12 Bug Sprays We're Using This Summer Because the Zika Scare is Real

In response to the World Health Organization’s declaration that the rapid spread of the Zika virus is an international public health emergency, Consumer Reports (CR) released its test results of mosquito repellents, including the ingredients that will best protect against Aedes mosquitos—the type that carry and spread the virus. The top three ingredients that prove to ward off the bites are deet, picaridin and lemon eucalyptus. The list did not include (in fact, Consumer Reports specifically noted they were not included on the recommended list for a reason) products containing IR3535, 2-Undecananone, 7 percent DEET or less than 20 percent picaridin. Here, we share our top picks to keep you virus-free this summer (and beyond).

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1/12

Sawyer Premium Insect Repellant With 20% Picaridin ($10)

Ranked by Consumer Reports as the top insect repellant overall for keeping Zika away, this lotion (the formula also comes in a spray) kept mosquitos from biting for about eight hours during its trial.


2/12

Natrapel 8 Hour Deet Free Long-Lasting Insect Repellant ($7)

Containing 20-percent picaridin, this spray also stopped biting for around eight hours during the CR trial without the use of DEET.


3/12

Ben's 30% Wilderness Formula DEET Tick & Insect Repellant ($8)

CR reported that this water-based formula (meaning it stays on the skin’s surface instead of being absorbed) stopped mosquitos from biting for seven and a half hours. 


4/12

Off! Deepwoods Insect Repellent VIII ($6)

This formula with 25-percent DEET kept the mosquitos at bay for eight hours, according to CR. Plus, this formula sprays on dry, never oily or greasy for hassle-free protection.


5/12

Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellant ($9)

A natural yet effective solution to the virus, CR says this formula, containing 30-percent lemon eucalyptus, stopped the mosquitos for seven hours. 


6/12

Repel Scented Family ($4)

Containing 15-percent DEET, this CR favorite doesn’t stink of the usual bug spray scent, but thoroughly protects against Zika-causing bites


7/12

Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Picaridin ($14)

These easy-to-use (and travel-friendly) towelettes let you control where the repellent gets applied, and how much of it is being used. Plus, it contains picaridin so you can breathe easy. 


8/12

Cutter Unscented Backwoords Insect Repellent ($3)

Containing 25-percent DEET, and zero fragrance, this spray promises to protect from biting for up to 10 hours, perfect for a full day outdoors.


9/12

3M Ultrathon Insect Repellant Lotion ($12)

This time-release formula keeps this 35-percent DEET repellent working for up to 12 hours on end, even though water and sweat.


10/12

Captain Blankenship Sail Away Bug Spray ($20)

Organic lemon eucalyptus oil work as a natrural DEET alternative in this spray that makes even warding off mosquitos a little more luxurious.


11/12

Bull Frog Mosquito Coast Sunscreen + Insect Repellent Continuous Spray SPF 30 ($11)

This two-in-one formula protects from the sun and harmful bites (the brand says it repels mosquitos that may carry viruses like Zika and West Nile) simultaneously.


12/12

Coleman High & Dry Insect Repellent ($8)

Boasting 25-percent DEET, this powder-dry formula keeps you protected for up to eight hours.


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