Our Pick: Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent
*At the time of publishing, the price was $17.
After testing 23 spray repellents, weve concluded that Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent is the best. It has a 20% picaridin formula, making it effective against mosquitoes and ticks for up to 12 hours. Compared with the other picaridin-based repellents we looked at, the Sawyer pump spray applies repellent the most evenly, with the least amount of overspray. We also like its compact bottle design and double cap.
The most important aspect of the Sawyer insect repellent is its 20% picaridin base. As we outlined above, this chemical has the most positives and the fewest negatives of any EPA-approved repellent.
All 20% picaridin repellents should provide similar protection, but the Sawyer pump spray stands apart due to a couple of usability features. Compared with other pump sprays, the Sawyer offers the most even cloud of repellent. The majority of the others we tested were too wet, and some even spat out little puddles, leaving thick droplets on the skin. Getting even coverage on an arm or a leg was easiest with the Sawyer repellentaerosol sprays are much harder to control and result in a lot more overspray. They also make it difficult to spray areas near the face, like the shoulders.
Another benefit to a pump bottle is that its easy to tell how much you have left just give the bottle a little shake. This is much harder to do with an aerosol can.
Risks Associated With Mosquito Repellents
Some mosquito repellents shouldnt be used when pregnant, but most are safe if used as directed.
These are two mosquito repellents that have been registered by the EPA and have studies to back their safety for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding :
- DEET: DEET repellents are believed to be effective and safe.
- Picaridin: This is an alternative insect repellent thats also reported to be safe during pregnancy.
There are other safe alternatives on the market, but the two above offer the most effective protection.
Stay Away From
Neem Oil Mixed With Other Ingredients
In a study, Neem oil mixed with coconut oil can significantly protect against various species of mosquitoes more so than Neem outdoor sprays alone . It also works well against anopheles species, a type of mosquitoes containing Malaria . The oils of the coconut have a small beneficial effect on Eczema, which I have.
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All Terrain Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent
Doesnt irritate your skin
Only lasts one to three hours
Those looking for a bug spray without artificial chemicals have somewhat limited optionsespecially since natural insect repellents leave many people feeling as though theyre wearing no protection at all.
All Terrain Herbal Armor uses natural oils to help ward off insects and has a relatively inoffensive smell while being safe for skin and the environment. While it doesn’t last as long as some other bug spray options, it can be reapplied without irritating the skin.
Price at time of publish: $11
Active Ingredients: Oil of Soybean 11.5%, Oil of Citronella 10.0%, Oil of Peppermint 2.0%, Oil of Cedar 1.50%, Oil of Lemongrass 1.00%, Oil of Geranium 0.05% | Form: Pump spray
Off Family Care Insect & Mosquito Repellent
Who else recommends it? Good Housekeeping also picked the OFF! Family Care Insect & Mosquito Repellent.
What do buyers say? 92% of 9,400+ Amazon reviewers rated it 4 stars or above.
Because of its non-greasy application and long-lasting effectiveness, OFF! Family Care Insect & Mosquito Repellent is our favorite bug spray for kids. What we appreciate most about this insect spray is how it applies. Rather than leaving greasy residue or film on the skin, the spray goes on dry like a powder and leaves the skin feeling soft. While its not unscented, users report that this spray has a lighter and fresher scent than most insect repellents .
The spray is formulated with 15% DEET for several hours of protection. The slim, lightweight spray can takes up minimal space and is easy to carry for daily use or when traveling.
Active Ingredient: 15 percent DEET | Application Type: Spray| Bug Protection Type: Mosquitoes, biting flies, gnats, ticks, chiggers, and fleas | Price at time of publication: $14
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Finding Your Own Mixture And Other Essentials Oils
There are plenty of other essential oils besides neem oil that can be used to make your own homemade bug repellent including Citronella, Eucalytus Oil, Catnip, Basil, Lavender and peppermint. All is needed is choosing just 1 essential oil or a combination of these oils. Each ingredient will provide a different smell and effectiveness against certain insects, so its best to experiment to find a combination that you like. It is suggested that most of the ingredients are just as effective as DEET.
It was suggested to use lemon eucalyptus or eucalyptus as a main essential oil in the mix with carrier oils, distilled water or vinegar. I have read many success stories from reading other blogs with this mix, so I will have to give it a try next time.
Some mixes I sampled used lemon eucalyptus and lavender whereas another sample I tried is citronella and possibly geranium . The second mix smells less of a chemical smell of a commercial bug spray. So you got plenty of choices that you can make according to your liking. You may use one or combination of oils.
Keep in mind that each oil is effective against certain insects, so choose wisely and plan which insects mostly habituate in the area you are destined to go. Usually a combination of oils is more effective against various bugs. Wooded areas are most likely to be infested with ticks and mosquitos so eucalyptus is a good choice to mix with. You may also add geranium which is excellent for ticks.
