16 best mosquito repellents to try this summer 2021
Don't let bug bites ruin your summer!
Sick of getting eaten alive by mosquitoes all summer long? It's a pain, we know, but you don't have to surrender yourself to the itchy red bumps these pesky insects leave behind.
Mosquito repellents can do a great job of keeping summer's bugs at bay, but finding the right one for you and your family can take a bit of work. To help make it easier, Shop TODAY spoke with entomologists and mosquito experts to find out everything you need to know when buying a mosquito repellent.
What to look for in a mosquito repellent
Mosquito bites are annoying at best (the itchiness!) and dangerous at worst (some breeds carry diseases), but there are a number of repellent ingredients that can help keep those pesky insects at bay.
"Use Environmental Protection Agency-recommended repellents. Ingredients like DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus work well," said Laura C. Harrington, a professor in Cornell University's entomology department. Mosquito repellents come in a variety of formulas and some naturally provide a bit more protection than others."Repellents applied to the skin via spray or lotion will always be more effective. They are putting a protection layer directly on the skin from the biting mosquitoes," said Sonja L. Swiger, an entomology expert at Texas A&M University.
Some essential oils and herbs (rosemary, lavender, marigold and basil, for starters) are also pretty effective at keeping mosquitoes away, and citronella candles can also help when used in conjunction with repellent.
Interested in learning more about the best mosquito repellents for the summer? Click here to find the list put together by Chrissy Callahan.
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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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