Keep bugs at bay with these 7 leading mosquito repellents

Everyone can benefit from protection against mosquitoes and the issues they cause.

If you’re familiar with the buzz, sting, and inevitable itch of pesky mosquitoes, you know just how bothersome these pests can be. From ruining time in the yard to irritating skin, mosquitoes are so annoying it can be easy to forget that they are actually really dangerous, too. Sure, you can withstand a bit of a nuisance, so it’s easy to just grin and bear it, swatting the skeeters as they come along, but that leaves you at risk not only for annoying bites and endless itches but issues like Dengue fever, Zika, and malaria. That’s why everyone benefits from mosquito repellents. Coming in a whole host of forms, you can find anything from a spray to a zapper (each with its own benefits). Let’s take a look and see which mosquito repellent is right for you. 

BullFrog Mosquito Spray

Keep bugs at bay with these 7 leading mosquito repellents

If you are used to classic bug spray, the BullFrog Mosquito Coast Sunscreen & Repellent is a solid choice. Since it works as both an SPF 50 sunscreen and a mosquito repellent, it is a really efficient option. The set comes with two aerosol containers that give a broad and powerful spray, making it easy to cover any exposed skin. Designed to work for as long as eight hours, the repellent is also resistant to water, meaning you can be submerged in water for over an hour before it loses its efficacy. Free of DEET, this spray is safe to use, highly effective, and portable enough to bring wherever you go. The containers themselves are highly durable and not prone to leaks or damage, so you can get worry-free protection from mosquitoes and reclaim the outdoors. [Buy]

Mosquito Magician Outdoor Spray

Keep bugs at bay with these 7 leading mosquito repellents

If you want to tackle the issue at the source, then the Mosquito Magician Natural Insect Repellent is a worthy candidate. Unlike sprays that go directly on the skin, this repellent is designed to be sprayed on your yard. It comes with a pair of one-gallon containers which you can use to fill any sprayer. Killing over 98 percent of the mosquitoes in the area, it creates a chemical forcefield against these insects. Plus, the spray is powerful enough to address other pest issues like ticks and fleas. Since it relies on natural ingredients to repel insects, this spray is perfectly safe to use around children and pets alike. A blend of citronella, garlic, rosemary, and other oils like lemongrass and cedarwood powerfully deter mosquitoes. Each container can treat a full 4,000 square feet of area and last for a couple of weeks, so you can enjoy your BBQs in peace. [Buy]

Zap It Rechargeable Racket

Keep bugs at bay with these 7 leading mosquito repellents

Those looking to take action and fight mosquitoes firsthand can get a lot of use (and enjoyment) from the Zap It Bug Zapper Racket Set. Turning repelling mosquitoes into a veritable sport, this set of two electrified rackets quickly kills any surrounding mosquitoes. The rackets themselves run on 4,000 volts of electricity, giving you ample supply to address those pesky bugs. The handles are easy to hold and the lightweight design makes swinging effortless. Since the rackets include three layers of mesh, you also don’t have to worry about hurting yourself when the electric parts are engaged. Compact enough to bring on your next camping trip, the rechargeable battery is quite long-lasting. When it runs out of juice, the included cord and USB cable help let you recharge it quickly so you’re ready for the next battle. [Buy]

Gloue Bug Zapper System

Keep bugs at bay with these 7 leading mosquito repellents

Perhaps you’d prefer to take a more backseat approach to mosquitoes and enjoy your time outdoors free of sprays and swinging rackets. That’s where the Gloue Bug Zapper Light Bulb comes in. An easy replacement for your porch light, this mosquito-fighting bulb uses LED lighting technology that emits UV light with a wavelength of between 365 and 420 nanometers. This spectrum entrances all types of insects (mosquitoes included) and draws them towards the light. Then, once the bug reaches the electrified component of the lightbulb, it is electrocuted. Since the structure is angled at a curve, it won’t trap the mosquito corpses, rather letting them fall to the ground for minimal cleanup. Featuring three different modes, you can use this as a standard light, a zapper, and a dim light, making it both versatile and effective. [Buy]

Citronella Patio Sticks 

Keep bugs at bay with these 7 leading mosquito repellents

Want something that can enhance your balcony while also keeping mosquitoes at bay? Consider the Mintronella Naturals Mosquito Repellent Patio Sticks. Entirely free of harmful chemicals, these repellent sticks look just like standard incense. However, because of the unique blend of citric, mint, lemongrass, and citronella, the smoke is really good at keeping bugs at bay. The set comes with 100 sticks, each burning for up to 45 minutes. Working best when placed as a protective perimeter, these patio sticks are both pleasant to look at and to smell (as long as you aren’t a mosquito). Entirely biodegradable and safe to have around, the use of natural materials in lieu of synthetic chemicals makes these sticks a really safe option. Plus, since the ash is entirely biodegradable, you don’t have to worry about harming your surroundings. Instead, you get the benefits of a pleasant smell and utter lack of buzzing mosquitoes. [Buy

