By now you know to be a little concerned about mosquitos carrying the Zika virus, which means it’s more important than ever to protect yourself from bug bites. We know: Most sprays leave you smelling worse than a citronella candle, but the CDC says insect repellent truly is the best defense against Zika.
However you can’t just pick up any bug spray and expect it to protect you. ConsumerReports tested dozens of sprays against mosquitos that spread Zika and West Nile viruses, as well as ticks carrying lime disease, for its annual insect repellent ratings. The brands that topped the list (Sawyer Picaridin and Ben’s 30 Percent Deet Wilderness Formula) protected for up to seven hours, while the loser, EcoSmart Organic, worked for only 30 minutes! In general, you want to look for repellents with deet, lemon eucalyptus oil, or picaridin.
As for brands to avoid? Check out our handy graphic of the bug sprays that failed ConsumerReport’s tests: