The 10 Best Bug Sprays of 2023
The best bug sprays offer long-lasting protection so you can enjoy the outdoors in comfort.
When warmer days and nights approach, you're probably going to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors, whether that means hiking through the woods or simply relaxing on the patio. But with the warm weather comes mosquitos, ticks, and more biting insects, so finding a bug spray that actually works without leaving you feeling like a sticky mess bug spray is a summertime necessity.
To find the best bug sprays, we spent hours researching products, considering ingredients, types, protection duration, and scent. We also spoke with entomologist Abby Lehner; Jamie Mitri, chemical and environmental engineer and founder and CEO of Moss Pure; and Nikki Thomas, writer and backyard specialist at Backyardville, for tips and insight on what to look for when shopping for the right bug spray for you.
“I recommend long-wear products so you don’t have to reapply as frequently,” says Lehner. “Most topical products fall in the range between four to eight hours.”
From heavy-duty repellents to all-natural sprays, we’ve rounded up the best bug sprays that actually do their job. Not a fan of sprays? We’ve included a few bug-repellent lotions and wipes, too. Plus, nearly all of our picks are registered by the EPA, meaning they have been evaluated and approved for human safety and effectiveness.
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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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