Ben’s 30 Insect Repellent Spray, 2-Pack ($15.98; amazon.com). Password reset email has been resent. In fact, the more DEET an insect repellent has, the more effective it is. Pick your optimal strategy to avoid donating blood to the beasties. Unlike products that contain DEET, this insect repellent is gentle enough to not harm your watches, tents, or bedding, while still being effective against insects. The spray itself isn’t doesn’t apply particularly evenly and sometimes just squirts a jet of spray instead of misting, but it didn’t have a scent at all, which was a huge bonus. A favorite bug repellent with a record of effectiveness is Sawyer's Permethrin Pump Spray. The size does make it quite durable, though, as both testers noted its sturdy build. OFF! There were times when it just shot out a little stream of liquid with almost no spray cloud at all. All this after consulting with multiple experts to ensure we included repellents that are actually effective at, well, repelling bugs. Have the freshest free hiking tips sent to you each month! Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent ($4.97, originally $7; amazon.com). The formula uses a drying technology that makes it disappear almost instantly on your skin. They are the best way to deliver potent pesticides directly to these bugs, as they are unlikely to land on any one surface long enough for surface treatments to have an effect. I have read and accept the privacy policy. “I like [picaridin] as an alternative to DEET myself,” Merchant says. Or take it with you when you go camping, hiking, or fishing to protect yourself from being eaten alive by bugs. The nozzle, despite its small design, is incredibly consistent and applies evenly. Instead, the aerosol pushes the repellent out, which made spraying our entire bodies a super fast process. While it doesn’t provide perfect protection because it can fall off, when one of our testers threw it in a bag and went for a bike ride it stayed completely secure. One of the most useful techniques used to keep bugs off is conventional bug sprays or creams. “It REALLY WORKS at repelling all flying summer bugs including mosquitoes, flies, and gnats,” one reviewer wrote. Many of his peers also agree. Below, everything you need to know to choose an effective bug spray, plus the best ones to stock up on. The Repel 100 insect formulation provides active protection from bugs for up to 10 hours and is presented in an easy to use 4-ounce pump spray. There are six insect repellents approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on skin: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), and 2-undecanone. And after all the testing and spraying it worked good as new, in contrast to some other sprays that had caps pop off or clogged nozzles. Published Killer Spray for Listed Bugs, Insect, Spider, For Indoor Use, Essential Oils, Child & Pet Safe, 11 Oz, Pack of 1 4.3 out of 5 stars 7,759. A fly or insect repellent is a substance that you apply onto your skin, or spray into the air surrounding it, and that deters flies and other insects from alighting there and biting you. “It’s just the dose that determines the effect.” The EPA has concluded that DEET is safe, and many of the worrying stories of people getting seizures or even dying came after ingestion or “dermal applications not consistent with label directions.”. Our experts largely echoed the CDC and EPA, praising the effectiveness of all these ingredients, but heralded DEET above all else as the industry standard. A CDC-recommended insect repellent, Sawyer's uses picaridin to ward off mosquitos, flies, ticks, chiggers, and other nuisance insects. Note: You do not need to go for a higher percentage with permethrin. That’s why we went hands-on with bug repellents to test how they feel, how they smell and everything else you’d want to know about a bug spray before you use one. Do not spray when temperature exceeds 90° F. Instead, we used our extensive research and the opinions of experts to choose a pool of sprays that science has proven to be effective. $12.86. By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy. But despite their reputation, sprays containing DEET didn’t score as well overall in our tests as other options. All Rights Reserved. Even with its wide coverage, Proven was nice and light to the point we barely felt it on our skin. $4.99. Botanicals Mosquito and Insect Repellent IV, Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, Coleman Naturally Based DEET-Free Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, Coleman SkinSmart DEET-Free Insect Repellent, OFF! I am at least 16 years of age. Insect foggers can be susceptible to sparks or flames when the aerosol stream is placed too close to them. Deep Woods repellent is a top-notch pick. The spray wasn’t too offensive, but still a little harsh. If you’re careful with the slightly more delicate can and avoid spraying it upside down too much, then the OFF! Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent, 2-Pack ($12.78; amazon.com). The cap popped off in a bag during a day of hiking, and after some serious spraying (much of it upside down), the aerosol in the bottle ran out, resulting in a can that still has bug repellent in it with no way to get it out. (Most will tell you to apply it to your clothing, unless your skin is exposed. The Proven repellent was also remarkably portable, thanks in part to its slim bottle. “You’ve got to wear what you can stand to wear in the summer,” Merchant says. Just spray the product and leave it for continuous working. Another highlight of the Coleman IR3535 formula is the bottle it comes in. “The first law of toxicology is that everything is toxic,” says Dr. Jeffrey G. Scott, professor of insect toxicology at the department of entomology at Cornell University. The highlight was definitely the double-locking lid, which ensured a leak-free experience. The Raid Flying Insect Killer is specially designed and formulated to kill all flying insects. Just be sure to test a patch on your skin first, as some people do get allergic reactions or irritations from eucalyptus oil. “I am an outdoor early a.m. gardener, so besides spraying exposed skin, I lightly spray my clothes with this product and there is never a stain and barely the mildest scent.”