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The 9 Best Bug Repellents of 2023

Protective sprays, lotions, and lanterns that actually work

Just because you're spending quality time in the great outdoors doesn't mean you have to tolerate annoying insects and biting buzzers—and that's where bug repellents come in. "Keep in mind that not all repellents will work the same on different insects," says Emily Mader, a public health researcher at the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases (NEVBD). "Your product label will let you know if the repellent is effective against mosquitoes, flies, and/or ticks."

With Mader's tips in mind, we researched effective formulas with active ingredients that actually work.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall:

Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent at Amazon

Best Lotion:

Proven Insect Repellent Lotion at Amazon

Best for Sensitive Skin:

Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent at Walmart

Best Spray:

Badger Anti-Bug Shake & Spray at Amazon

Best Aerosol:

OFF! FamilyCare Insect Repellent at Amazon

Best Organic:

Sky Organics Organic Bug Spray at Amazon

Best for Kids:

Greenerways Organic Bug Repellent for Kids at Amazon

Best DEET:

Coleman 100 Max Insect Repellent at Amazon

Best for Patios:

Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller at Amazon

Here are the best bug repellants, written by Theresa Holland.


May 4, 2023

Written by
Photo thumbnail Blog Author

Theresa Holland

The Spruce


Apply the Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent to clothing and furniture, not skin, to keep pests away.

Chris Thomas
Best Reviews Staff


Plus, everything you need to know about DEET, picaridin, and what's best for safeguarding against ticks and mosquitoes.

Good Housekeeping
Media Mentions from Good Housekeeping


Faster and more efficient than pumping or waiting for chemical treatments, the Sawyer Squeeze System offers on-the-go hydration at a good flow. This product is long-lasting, affordable, reliable, cleanable, and very user-friendly.

Alan Dixon