Thermacell Mosquito Repeller

Keep bugs at bay with these 7 leading mosquito repellents

When power is your main focus, the Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repeller is a great choice. It’s especially useful for those with sensitivities to chemicals who also live in humid areas that are prone to high amounts of mosquitoes.  When it’s on, the repellent technology creates an invisible barrier that deters mosquitoes without impacting people. The technology relies on electricity to heat the replaceable Radius cartridge: you turn on the device with the push of a button and the rechargeable battery heats the chemical and provides up to 40 hours of mosquito protection. Featuring an automatic shutoff, this low-maintenance machine gives you full protection from mosquitoes while requiring minimal effort. Safe to use and fairly long-lasting, though this repeller comes with a moderately higher price point, it is well worth the investment. [Buy]

Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

Keep bugs at bay with these 7 leading mosquito repellents

Particularly for those times when mosquitoes want to come indoors and join the festivities, the Neatmaster Electronic Ultrasonic Pest Repeller is a fantastic selection. It plugs directly into any standard AC wall outlet and uses ultrasonic frequencies tuned specifically to deter mosquitoes. While the sound can’t be heard by human ears, it is a serious nuisance for mosquitoes and keeps them away. It comes with three power settings, indicated by LED lights on the exterior of the plug. The red is the most powerful (so much so, you might hear a buzz). The blue and green settings are entirely inaudible and still able to deter mosquitoes. While the frequency won’t pass through walls, it is an excellent solution for a single room. The ultrasonic field covers up to 120 square meters and is safe to use even if there are pets or children around.  Powerful and user-friendly, this chemical-free repellent solution is both affordable and effective. [Buy]

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Types of mosquito repellent

Mosquito repellents are as diverse as the pests are annoying. This is good news since it means you can find a repellent that suits your needs. Some are meant for indoor use, using ultrasonic frequencies to repel pests. Others use light and sound to draw in the mosquito, then apply an electrical current to zap them. There is the classic bug spray approach (both with and without DEET) and chemical sprays for your yard. Just like with any other product, the key is to find something that balances power and safety. Most repellents are really easy to use; and, thanks to modern developments, are fairly safe. First, determine whether you want the repellent on your skin. If so, you can benefit from a spray. If not, then look for compact options that are designed to protect a large area from mosquitoes. 

Key features of mosquito repellent

  • Mechanism: The first feature you should look at is how the mosquito repellent actually works. Consider whether it is meant to deter mosquitoes from getting close or is designed to draw them closer. Deterrents often rely on either sonic technology or chemicals. Mosquito solutions that draw bugs in will employ an electric current to kill the bug. Each solution has its place, so pairing the mechanism with the setting is really important. 
  • Duration: Next, figure out how long the mosquito repellent is meant to last. Sprays are usually vulnerable to water and will naturally wear out within hours. Technology that uses chemical cartridges or burning essential oils will naturally wear down. Even lightbulb models will wear out after time. Figure out how long you can expect it to work and choose something that lasts for as long as you’ll need it. 
  • Size: Especially if you’re going to be taking the mosquito repellent camping or on a road trip, you’ll want to opt for something that is reasonably compact. Size does not necessarily impact the strength of the repellent. It is more of a matter of ensuring that the repellent is portable and travels well. 

Benefits of mosquito repellent 

The main reason for mosquito repellent’s popularity is comfort. Instead of constantly swatting at bugs that land on your skin, a repellent stops the issue before it starts. Coming in a diverse array of designs and active mechanisms, it’s easier than ever to keep bugs at bay. Bear in mind that the benefits range further than simple comfort. Mosquitoes pose a real risk to health and safety. A plain bug bite results in a histemic reaction, meaning it puts a strain on the body. Since mosquitoes are known vectors for everything from Zika to Dengue fever, mosquito repellents are a necessary tool to help you stay safe and well outdoors. 

Mosquito repellent pricing

The good news is that mosquito repellents are really affordable, regardless of the type you’re choosing. Ranging between $10 and $50, depending on the technology, there is a repellent for every budget. The key is to identify real cost. Sure, a spray bottle that costs $15 will work well and be affordable, but it might run out. Conversely, a pricier model that uses ultrasonic tech as a deterrent may not run out, but you should be sure that you’ll use it enough to justify the expense. That said, since most mosquito repellents are really user-friendly and powerful, there is no wrong answer. Find something that you’re comfortable with using and you are sure to get the benefits you seek. 

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