Best insect repellents of 2023
Don’t let pests run—or ruin—your life. The best insect repellent will keep your skin protected and ward off bug-borne illnesses.
Whether we’re in the middle of nature or in the comfort of our own homes, rude, biting bugs can wreak havoc on humans and pets, like scores of Davids going up against a single Goliath. Effective bug control begins with the best insect repellent. It’s a proactive way to keep the critters away before they leave their mark on our sensitive skin or do more serious damage. But it can be overwhelming to browse through rows of sprays, lotions, wipes, bracelets and even electronic insect repellent. We’re here to help you find the repellents that really, genuinely work.
- Best overall: Thermacell E55 Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller
- Best picaridin: Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent
- Best for babies: Cutter Mosquito Wipes
- Best premium: Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System
- Best for dogs: Wondercide Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Spray
- Best budget: OFF! Deep Woods Insect & Mosquito Repellent
How we chose the best insect repellents
What do solar generators, tents, and coolers have in common? They’re all things you enjoy outdoors—or at least you should enjoy outdoors, insect adversaries allowing. That’s why we’d argue that effective repellent is one of the most important things you can pack on a camping trip—without it, you’d be itchy, uncomfortable, and putting yourself at risk of getting a bug from a bug. We turned to reviews, recommendations, and user testing to find the best insect repellents. Continue reading the full article, written by Jeremy Helligar here.
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.