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The Best Bug Sprays, Tested and Reviewed

Stop all kinds of creepy crawlies in their tracks with these 8 bug sprays.

Insect bites are unpleasant and can have serious health ramifications. Mosquitoes can carry malaria, Zika virus, and West Nile virus, while ticks can cause Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and others. Bug repellents prevent both bites from insects and any diseases they may carry.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s safe for pregnant people to use bug sprays that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as long as the insect repellents are used as directed. If you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor about using bug spray before dousing yourself in it—even if it’s something more natural, like lemon eucalyptus oil.  

To find the best bug repellents, we interviewed experts to create our list and then personally tested each product’s effectiveness, coverage, ease of use, value, and smell. We also considered active ingredients, application methods, EPA labeling, and what types of insects each spray could repel.

Read the full article written by Elizabeth Yuko, PhD and Caroline Thomason here.


June 17, 2024

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Eksplore Plis kontni

Medya Mansyone

Sawyer has an alternative [to DEET] made with Picaridin, which works just as well without spoiling your clothes.

James Wong
Freelance Writer

Medya Mansyone

Zinzi Edmundson, the founder of Treehouse newsletter, who gardens in Maine, suggests spraying your shoes, especially (she uses Sawyer’s permethrin).

Laura Fenton

Medya Mansyone

I carry bottles of water, but I also have a Sawyer squeeze water filter. Also, if it’s cold, make sure you sleep with your water filter in your sleeping bag, so it doesn’t freeze.

Shilletha Curtis