Whether you are a mountain type of person who likes nothing more than to completely disconnect from civilization in nature or a beach bum who can’t wait to slide into a bathing suit and work on your tan on a faraway island, don’t forget that bug spray is just as important to pack as your hiking boots and sunscreen. Yellow fever, dengue fever, and Lyme disease are just three more extremely dangerous bug-transmitted diseases that are common and cannot be treated with a vaccine. And while clothing should always be your first line of defense — bugs can’t bite through two layers — an effective insect repellent is a must-have, as well.
1. Repel 100 Insects Repellent.
This heavy-duty insect repellent contains 98 percent DEET and is extremely efficient on mosquitoes, ticks, gnats, biting flies, chiggers, no-see-ums, and fleas. It is very strong so use it if you’re heading to countries with severe insect conditions.
2. Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent.
Spray the outer layer of your clothing, tent, sleeping bag, and other gear with this bug repellent spray and allow it to dry before contact with skin. Permethrin kills ticks, chiggers, mites, mosquitoes, and 55 more types of bugs. Your gear’s protection will last up to six washings or 42 days of sun exposure with a single application.
3. Ben’s 30 DEET Tick And Insect Repellent.
This DEET-based spray contains 30 percent of the bug-repellent chemical, which provides maximum efficacy. It protects against mosquitoes and ticks and is the perfect choice if you’re camping or hiking in the mountains. For maximum protection, use it in combination with permethrin-treated clothing.
4. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent.
This DEET-free, lemon eucalyptus–based spray repels mosquitoes — which may transmit Chikungunya, Zika, Dengue, and West Nile viruses — and deer ticks for up to six hours. Just bear in mind that while its active ingredient is plant-derived, the FDA doesn’t recommend it for children under three, because it may cause skin irritation.
5. Natrapel 12-Hour Mosquito, Tick And Insect Repellent.
Natrapel’s active ingredient is picaridin which is relatively new to the U.S. but has been used for two decades in Europe as a bug repellent. It is considered especially effective against flies and its 20 percent concentration (the maximum allowed) protects for up to 12 hours
6. All Terrain Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent.
This natural insect repellent contains soybean, citronella, peppermint, cedar, lemongrass, and geranium oil that repel insects and other bugs. It is the ideal solution for short-term exposure as it should be reapplied every two to three hours. It is DEET and GMO-free and won’t damage your clothing or gear.
7. Proven Insect Repellent.
This DEET-free Picaridin spray offers long-lasting protection for up to 14 hours. The brand’s repellents have been tested to effectively repel mosquitos, ticks, black flies, biting flies, stable flies, ants, gnats, chiggers, sand flies, and no-see-ums.