Best Bug Spray: Say Bye to Insects and Bites with our Picks
Don’t spend your precious time swatting away bugs and scratching bites. Here’s how to find the best bug sprays for you, and some top picks.
If you’ve ever zipped yourself into a tent with a hoard of mosquitos or found your legs bitten up by no-see-ums, we share your pain. The buzzing and biting can ruin even the most pristine outing or campout. But it’s not just the inconvenience that makes us want to swat away the bugs—it’s the risk of disease. Unfortunately, mosquito bites can transmit infections such as Zika, West Nile virus, and malaria. And itchy bites from any bug can get infected if you scratch them and introduce bacteria into the skin.
Below we’ve listed some of our favorite bug repellent products for keeping different kinds of irritating buggers at bay. But if you want to shop for yourself, know that picking the best bug spray comes down to asking yourself a few simple questions: What active ingredient do you want? Who’s it for? And what bugs will it work on?
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Sawyer Insect Repellent is a versatile picaridin spray recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as safe and effective for most people. Our testers liked the evaporating smell and how the spray feels once it dries.
Insects and arachnids that bite in self-defense instead of to feed -- such as yellow jackets, bees, wasps, hornets, certain ants or spiders -- cannot be repelled with insect repellents.
The number of bug-borne diseases is increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the number of places they're spreading to is also on the rise.
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