Insect Repellents: Tips and Picks

Summer is the season for outdoor activities, but unfortunately, these excursions can quickly be ruined by bugs and insects. Their bites not only itch and cause discomfort, but some even transmit illnesses like Lyme disease. To protect yourself, you’ll need an effective insect repellent. Here are some of our best tips for finding the right product – and our top picks!

Types of Insect Repellents

There are two types of insect repellent:

  • Contact Repellents: These repellents create a physical barrier between you and insects by coating your skin or clothing with substances insects don’t like. These include DEET, picaridin, and IR3535.
  • Vaporizing Repellents: Vaporizing repellents release an invisible cloud of insecticide to deter insects. They typically contain ingredients like citronella and essential oils to provide maximum effectiveness.

Tips For Effective Insect-Repellent Use

Reapply Every Two Hours

Over time, insect repellent effectiveness may wear down. To maintain adequate protection, reapply every two hours – or more frequently if sweating heavily or engaging in water activities.

Wear Protective Clothing

In addition to using insect repellents, wearing protective clothing can significantly lower your insect exposure. Opting for long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat that covers exposed areas will substantially decrease this risk.

Avoid Breeding Grounds

Avoid environments where mosquitoes and ticks might be lurking. Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, so plan outdoor activities accordingly. Stagnant water areas are also breeding grounds for mosquitoes, while wooded or grassy areas are prone to ticks.

Our Picks: Insect Repellents

OFF! Deep Woods Dry Insect Repellent ($8.37, shop here)

This effective mosquito and tick repellent is formulated with 25% DEET, providing up to eight hours of protection from mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects. Outdoor enthusiasts often turn to this reliable repellent because it protects them from even the toughest biting insects.

Sawyer 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent ($9.99, shop here)

This insect repellent features an effective synthetic compound similar to DEET that’s less likely to cause skin irritation, yet still provides long-term protection.

Ben’s Natrapel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent ($17.99, shop here)

This 100% natural insect repellent is designed to keep mosquitoes at bay. Although not as powerful as DEET, picaridin, or IR3535 repellents, it features a pleasant citrus scent and makes an excellent companion for outdoor activities such as gardening or picnicking.

Kinfield Golden Hour Mosquito Repellent ($22, shop here)

This all-natural insect spray may be pricier than the other options on this list, but we think it’s worth it! Made with a blend of Indonesian citronella, it effectively fights mosquitos. Plus, it smells amazing!

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