Other Bug Sprays We Tested
This spray was one of the leaders early on in the testing process, but it dropped in the rankings after some durability issues. The cap popped off in a bag during a day of hiking, and after some serious spraying , 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. If youre careful with the slightly more delicate can and avoid spraying it upside down too much, then the OFF! Deep Woods repellent is a top-notch pick.
Bens 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. Its spraying mechanism mimics the distribution youd 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.
The pump spray on the Sawyer repellent provided short little spritzes that didnt cover much area, so we found ourselves spraying a lot to get even coverage. Its small size makes it a little difficult to hold and spray all around, but it doesnt have a terribly strong smell. It dried quite quickly, but the pump also got clogged quite a bit during testing. The highlight was definitely the double-locking lid, which ensured a leak-free experience.
$6.89 at Target
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Best Insect Repellents For Children And The Whole Family
There is nothing more irritating for you and your little ones than itchy insect bites. So here is our pick of the best insect repellents for the warmer months or if youâre heading abroad. Whether youâre looking for a spray or deterrent for your children or the whole family, there is a range of products that will help keep the pesky mosquitos and midges at bay.
Check Out Our List Of Bug Spray For Centipedes Favorites Below
- Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Cracks & Crevices is a spray foam that spreads deep into hard-to-reach places where bugs can hide, plus…
- KILLS HOME-INVADING PESTS: Kills those pesky ants, cockroaches, fleas, centipedes, crickets, boxelder bugs, fleas, ticks and other listed…
- LONG-LASTING: It keeps on killing German and American cockroaches and Argentine ants for up to 18 months and keeps killing carpenter ants…
- INDOOR & OUTDOOR USE: The foam can be used inside your home or outside, and it’s non-staining on surfaces that water would not stain
- Ortho Home Defense Max Indoor Insect Barrier kills and prevents insects inside your home (12-month control for ants, roaches & spiders…
- KILL LISTED INSECTS FAST: Kills all common household bugs like ants, cockroaches, spiders, fleas, ticks, scorpions, beetles, earwigs,…
- INDOOR USE: Apply wherever insects are: in kitchens, bathrooms, basements, around doors and windows spray the hard to reach places where…
- USE WITH CONFIDENCE: Dries up to 30% faster and leaves no stains or fumes people and pets may enter treated…
- Extra Concentrated for Long-Lasting Protection
- Natural Ingredients Proven Effective in the Real World
- Large 16oz Bottle
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Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Insect Repellent
Very effective for ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, spiders, mites, and other insects
One treatment lasts six weeks
Have to treat before use and let dry
Only can be used to treat clothing and gearnot directly applied on skin
Unlike the other products on the list which can be applied directly to the skin, this insect repellent from Sawyer Products is sprayed on your clothing, shoes, tent, backpack, and anything else youre carrying outdoors in an area prone to ticks.
Though it also helps keep other insects away from you, its one of the few treatments out there that is truly effective at repelling ticks, thanks, in part to its active ingredient: permethrin. For extra protection, apply permethrin to your clothing, Dr. Mamelak explains. A powerful synthetic insecticide, permethrin can also protect against fleas, ticks, and a number of other insect threats.
Price at time of publish: $22
Active Ingredients: Permethrin | Form: Spray
Cliganic Mosquito Repellent Band 10 Pack
Courtesy of Amazon
Unsafe for children under 3 years old
You can avoid spraying or wiping down your child altogether with these bracelets that are designed to repel mosquitos. They use a completely DEET-free formula and instead rely on natural repellents including geraniol oil, citronella oil, and lemongrass oil. These bracelets have a one-size-fits-all design, are waterproof, and come in a multi-color pack of 10.
Expert Notes: Use netting over a stroller, crib, or play gym to protect the youngest babies from mosquitoes,Dr. Dyan Hes, MD, Medical Director of Gramercy Pediatrics.
Active Ingredient: Geraniol oil, citronella oil, and lemongrass oil | Application Type: Wearable| Bug Protection Type: Mosquitoes | Price at time of publication: $10
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Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
The only real downside to the Sawyer picaridin repellent is that it has a slight off-smell to it when first applied. Once it dries, which takes only a couple of minutes, the odor dissipates to nearly nothing, so this is only a minor gripe, and its consistent across all the repellents we tested.
As a pump spray, this repellent is sold in 3- and 4-ounce sizes. It is also available in a 6-ounce aerosol , which offers a continuous spray. We found it harder to use than the pump spray, but it offers the same protection, if the pump spray is out of stock or if you simply prefer the aerosol format.
Best Insect Repellent Wipes
For extremely packable insect repellent, try wipes. I like Ben’s 30% DEET wipes because I know they’re effective and they’re easy to take anywhere. You can easily take insect repellent wipes on planes, toss a few in your day bag for unexpected bugginess and equip yourself with lightweight repellent for multiday outdoor excursions.
