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The 12 Best Mosquito Repellents to Keep Your Family Protected

Reader's Digest Logo By Maryn Liles of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 16: Ah, the sweet summer months are now upon us, which means picnics in the park, fun BBQ ideas, backyard games, days at the pool…and mosquitoes. Hopefully, you don't live in one of the most mosquito-infested cities in the U.S., but if you consider your backyard an oasis and love to lounge on outdoor furniture, chances are, you'll get bitten. Mosquitoes can ruin your evening on the patio and leave you itching and scratching for days. Luckily, there are plenty of safe and simple ways to keep mosquitoes at bay, from plants that repel mosquitoes and natural bug repellents to mosquito-repelling lawn treatments and EPA-approved bug sprays. The challenge is to pick the right one. "When choosing a personal repellent, make sure you match your insect repellent to the environment you are going to be in, as well as your activity," says Tania Elliott, MD, an internist, allergist, and immunologist. "Different repellents offer a varied range of active ingredients, strengths, and lengths of protection." Keep in mind: "The higher the percentage of the active ingredient (i.e. DEET), the longer one application will last," she adds.

How to choose the best bug repellant

Ah, the sweet summer months are now upon us, which means picnics in the park, fun BBQ ideas, backyard games, days at the pool…and mosquitoes. Hopefully, you don't live in one of the most mosquito-infested cities in the U.S., but if you consider your backyard an oasis and love to lounge on outdoor furniture, chances are, you'll get bitten.

Mosquitoes can ruin your evening on the patio and leave you itching and scratching for days. Luckily, there are plenty of safe and simple ways to keep mosquitoes at bay, from plants that repel mosquitoes and natural bug repellents to mosquito-repelling lawn treatments and EPA-approved bug sprays. The challenge is to pick the right one.

"When choosing a personal repellent, make sure you match your insect repellent to the environment you are going to be in, as well as your activity," says Tania Elliott, MD, an internist, allergist, and immunologist. "Different repellents offer a varied range of active ingredients, strengths, and lengths of protection." Keep in mind: "The higher the percentage of the active ingredient (i.e. DEET), the longer one application will last," she adds.

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