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Popular Mechanics: The 10 Best Tools for Keeping Mosquitos From Biting


Smart ways to ensure your outdoor activities don’t become bug block parties.


Going for a hike or otherwise getting outside can be a welcome way to get some fresh air in these days of social distancing. But the nicer spring weather also brings some downsides with it. One of the more pesky consequences are the flies, mosquitos, and other insects that can invade your backyard and make spending time outdoors challenging. While there are some general precautions you should take to make your yard and home less inviting for mosquitos and other bugs, having the right set of tools on hand—like the ones below—is also important to help you stay as bite-free as possible.

New Defenses Against Insects


Repellents that use Picaridin instead of DEET can be just as effective without the unmistakable smell and griminess. And you can spray those with Permethrin on your clothes instead of your skin and they’ll continue to work through multiple washes (you can even buy clothing with Permethrin-based repellent baked in). A smaller, cartridge-based lantern or tabletop unit can provide an effective alternative to a traditional zapper, especially if mosquitos are your biggest problem and you only have a modest area to cover. And even the venerable bug zapper has seen updates, with long-lasting LED bulbs that are great for use in an indoor porch or on a small deck.

How We Chose These Bug Repellants and Zappers


To find and select the best bug-deterring products, we researched the market and relied on our own testing. In cases where we didn’t get our hands on something to try it out, we based our recommendations on our past experiences using similar products, Popular Mechanics’s long history of reporting on bug-zapping gear, and in some cases, user reviews and opinions from trusted expert sources.

Read the full guide from Don Melanson and Bradley Ford on Popular Mechanic's website here.

LAST UPDATED

May 4, 2022

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Popular Mechanics

About Us

Since 1902, Popular Mechanics has been the authority on how your world works. We bring our audience the latest news on innovations and inventions across the automotive, DIY, science, technology, and outdoor spaces. We also serve our readers with the knowledge they need to get the most out of life, whether that's how to change a tire, how to build a farmhouse table, how to find your lost phone, or how to hike the Appalachian Trail. Popular Mechanics is about wonder, about being curious about the world around you, and it's about getting your hands dirty, too.

When it was founded, our magazine used the tagline "Written so you can understand it," and today, we still follow that ethos. Whether we're explaining the last technology news or demonstrating how to install a light switch, Popular Mechanics explains the world in an easy-to-understand, jargon-free way while also offering readers the depth of information they need to succeed.

MEDIA MENTIONS

While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere

MEDIA MENTIONS

SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team