. One product that employs this is the Ortho Home Defense MAX Insect Killer Spray. This spray had a pleasant smell due to its oil of lemon eucalyptus base, although it was strong at times. You can return once it has dissipated, taking all pests with it. “It lasts for a couple of hours and it doesn’t have the smell of DEET.”. It is also effective against crawling insects such as ants, centipedes, earwigs, mites, cockroaches, sow bugs and spiders. It had a consistent, wide spray, and the aerosol can made it super easy to spray ourselves quickly. Products with less than 10% active ingredient may offer only limited protection, often from one to two hours.” Following that guidance, all the repellents we tested have between a 10% and 30% concentration of their active ingredients. WHEN SPRAYING, HOLD CAN 18-20 INCHES FROM PLANT. During our research, we found DEET to be the consensus gold standard when it comes to insect repellents (read more on how we chose our testing pool below). The CDC recommends using products with an active ingredient concentration of more than 10% for limited protection and says that the effectiveness of DEET plateaus after 50%. 1:52 PM EDT, Thu August 20, 2020, Coleman SkinSmart DEET-Free Insect Repellent Spray, OFF! Out of the multiple DEET-based repellents we tested, the Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent edged out the competition. Formulated with essential oils such as cinnamon oil, geranoil, castor oil, cornmint oil, and clove oil. After multiple weeks of testing, we found three bug sprays that stood above the rest: The Proven Insect Repellent Spray proved to be a winner during our user testing. OFF! We found in our research (and the experts agreed) that the active ingredient picaridin — Proven’s active ingredient comprising 20% of its formula — is one of the best at repelling bugs. The pump spray on the Sawyer repellent provided short little spritzes that didn’t cover much area, so we found ourselves spraying a lot to get even coverage. Repel’s contain 30% DEET and boast an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, with nearly 900 ratings. That doesn’t mean other ingredients aren’t effective, “it just depends what you’re going to do with [them],” Merchant says. Got all that? Similar to the Ben’s spray, the first thing we wanted to do after applying it was take a shower. It isn’t an aerosol can, but it’s equipped with a long pump, so spraying felt nice and easy, even though it gets harder when you spray it upside down (since, thanks to gravity, the straw may no longer be submerged). By far, the most popular ingredient is DEET. The most common ingredient in these is called DEET. Call us toll free at 1-800-877-7290. Ben’s had an incredibly strong, unpleasant and chemical smell along with a thick and wet feel that had both of our testers antsy for a shower. Prevention participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin is safe to use on adults and young kids, plus, it's almost as effective as DEET at repelling ticks, mosquitos, and other bugs. It’s got the maximum amount of DEET recommended by Merchant, and testers rave about its non-greasy, sweat-proof formula. “You can get up to 30 washes after you’ve applied it to your clothes,” Merchant says. (We had this happen with a different aerosol spray when we used it upside down too many times, which resulted in repellent stuck in the can with no way to get out. Aerosol bug spray products are an important tool in the fight against flying pests such as flies, mosquitoes and stink bugs. For example, “the most common way for a tick to get on you when you’re outdoors is to grab onto your shoe as you’re walking through grass, crawl around, and go up your pants leg.”. Deep Woods Dry Touch Insect Repellent VIII, REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent, Repel Permethrin Clothing & Gear Insect Repellent. The formula kills insects by targeting nervous system receptors active only in insects, not people or pets. But as summer approaches, there’s a new threat to worry about: bugs. © 2020 Cable News Network. Finding the best bug spray and mosquito repellents on the market isn't just in your family's best interest—it's practically a can't-do-without necessity. Some of them simply repel bugs, others are constituted such that they kill them outright. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, There Are Very Few Natural Bug Sprays Worth Buying, 11 Common House Bugs and How to Spot Them ASAP. The American Academy of Pediatrics also says that DEET should not be used on kids under 2 months of age. It worked! If you’re looking for an aerosol repellent with similar performance to our top pick, and you’re willing to give up some portability, the Coleman SkinSmart DEET-Free Insect Repellent is the pick for you. Botanicals Mosquito and Insect Repellent IV ($4.96; amazon.com). Wearing potective clothing, like long sleeves and pants, is another way to prevent bug bites, but isn’t always an option when it gets too hot. “In general, higher concentrations of an active ingredient provide longer duration of protection, regardless of the active ingredient,” says Dr. Eva Buckner, assistant professor and state extension specialist at University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Medical Entomology Laboratory. One tester said she didn’t smell anything when she applied it and another smelled orange peel, so even if you do smell anything, it’s not a harsh, eye-watering scent. Its spraying mechanism mimics the distribution you’d get from an aerosol can without actually using any of the gas — however, the spray itself came out extremely dense and sticky, which outweighed any of its other benefits. It dried quite quickly, but the pump also got clogged quite a bit during testing. 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