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The 5 most effective insect repellents according to Consumer Reports

TODAY logo TODAY 10/12/2017 Sarah Epstein

Bug spray © Shutterstock Bug spray Consumer Reports tested insect repellents and five measured up as products worth trying.

There are the fun parts of fall — think apple picking, s'mores, camping — and then there are the bad parts, mostly represented by bugs.

To keep insects like Zika-carrying mosquitoes and Lyme-carrying ticks at bay, you need a good bug spray. Consumer Reports compiled a list of the best mosquito repellents and, of the many they tested, five measured up as products worth trying.

Sawyer Fisherman's Formula Picaridin, $6, Amazon

© Courtesy of Sawyer Products

Sawyer was named one of the three most effective repellents. This pump spray will repel mosquitoes for a full eight hours.

Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, $5, Amazon

© Courtesy of Walgreens

This pump spray contains oil of lemon eucalyptus and is effective for seven hours.

Repel Scented Family, $8, Amazon

© Courtesy of Amazon

Repel Scented Family contains 15 percent deet and comes as an aerosol spray.

Natrapel 8 Hour, $5, Amazon

© Courtesy of Amazon

Natrapel 8 Hour's active ingredient is 20 percent picaridin. Consumer Reports named Natrapel 8 Hour one of the three most effective repellents, along with Sawyer Fisherman's Formula Picaridin and Off! Deepwoods VIII.

Off! Deepwoods VIII, $12, Amazon

© Courtesy of Target

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


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