Ditch citronella candles and get rid of mosquitoes for good with these reliable bug repellents.

By Stacey Leasca
June 17, 2019
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Though there’s plenty to be excited about with the onset of the summer season (hello, frosé!) there is one inconspicuous, buzzing creature that threatens all warm-weather activities: mosquitoes. As a kid, you likely remember your parents diligently lighting what seemed like one million citronella candles in an effort to keep annoying bugs at bay. Yet, no matter how many candles came into play, pesky mosquitoes always seemed to make an unwelcome appearance at every backyard barbecue.

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Lighting dozens of citronella candles isn't exactly convenient when you're trying to consume copious amounts of chilled wine, but that doesn't mean you need to utilize harsh chemicals like DEET to keep the peace at your next outdoor bash. Natural remedies exist of course, along with chemical-free insect repellents like these five finds that will turn your backyard into a bug-free zone.


Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

This bug-repelling system uses bionic, electromagnetic, and ultrasonic wave technology to drive pests away. Though the system is meant to be used indoors, it’s worth testing on covered patios since the device is reportedly effective against a number of pests, including mosquitoes, mice, roaches, fleas, ticks, and more.

To buy: $24; amazon.com.


PARA'KITO Natural Mosquito Repellent Roll-On Gel

Avoid over-spraying with this convenient roll-on repellent that's both DEET and paraben-free. Made from essential oils, the easy-to-apply gel formula works on vulnerable areas like ankles, wrists and ears.

To buy: $20; amazon.com.


NewAir Outdoor Misting Fan

According to the bug experts at Terminix, fans can help deter mosquitoes because the bugs are “naturally weak fliers.” Fans also work to disperse the carbon dioxide we exhale, which mosquitoes use to locate humans in the first place. Go big with an oscillating pedestal fan with misting technology so you can keep cool and mosquito-free.

To buy: $108; amazon.com.


Badger Balm Anti-Bug Sunscreen

Slather on this lotion that contains a non-toxic repellent and moisturizers to help condition skin. The SPF 30 cream is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes too, making it a summer essential you'll reach for again and again.

To buy: $17; amazon.com.


Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

For a fresh scent that will stand up to bloodsuckers, try this fragrant repellent. The spray is DEET-free and made from plant-based ingredients recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To buy: $12; amazon.com.