Inside or Out? 2 Mosquito Repellents that Work

You’re eating out. No, I mean really eating out – beachside, dockside, charming courtyard, that sort of thing. It’s idyllic. Enfolded by salt air, serenaded by waves, you are one with the sunset — right up until you realize that you, too, are the meal.

From the first slap, which arrives a split second late, it’s ‘game on.’ You begin channeling Grasshopper (a’ la Kung Fu 1972). You command every nerve to report the instant the next tiny bloodsucker makes contact. But, darn — another slap, another miss. Now you want to move inside. It’s too late. The server is headed your way with your order. You start picturing yourself tossing and turning, clawing and scraping all night long. What misery.

My advice – go prepared! A little bug repellent can keep you from slapping yourself senseless. But pick something potent. My favorites are Sunsect Insect Repellent + Sunscreen and Sawyer Picaridin Insect Repellent lotion. Neither comes cheap, but they work better than anything else I’ve tried. I purchase in little foil packets and only apply after I know it’s needed.

Sunsect’s combination of sunscreen and insect repellent is a great combination for our coastal environment for daytime ventures. It does contain DEET, which you might not like. DEET is a chemical insect deterrent developed in response to jungle warfare during WWII. If you want to find out more about insect repellent ingredients, including DEET,  check out this April 2019 Consumer Reports article which says, “The balance of evidence indicates that DEET is safe when used as directed.” 

Picaridin doesn’t use DEET. It contains a synthesized pepper plant ingredient that repels mosquitoes, ticks, and flies. It ranks well with REI shoppers and is recommended by the World Health Organization and the CDC. There are many more products. Whatever your favorite, take some when you head out to eat so that you don’t end up slapping yourself silly in front of your date.

P.S. We have no affiliation with Sunsect or Picaridin or any company that sells these products. It’s just what works for us.