The 15 Best Mosquito Repellents to Keep Those Pesky Bugs Away
Warmer months bring killer barbecues, awesome playlists and delicious cocktails, plus a slew of new trends to adopt. On the flip side though, tiny creatures such as gnats, hornets and—worst of all—mosquitoes also come out to play. They bite you when you’re lounging outside, they’re at your heels when you go hiking and heaven forbid one gets stuck indoors and buzzes in your ear as you try to go to sleep! Put the kibosh on all that with one (or more) of the 15 best mosquito repellent products below.
How to Choose a Mosquito Repellent
When looking for the right mosquito repellent, you first have to consider the environment in which you’ll be using it. If you’re going camping, for example, you probably want a product that not only protects from mosquitoes but from other critters like ticks, biting flies and gnats. If you just need something to spray or lather as you hang out in your backyard, your choices will be different.
Another factor to consider is longevity. A repellent that has a higher percentage of active ingredient is the way to go if you’re going to be outdoors for several hours, while a product with a lower concentration is best if you’re going to be out for a short amount of time. (P.S. The CDC recommends you use a repellent that contains one of the EPA’s proven and safe active ingredients).
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.