Wipes are also great if you don’t like spraying or rubbing lotion onto your skin — instead of rubbing dirt on your skin while applying spray, these wipes actually clean your skin while adding bug protection. Wipes also make it easier to protect your skin while avoiding damage to your clothes.
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Prevention Is Better Than Cure
There are a few steps you can take to help avoid the risk of your child being bitten by insects.
- Cover the skin dress your child in cotton trousers and long-sleeved tops but avoid bright patterns as these may attract insects. Its a good idea to invest in some thin socks which they can wear, particularly in the evenings.
- Avoid using products with strong perfumes as these may attract the insects.
- Hang a mosquito net over your childs bed.
- Avoid areas which mosquitos and biting insects like flower beds or stagnant water and eat your meals indoors.
Got any tips? If you have any advice youd like to share with other parents, please get in touch, wed love to hear from you.
Here at ScratchSleeves we dont just share our experiences of bringing up an eczema child and favourite allergy friendly recipes, we also manufacturer and sell our unique stay-on eczema scratch mitts and PJs for babies, toddlers and children. We now stock sizes from 0-adult years in a range of colours. Visit our main website for more information.
The Best Bug Sprays For 2022
Cutter, Proven, Natrapel and more: The best insect repellents for every outdoor need.
- Price alerts on for Natrapel picaridin wipes
Whether you’re adventuring in sweltering summer heat or raking up leaves in the fall, there are always parts of the world dealing with the one tag-a-long no one ever wants to deal with: bugs. I’m talking mosquitos, ticks, chiggers, gnats, biting flies and no-see-ums. Yuck.
I grew up in Louisiana and now I live in Florida, so I’ve spent a lifetime dousing my skin and clothes in insect repellent. Bug spray is a staple in the south, to say the least.
If you plan on spending any time outdoors fishing, hiking, or especially if you plan to go camping or visit any marshy areas, it’s best to go prepared with insect repellent. But you don’t want to waste money on bug repellent with minimal effectiveness. Here’s a compiled list of some of the best bug sprays available right now, as determined by my testing of more than 20 products in the South Florida heat.
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Oil Of Lemon Eucalyptus
Oil of lemon eucalyptus is made from the leaf extract of lemon eucalyptus trees. Its then processed to increase the levels of a naturally occurring substance that repels bugs.
Oil of lemon eucalyptus is actually not the same thing as lemon eucalyptus oil, which is an essential oil that has not been tested or registered as an EPA-approved insect repellent.
Some people prefer OLE because it is a natural, plant-based product that has been evaluated and registered by the EPA and actually protects up to 6 hours.
However, it is not labeled for use in children under the age of 3 years , so the CDC only recommends oil of lemon eucalyptus as a bug repellent for children older than 3.
Best Bug Spray For Centipedes 2023
This list features the best Bug Spray for Centipedes that is found on the market today. We let the users decide which Bug Spray for Centipedes should make the list, by scanning all the reviews available and bringing you the best selling, and best-reviewed products. We know that shopping online for items can be difficult because you dont get to experience it first hand. Thats why our lists are built around the ratings and reviews from folks who have!
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Best For Babies And Kids: Babyganics Natural Insect Repellent
Keep your little ones defended against mosquitos with this baby-safe DEET-free formula, which uses a blend of bug-repelling ingredients and essential oils like citronella, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, and geranium. Recommended for ages six months and up, its packed in a travel-friendly spray bottle that wont get lost in your baby bag.
Theres not many products I feel safe using on my daughter that actually work, but this one does, . The smell of citronella a little strong but it keeps the bugs off the babies and mommas if you have sensitive skin.
Repel Insect Repellent Scented Family Formula
This is another 15 percent DEET spray that offers protection against mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, gnats, chiggers, and fleas. Additionally, this product doesnt leave a greasy feeling on your skin and is sweat-resistant, which is great for active kids.
While many noted how effective this spray was, some users felt the smell was off-putting. In addition, youll want to be careful to keep your mouth closed while you spray the aerosol can and apply it outside whenever possible. And again, consider spraying it on your hands and rubbing it on your child, instead of using the aerosol directly on them.
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Avon Skin So Soft Original Dry Oil Body Spray 350
Suitable for: 5+
This spray is designed to soften your skin with the help of Jojoba oil, but many parents swear by its insect-fighting properties, too. It contains citronella oil, which is probably why it can help ward off bites, however, as mentioned before, the oil isnt recognised as an official repellent.
Nonetheless, Skin So Soft gets recommended again and again on our MFM Forum, for kids as well as pregnant mamas. As one of our members raves, it really seems to work hubby was the only one who got bitten, and he forgot to put it on. If you do want to use it on your kids, the brand recommends 5 years old as the minimum age.
Available from: and Avon