Some news that may sting: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says illnesses spread by mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas have tripled in the U.S. in a little more than 10 years. More than ever, it's important to protect yourself from creepy-crawlies. If you've been searching for the best way to keep mosquitoes away, try these bug repellents. No need to thank us later.
What it is: You can't get a better shield than DEET — the CDC says this chemical repellent is safe when you follow label directions.
The caveat: Don't overapply. Because it's a strong chemical, you want just enough repellent to cover exposed skin. And as a rule of thumb, stick to 30% DEET or less.
What it is: Typically either this chemical repellent is sprayed on clothes or they're soaked in it, and it remains even after multiple washes.
The caveat: You're protected only where covered — for example, if you're wearing treated capris, you'll still need to apply repellent to your ankles if they're exposed.
What it is: The CDC says this plant-based ingredient is effective. Plus, it lasts longer than citronella and other botanical repellents.
The caveat: Its aroma is earthy and strong; people either love it or hate it. Also, even though it's plant-based, it can be irritating to eyes.
What it is: Another CDC-listed chemical ingredient, this has the most neutral scent and is less oily than DEET.
The caveat: This is more popular in Europe than in the U.S., where DEET dominates, so it may be harder to find here. As with the others, apply only as much as you need.
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2018 issue of Landcruisers.