We spend a lot of time outdoors during the summer both during the day and at night. It makes sense given there are certain times of the day that are perfectly enjoyable during summer even with the overall larger amount of heat. Unfortunately, the really nice times of the day tend to have a lot of bugs out there waiting to say hello to us. Mosquitoes enjoy a particularly potent reputation in this area as they seek out any and all warm blood that they can find as a nice snack. We’ve got plenty of tricks for helping to deal with the problem, but nothing has ever proven quite as effective as a good bug repellent. Choosing a good one is about a bit more than simply grabbing one off the shelf as not all bug repellents are formulated equally. There are a few things you’ll want to look for to ensure you’re getting the best bug repellent you can before you spend an evening outside with friends during summer.

Chemical or “Natural”
Let’s entirely ignore that all compounds are chemicals for this and go off of common understanding instead. There are chemical and “natural” products available as bug repellents. The latter tend to have specific marketing to draw your attention to their believed superior nature and this allows for easy identification. Chemical bug repellents tend to be highly potent products meant to provide relatively long lasting protection once applied. The products generally provide an hour to an hour and a half worth of full protection from bug bites while you’re outside. Natural products are a little different. They rely on oils and other basic preparations to provide their protection. None of the compounds used in them is formulated to last a particular amount of time either. This means you tend to have a half hour at most before the protection begins to fade and needs to be reapplied. On whole, this means looking for a bug repellent that uses a chemical agent or agents is your best option. Just make sure to check for any age restrictions before applying it to be safe.

Just Repellent or Repellent and Sunscreen
Going outdoors in summer necessarily demands putting on sunscreen. After all, the last thing we want to do is damage our skin by frying it out in the sun. Sunscreen also means we can enjoy being out in the sun longer without worrying about sunburn or other forms of sun damage driving us back inside and away from our summer social gatherings. We’ve also got to put on bug repellent to help safeguard against unwelcome bug bites too. The obvious solution seems to be applying products that combine the two for a quicker application that you can sure you get both. Ideally, no one should use a combination product like this. This particular kind of combination product isn’t terribly effective when it comes to providing an actual long lasting barrier like normal repellent. It suffers in the same way that “natural” products do and thereby doesn’t make a good choice if you’re going to spend any large amount of time outside like you would during a normal summer gathering.

Sprays and Lotions or Bracelets and Necklaces
One of the things that people tend to dislike about bug repellent is the simple fact that it needs to go on one’s skin. It doesn’t help that plenty of products can cause a bit of light irritation. This has lead companies to offering various workarounds to try and solve the problem. Bug repellent bracelets and other wearable options are meant to offer a simple way to get the protection you want while still while avoiding the unpleasantness. Unfortunately, such products are nowhere near as effective as the sprays and lotions that people typically use. Wearable products simply don’t provide the necessary coverage to provide good protection. Their active ingredients often dissipate quickly once released from the product and don’t provide the barrier that makes sprays and lotions work so well. So stick with spray and lotion options if you genuinely want to provide yourself with the best protection possible this summer. This will help ensure you’re as unattractive a target for biting as possible.

Bug repellent is one of those necessary evils of summer. While they may irritate the skin sometimes, they prevent a greater irritation in the form of bug bites. Picking an effective bug repellent will give you a way to enjoy your time outside this summer without worrying about becoming a buffet to biting bugs. Just try to remember these tips and you should have no trouble picking out a good option to use the next time you’re stepping outside.

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