Best Mosquito Repellents to Keep Bugs at Bay
These bug-banishing products will help make the most of your spring and summer exploits—sans scratching.
Nature is awesome. Until it starts biting. We're talking about mosquitos—those pesky, almost invisible creatures that may serve some equally unseen role in our ecosystem, but from our backyards, they simply exist to ruin the great outdoors.
I live in the Southern Appalachians, famous for its moonshine and vibrant mosquito population. I can tell you from vast experience that nothing ruins a camping trip, backyard cookout, or stroll in the woods like an onslaught of mosquito bites. And it might get worse.
Some research suggests that as temperatures continue to warm as a result of climate change, mosquito season will start earlier in spring and last later in fall.
The solution? Be vigilant about mosquito repellent. You could stay inside all summer long and just watch Discovery documentaries to get your virtual nature fix, or you could arm yourself out there with the best products designed to repel the peskiest creature on the planet. We'll opt for the latter.
A 20% DEET Premium Controlled-Release Lotion will work well against mosquitoes, but Dr. Zimring says he prefers the 20% Picaridin lotion since it also protects against ticks, gnats, chiggers, and flies. (In both instances, he recommends Sawyer brand.)
Part of spending time outside means battling ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects. For this, Nelson swears by permethrin.
And out of the products we tested, Dr. Zeichner highly recommends Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent.