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All the Buzz About the Top Five Bug Sprays (also, the do’s and do nots of application)

All the Buzz About the Top Five Bug Sprays (also, the do’s and do nots of application)

It’s that time of year again when the creeping, crawling, and buzzing things in nature decide to come back to the world and wreak havoc on the well-meaning people of the world. Anyone who’s ever been outside has either felt the stinging bite of a mosquito or heard the mind-numbing high-pitched buzz of a gnat in their ear. No matter how hard you wave your hands frantically about your head, they just won’t go away. The nimble little air ninjas seem to evade your every swipe. They are a huge buzz kill for your good camping time, especially when they get stuck to your toasted marshmallows. How do you keep them at bay? The best answer is bug spray and RecPro has compiled the top five brands for bug battling on the market.

1.Off! Deep Woods Dry – The top of the pyramid is a repellant that most of you have heard of and used. An old stand-by, this product is ranked in the top three by Consumer Reports as “most effective” insect repellants. This comes as an aerosol, contains DEET, and sprays on as a dry powder.

2.Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula – If you’ve been fishing you know it can get buggy out there. Another of the top three in Consumer Reports “most effective” insect repellants, this product contains picaridin and lasts (consistently) eight hours but can hold on for up to 14 hours. 

3.Natrapel – Picaridin heavy (20% by the manufacturer’s label) this heavy-hitter keeps the bugs away while you stay outside and play. Natrapel rounds out the top three repellants according to Consumer Reports.

4. Repel ‘Scented Family’ – You can’t go wrong protecting yourself, and your loved ones, from the bad bugs of the world with this product from Repel. It’s 15% DEET content (which experts state 15 to 20% content more than enough) will keep your family shielded from ticks, mosquitos, and more this summer.

5. Repel Lemon and Eucalyptus – The natural alternative to bug sprays this DEET free liquid will keep bugs at bay for up to seven hours.

All the repellants we’ve listed are effective at keeping bugs away from you and your loved ones. Some better than others depending on conditions. Manufacturers recommend testing out sprays on a small area of the skin to ensure that they won’t cause irritation. Also, as a practice, exercise caution when selecting a “natural” spray. Some sprays claim they’re ‘from Mother Earth’ sprays with natural insect repellants, but they can be wholly ineffective.

A man spraying bug spray on a childs legs

So now you’ve decided on a bug spray from our list. It’s time to apply and get out to the lake and start fishing. You start covering yourself from head to toe because your instinct is to create a complete force-field of anti-bug spray. Well, your instinct is causing a big stink; and for no gain. Here are some specifics for applying bug spray the right way this summer:

  • Avoid the cuts – One of the first rules of applying bug spray is to avoid all cuts and scrapes on your skin. The spray can get inside the wound and prolong healing and it will also sting quite badly
  • In yo’ face! – DO NOT spray any bug spray directly on your face. Manufacturers generally recommend you spray the liquid on your hands and then apply on all the exposed skin including the ears (sparingly)
  • Don’t overdo it – You should only apply repellant to exposed skin and the outer surface of clothing. Only one pass is needed. Gratuitous spraying only increases exposure to the chemicals in the spray and won’t repel bugs more effectively.
  • Avoid rash decisions – Spraying under your clothes is a big NO NO! Mixing with the exposed pores under your clothing and trapped heat you could give yourself a rash and possible an infection
  • Kids need not apply – Never let your little ones apply their own spray. As when applying spray to your face, put some in your hands and gently apply your kids clothing and exposed skin. CAUTION: keep the amount on their hands at a minimum as children are prone to rubbing their eyes without thinking of the consequences
  • Bad for seasoning – Unless you love the taste of citronella in your macaroni salad, always apply far away from your food
  • Wash it away – At the end of your camping or outdoor activities make sure and wash away the spray with soap and warm water. When it comes to your clothes, wash them separately from your regular loads before wearing them again
  • A clothes’d subject – Always read directions. Some sprays can damage leather or vinyl. A double whammy if you’re going to an 80’s themed “dress like your favorite leather wearing hair band”, record signing party.

We hope this list helps you have a bug-free summer while camping, fishing, or whatever activity you take part in with your family and friends. Just remember when you go out in the world, don’t forget your bug spray!  

Jun 11th 2018 SD Shank

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