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The Best Natural Insect Repellents That Don’t Stink

You wait all year for the long days, warm temperatures and lingering sunsets of summer. Alas, your delight at summer’s arrival is quickly extinguished by the ghastly horde of insects that also thrive at this time of year. Well played, Nature. Well. Played.

For some, the solution to this summertime buzzkill is simple: Drench yourself in DEET. The harsh chemical spray acts like Agent Orange for mosquitoes, ticks, and other blood-sucking pests, interfering with the neurons and receptors that help them find a host. However, just like Agent Orange, this nerve disruptor comes with widespread side effects. You’ve warded off the bugs, but now you’ve got a host of other ills to contend with, not the least of which is that chemical smell that can kill a hot vibe faster than a shred of cilantro stuck in your teeth. And what is summer without those hot vibes?

To save your game (and your skin) this summer, drop the DEET and reach instead for one of these natural insect repellents. Some are old tricks derived from antiquity, while others are more technologically advanced. But all of them will work to keep the bugs at bay so you can concentrate on summertime fun.

Read the full list from The Manual's Chelsea Batten here.

LAST UPDATED

December 3, 2023

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