2018 Best Insect Repellents Reviews - Top Rated Insect Repellents
 

Best Insect Repellent

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Insect Repellent Reviews

Lotions, sprays, candles, wrist bracelets; there are a number of different ways to keep those pesky insects from biting your skin while you’re trying to enjoy a lakeside dinner at night. The problem with a lot of these concoctions is that they’re laden with chemicals, they smell terrible, and worst of all, they don’t really work for everyone. Finding an insect repellant that works for you is going to feel like a godsend because there’s no worse feeling than having those little guys all over your skin, but finding an effective brand is going to take some trial and error. Some new, all natural brands on the market are proving effective without any skin irritation. Also, the convenient spray-on formulations are quite popular because they’re so lightweight and easy to reapply. Do some experimenting at your local drug store, because there’s sure to be a whole rack of them, and see which is most tolerable in terms of smell and texture.

Most Popular Insect Repellent

Repel

5/5 Product Rating

Pump spray insect repellants are the easiest to use, and mist your skin with a gentle barrier that keeps those bugs at bay. This formulation from Repel gives you the maximum DEET protection that you can find for up to 10 hours of coverage. This is particularly strong against mosquitoes that carry the horrible West Nile virus. That is just the extra peace of mind that you need to enjoy your camping, hiking, or boating experience. Recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, DEET based products offer the most comprehensive protection against mosquitoes. Be sure to spray Repel over all exposed skin, but only sparingly on the face as it can be very problematic if you get the product in your eyes or mouth. Keep in mind that this will last up to 10 hours, however sweating or swimming will be a reason to reapply the Repel. If you’re using both Repel and sunscreen, make sure that you apply the sunscreen first, and then spritz the repellant afterward.

  • Works in extreme environments
  • Effective on mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, and biting flies for 10 hours
  • 100% DEET is most concentrated available

Best Overall Insect Repellent

All Terrain

4.8/5 Product Rating

Pump spray insect repellants are the easiest to use, and mist your skin with a gentle barrier that keeps those bugs at bay. This formulation from Repel gives you the maximum DEET protection that you can find for up to 10 hours of coverage. This is particularly strong against mosquitoes that carry the horrible West Nile virus. That is just the extra peace of mind that you need to enjoy your camping, hiking, or boating experience. Recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, DEET based products offer the most comprehensive protection against mosquitoes. Be sure to spray Repel over all exposed skin, but only sparingly on the face as it can be very problematic if you get the product in your eyes or mouth. Keep in mind that this will last up to 10 hours, however sweating or swimming will be a reason to reapply the Repel. If you’re using both Repel and sunscreen, make sure that you apply the sunscreen first, and then spritz the repellant afterward.

  • Works in extreme environments
  • Effective on mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, and biting flies for 10 hours
  • 100% DEET is most concentrated available

Best Budget Insect Repellent

3M

4.6/5 Product Rating

You know that 3M Ultrathon is tough, because it was built to protect people in the military for up to 12 hours. If it’s tough enough for a soldier, then it’s tough enough for you as well. This is a tremendous shield against ticks that may be carrying the West Nile Virus, mosquitoes, chiggers, biting flies, gnats, and fleas. It’s formulated to be completely resistant to sweat and water, and the innovative 3M polymer technology only enhances the power of DEET, allowing for time-controlled release of insect repelling power. No matter how extreme your conditions, this lotion won’t freeze or thaw, and it’s also backed by a 5 year guarantee. The Ultrathon repellant has been proven by a number of labs to be the strongest that you can find on the shelves. Most other lotions on the market are alcohol based, and the DEET simply evaporates into air. Because of the time-released technology, this isn’t going to happen here.

  • Time-released protection with 3M Technology for up to 12 hours
  • Water and sweat resistant
  • Effective against deer ticks that could carry Lyme Disease
  • Lotion developed for the US Military

Insect Repellent Buying Guide

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Insect bites should not be taken for granted because some insects carry life-threatening diseases. Mosquitoes carry diseases like malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus. Ticks, on the other hand, carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Using an insect repellent will be helpful in preventing disease-carrying insects from biting you. Insect repellents come in various forms. There are some that can be applied to the skin like sprays, roll-on sticks and lotions. There are also special insect repellent wristbands and stickers that you can wear outdoors. Insect repellents may be useful in preventing insect bites but you should also be careful in using these substances. Some repellents can bring you skin irritation while others can be toxic when ingested.

