The 10 Best Insect and Mosquito Repellents of 2020

Keep mosquitoes away for good

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks
"Formulated with 25-percent DEET, this formula is long-lasting and will repel against mosquitos, tickets, biting flies, and more."
"Formulated with 15 percent picaridin, It doesn't eat through your fabric like DEET so you can spray it on clothing."
"If you prefer a pump spray, this one's available in both a 3-ounce and a 4-ounce size, making it easily portable."
"The Avon Skin So Soft bug repellant line has a variety of DEET-free formulas, including those with sunscreen SPF 30."
"This insect repellent uses natural oils from the Eucalyptus Citriodora tree, making it gentle on the skin."
"If you are in a heavily-infested mosquito area, a head net may be the only way to fend them off."
"Keep mosquitos away without spraying constantly with BugsAway insect repellent clothing that lasts through dozens of washes."
"Spray this on your outdoor clothing, hat, shoes, and the mosquito and tick protection lasts for a couple of weeks, even with washing."
"This brand features activewear for men, women, and children with permethrin-based insect-repellent finish and SPF 50."
"The sleeping bag liner/bed sack will prevent insects from bothering you while you sleep and can also shield against bed bugs."

Protect against West Nile Virus, Zika, and other mosquito-borne and insect-borne illnesses with insect repellent when walking outdoors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends mosquito repellent with 5 percent to 50 percent DEET as the best insect repellent for West Nile Virus mosquitoes . Over 50 percent DEET provides no further protection and can damage some fabrics.

For children under two months of age, it is best to avoid DEET, and it's important to limit the concentration to under 30 percent for older children. These are the best mosquito repellents to keep those insects far away.

1
of 10

Off! Deep Woods Repellant Spray

Formulated with 25-percent DEET, this mosquito repellent is long-lasting and will repel against tickets, biting flies, gnats, and chiggers, as well as mosquitos. You can find Off! in a pump, aerosol spray, or towelettes. Check to see what the concentration of DEET is for each. If it is too concentrated, it can damage fabrics.

You may be able to find unscented versions, which many people prefer. As this repellent contains DEET, it should not be used on children under 2 months of age. For older children, the DEET concentration should be 10 percent to 30 percent, ​and no higher.

2
of 10

Repel Tick Defense Unscented Aerosol

This repellent is just about perfect. It is truly odorless and formulated with 15 percent picaridin. It really works. It doesn't eat through your fabric like DEET so you can spray it on clothing, too.

It is also unscented, which is a huge advantage for those of us sensitive to perfumes. Picaridin is considered to be safe for children.

3
of 10

Sawyer Products Picaridin Insect Repellent

If you prefer a pump spray, Sawyer Premium Insect Repellent 20-Percent Picaridin Pump Spray is a great option. It has both a 3-ounce and a 4-ounce size that you can easily carry along in your pack. These are worth stocking up on for your outdoor adventures with the whole family, since Picaridin is safe to use for children of all ages.

4
of 10

Avon Bug Guard Plus Expedition Pump Spray

The Avon Skin So Soft bug repellant line has a variety of DEET-free formulas, including those with sunscreen SPF 30, and those that contain picaridin and are safe for children.

It's important to note, though, that many of these sprays include scents that may trigger allergies for some people. If you're someone who's prone to allergies, look out for Avron Skin So Soft sprays that include picaridin and don't have a perfume scent. Check the ingredients for eucalyptus oil and avoid those products for young kids, as the oil is not recommended for children under 3 years old.

5
of 10

Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

Repel Lemon Eucalyptus insect repellent uses natural oils from the Eucalyptus Citriodora tree. It's gentle on the skin, and won't harm fabrics or surfaces.

It repels mosquitoes, sandflies, ticks, midges, stable flies and more for up to six hours. Keep in mind that the FDA recommends not using eucalyptus oil on children under the age of 3.

6
of 10

Coghlan's Mosquito Head Net

If you are in a heavily-infested mosquito area, a head net may be the only way to fend them off. While it can be annoying to walk around with a head net on, it beats itching for days. This one from Coghlan's will fit comfortably over most headwear and has an elasticized neck for a snug fit.

7
of 10

ExOfficio Women's BugsAway Lumen Hoody

Sick and tired of spraying all the time? Now the BugsAway insect repellent finish is incorporated into all kinds of excellent outdoor clothing and activewear. These garments are odorless and made of great technical fabrics for all of your active outdoors needs.

The repellent effect lasts through dozens of washes. You can find shirts, pants, jackets, socks, scarves, and hats for men and women. The Insect Shield repellent is made with permethrin, which is considered safe for children.

8
of 10

Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent

The CDC recommends permethrin-based repellents for clothing and gear. Spray this on your outdoor clothing, hat, shoes, etc. and the mosquito and tick protection lasts for a couple of weeks, even with washing.

It is also useful for travelers who are concerned about bed bugs. Many walkers on the Camino de Santiago spray their bedding and packs with permethrin to ward off the bed bugs.

9
of 10

Haeleum Haeleum Insect Repellent Shirt

This brand also features activewear for athletes, including men, women, and youth. The Insect Shield repellent technology is based on permethrin, is considered safe for all ages, and is registered with the EPA. The long-sleeved women's Lyft shirt is made of soft fabric and dries very fast when hand-washed and air-dried.

The repellent should last through 70 launderings, and also has an SPF 50 sun rating. These designs are also suitable for runners, walkers, and hikers. The insect-repellent finish is on good technical shirts that wick away sweat.

10
of 10

Sea to Summit Sleeping Bag Liner with Insect Shield

If you don't want to be bothered while you sleep, this sleeping bag liner/bed sack can keep away insects including bed bugs, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.

It has Insect Shield, which includes permethrin. It packs up small to take along and is a great sleep sack to use on trips where you may face flying insects or bed bugs. Permethrin is considered safe for children as well as adults.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites. Updated October 17, 2019.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Environmental hazards & other noninfectious health risks. Updated July 2, 2019.

Additional Reading
  • Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Emergency Preparedness - Insect Repellent Use and Safety in Children. U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/EmergencyPreparedness/ucm085277.htm