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Today: How to choose the best bug repellent, according to experts

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.

Read the full article from Chrissy Callahan on the Today Show's website here.

LAST UPDATED

December 3, 2023

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