Here are some of the things you should consider when buying an insect repellent.

Things to Consider When Buying An Insect Repellent

What is it made of?

Before buying an insect repellent, you must consider the ingredients or chemicals used in making it. Read the product label properly and research on the product’s ingredients. Make sure that the insect repellent and its ingredients will not cause any harm to the environment. Buy a product made by a trusted, well-known brand. Check if the products are safe and registered in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Common EPA-registered insect repellents contain chemicals like DEET and Picaridin. There are also insect repellents that contain essential oils extracted from plants like citronella, lemon eucalyptus and catnip. Products containing the mentioned ingredients are said to be more “nature-friendly” compared to insect repellents that contain DEET, Picaridin and Permethrin.

Who will be using it?

Consider the person who will use the product. An insect repellent being EPA-registered doesn’t guarantee you that you won’t be experiencing skin irritation or allergic reaction if you will use it. Buy Dermatologically-tested products. Make sure that the person who will be using the insect repellent is not allergic to the ingredients used in making it. Don’t apply it near wounds and cuts. Be careful when using it to children, pregnant women and sick people. Insect repellents with DEET might be very effective but these products should not be used on infants. Even products that contain essential oils like lemon eucalyptus are not recommended for children ages below 3 years old.

Make sure that the products have good online reviews and are recommended for all ages. Parents should only apply thin, small amounts of insect repellents to children. If you’re using a lotion, don’t apply it to their hands and faces. Parents should also not apply them directly to the skin. When using a spray or aerosol, make sure that the child or pregnant woman will not be able to inhale it. If you experienced allergic reactions or difficulty of breathing, stop using the product and consult your doctor immediately.

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Where will you be using it?

Research on the place where you will be going it and the type of insects inhabiting there. Make sure that the products you will buy are perfect for indoor and outdoor use. If you will engage on outdoor activities like hiking, swimming and mountaineering, find a sweat and water resistant type of insect repellent.   Campers can use repellents containing Permethrin. Products containing the mentioned ingredient can be used for their clothing and even blankets but not on skin. DEET-containing products, which can be applied on the skin, cannot be used on certain plastics and fabrics (e.g. nylon). Find a product that is applicable on skin and fabrics. If you will consider DEET insect repellents, take the product’s concentration into consideration. High concentrations can bring long-lasting protection and can be used in places with insect bite outbreaks.

How long will it last?

When buying an insect repellent, take note on how long it will protect you. As much as possible, buy a product that can protect you for several hours or even days. Insect Repellents containing DEET and Picaridin can give you protection up to 8 hours or more especially if you will apply them more often. Products containing essential oils like Citronella can last up to 3 hours. If you will be exposed in a place with lots of insects for a long period, it would be better if you will go for Insect Repellents with DEET and Picaridin. If not, you can use insect repellents with natural oils. Stickers and Wristbands with Essential Oils can give you 3-6 days of protection but they might not be able to protect most of your body parts. These scented products may not last up to 8 hours unlike the other products, but they can still give you daily protection. Don’t forget to look at the product’s expiration date. Using an expired insect repellent is not going to be effective and it may even cause skin problems.

What type of insect repellent should I buy?

Try to look for a product that will be effective on two or more insects. If you want to protect most of your body parts for a longer period, go for a DEET lotion that you can spread evenly. If you don’t like applying lotion to your skin, you can use a spray. If you don’t want your children to inhale or ingest the contents of an insect repellent, avoid using sprays, candles, coils, roll-ons or lotions. It is recommended for children to use, DEET-free, non-toxic insect repellent pins, wristbands and stickers that usually feature cute, kid-friendly designs. These wearable products might not be as effective and long lasting as other repellents but these can also stop insects from biting your child’s skin.

Take note of the product’s smell. An insect repellent’s scent should not be too strong. Go for pleasant-smelling or unscented products. You can try Picaridin, it doesn’t melt plastics and is odorless. Consider the sizes and prices of the products before buying. Compare them to one another and choose a product that can last for several months. Go for long-lasting insect repellents that cost less than 10 dollars and weigh 4-5 oz.

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