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The 8 Best Bug Sprays of 2021

Ward off insects and stay bite-free

Not only are bug bites uncomfortable and annoying—some can also make you sick. For example, mosquitoes can carry diseases like malaria, the Zika virus, and West Nile fever; while tick bites can cause Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and babesiosis. And that’s where bug sprays come in.

According to Adam Mamelak, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Austin, Texas, most bug sprays are actually bug repellents. “As opposed to killing insects like insecticides, repellents mask the carbon dioxide naturally produced by the body, forming a smell that insects don’t like,” he tells Verywell Health.

He adds, “Different repellents will claim to defend you from a certain set of insects, but not necessarily all insects and bites,” Dr. Mamelak explains. “You
might also consider the consistency of the product, its length of effectiveness, and its smell. Make sure the spray you purchase serves your needs.”

Here are the best bug sprays on the market today.

LAST UPDATED

October 20, 2023

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