The 9 Best Bug Repellents of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Protect your yard from pesky intruders
To enjoy your time outdoors more, it may be worth considering mosquito repellent for your yard. You can use spatial repellents, treatments for your lawn or landscaping, or a topical repellent that you apply before heading outside. Warding off mosquitoes means less bothersome bites and also reduces the risk of mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus, Zika, or dengue.1
When comparing mosquito repellents, Emily Mader, program manager of the Department of Entomology at the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (NEVBD), recommends that you limit your search to repellents registered with the EPA for safety and efficacy in repelling mosquitoes. “Repellents are technically pesticides and thus regulated by the EPA; the label on the product gives instructions on how to safely use them.” Some of the other factors to consider include how long you plan to be outdoors and how frequently you will need to reapply the repellent for it to maintain its protective barrier.
The best mosquito repellents are effective and easy to use, so we tested different formulas in real-world settings: in the backyard, sitting on the patio, doing yard work, taking a walk, and at the park. We compiled the results of testing and researched other strategies for controlling mosquitoes in the yard, like using treatment disks for water features or applying a lawn spray to eliminate mosquito larvae. Based on our results and research, here are the best mosquito repellents to keep you protected all summer and beyond.
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Sawyer Insect Repellent is a versatile picaridin spray recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as safe and effective for most people. Our testers liked the evaporating smell and how the spray feels once it dries.
Insects and arachnids that bite in self-defense instead of to feed -- such as yellow jackets, bees, wasps, hornets, certain ants or spiders -- cannot be repelled with insect repellents.
The number of bug-borne diseases is increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the number of places they're spreading to is also on the rise.
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