Here’s how to make mosquitos hate you.
Heightened concerns over mosquito-borne illnesses like Dengue fever, Chikungunya, West Nile, and the increasingly prevalent Zika virus has turned the would-be annoyance of bug bites into a serious health threat for travelers. Fortunately, it’s a risk that can be easily mitigated with products found at your local drug store. Read on for the best bug repellants for every type of traveler.
Best for: The Smell Adverse
If the typical bug-spray smell gives you a headache, spritz on a little Aromaflage ($30) to keep the mosquitos at bay. The hand-mixed blend of natural extracts such as vanillin, cedar wood, and lemongrass promises to be a natural repellent in addition to your new spring scent.
Best for: Non-DEET
In late 2015, Consumer Reports ranked Sawyer Fisherman’s formula ($14) and Repel’s Lemon Eucalyptus ($9) as good if not better at repelling bugs than products formulated with DEET. If you’re looking to skip exposure to the potentially troublesome chemical this trip, keep one the duo on-hand.
Best for: TSA-Friendly
Packing only a carry-on? Invest in a few of Off!’s TSA-friendly Deep Woods Towelettes ($15 for a pack of 20). The non-greasy formula protects against mosquitoes as well as other troublesome critters like ticks, gnats, and chiggers—plus, the spray-free application keeps your from inhaling DEET.
Best for: Added Protection
Up your protection levels on the go by stowing one of these candles ($7) in your carry-on. True to the “repel” name, it keeps mosquitos away by slowly releasing citronella oils as it’s burned.
Best for: Non-Spray
If you’d prefer to leave the sprays behind altogether, consider ordering one of L.L.Bean’s repellent-treated shirts ($100). Effective for up to 70 washes, the buttondown promises to fend off mosquitoes as well as ticks, flies, and midges. Plus, it offers an SPF of 30, to protect against UV rays. Just remember to keep the sleeves rolled down!
Best for: Going to Extremes
If the recent Zika news has you on high alert, but you’re not quite ready to cancel your Caribbean vacation, traveling with a personal mosquito net is one way to take prevention to the extreme. This one from Coghlan’s ($28) fits up to two people, and is easy to set up on your own.