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There are the fun parts of summer — think swimming, s'mores, camping — and then there are the less-desirable ones, mostly represented by bugs. Sometimes, they can feel like relentless pests who are chomping down on your arms and legs for dinner.
To keep insects like Zika-carrying mosquitoes and Lyme-carrying ticks at bay, you need a good reliable bug spray. Consumer Reports compiled a list of the best mosquito repellents and bug sprays and, of the many they tested, five measured up as products worth trying.
Best mosquito repellents
- 1. Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent 20% Picardin, $9, Amazon
Sawyer was named one of the three most effective mosquito repellents. This pump bug spray will repel mosquitoes for a full eight hours.
- 2. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, $14, Amazon
This pump bug spray contains oil of lemon eucalyptus and is effective for seven hours.
- 3. Repel Scented Family Insect Repellant, $7, Amazon
Repel Scented Family contains 15 percent deet and comes as an aerosol spray.
- 4. Natrapel 8 Hour Insect Repellant, $6, Amazon
Natrapel 8 Hour's active ingredient is 20 percent picaridin. Consumer Reports named Natrapel 8 Hour one of the three most effective bug repellents, along with Sawyer Fisherman's Formula Picaridin and Off! Deepwoods VIII.
- 5. Off! Deepwoods VIII, $3, Amazon
While most of the other repellents on this list contain picaridin as their leading active ingredient, Off! includes deet. It comes as an aerosol spray.
The 10 other products that Consumer Reports tested were only effective against mosquitoes for up to three hours, with many lasting a mere half hour.
Correction: An earlier version of this article included Consumer Reports' overall scores out of 100 as basis for ranking the top repellents. The scores factor in the products' effectiveness against ticks, which do not carry the Zika virus.
This story was originally published in February 2016 on Today.com.