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The Best Bug Spray, According to Our Readers and Editors

Repel 100 managed to ward off all of its pesky competitors in the nomination round to run away with the title of your favorite bug spray.

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Repel 100

Repel 100 is effective at warding off mosquitos buzzing in your ear (or in your vicinity), along with disease-carrying ticks, gnats, chiggers, and fleas. This 98% DEET spray will last for 10 hours and is formulated for use in areas that are dense with bugs. Plus, it’s small enough to fit in any pack you might be carrying.
Graphic: Chelsea Stone
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Here’s what you had to say:

Repel 100. No contest. It’s the only thing I’ve ever used that actually works. It feels terrible to put on, but I’ve done a weeks worth of tree work in marshes using this and got no more than a handful of bites. Works through sunscreen, sweat, water, dirt, all of that, but it’s brutal on your skin. Seriously, use lotion after you shower it off, and ALWAYS shower it off. -lostinspacecamp

THIS THIS THIS! I am so sick of every product claiming it is “just as effective as DEET”, even those with supposed scientific studies. NOTHING is as effective as full strength DEET. Many of those product claims are based on low concentrations. This stuff does wonders on mosquitos and black flies.

My biochemist friends are big fans of DEET and back the research that shows it is safe (it’s been around and used for decades). That said, they suggest limiting contact with small children. Best to put it on clothes rather than skin. Also, this high a concentration will actually melt some plastics - so will nail polish remover but that regularly comes in contact with skin too, so don’t rant about that making it unsafe, just use accordingly. - posigrade

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REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

Deet is generally very safe, though you may want to avoid it if you have sensitive skin or little ones in need of protection from pests. If you’re wary of using Deet, our deal researcher Corey had his own recommendation.
Graphic: Chelsea Stone

For parents with small kids, Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent is the only thing I’ve found that repels mosquitoes without Deet. - Corey Foster, deals researcher

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Shep McAllister

Senior Director of Commerce | Send deal submissions to deals@gizmodomedia.com