do have downsides (see below). We cross-checked these ingredients with repellents rated excellent by Consumer Reports to figure out some of the best repellents you can buy.

Here are three stand-outs, including Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin, which has nearly 3,000 5-star reviews on Amazon and costs $9.

See the full list by Catey Hill on MarketWatch's website 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

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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