Best insect repellent. Consumer Reports tests 50 products

The top-rated repellents cost less than $12.

GREENSBORO, NC — Bug season is here, which means you’ll need a good insect repellent to protect you from bites. Not all repellents can do the job. Consumer Reports has tested more than 50 to discover the ones that will allow you to enjoy the great outdoors without insects.

Insect repellent sprays, lotions and wipes: CR has put them all to the test. This means that volunteer panelists put their arms in cages filled with 200 healthy mosquitoes after applying a standard dose of repellent to their skin. If that sounds scary, consider this…

“Of course, the insects that might bite you aren’t necessarily disease-free. head of Consumer Reports Health.

Take Lyme disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 476,000 cases occurred each year between 2010 and 2018, up nearly 45% from the previous decade.

CR’s testing paints a pretty clear picture: No matter what brand or type of repellent you use, products made with 25% to 30% DEET work best.

Repellents that get a CR recommendation include 3M Ultrathon8 Insect Repellent and Ben’s Tick and Insect Repellent Wilderness Formula Pump. Both excelled in mosquito and tick protection.

No matter which repellent you choose, to be effective it must be applied correctly. Follow label directions and apply a thin layer to all exposed skin. You can also spray it on your clothes, but don’t apply it under your clothes.

Do not let children apply their own insect repellent. Instead, spray it on your hands, then rub it into the child’s exposed skin and face.

If you’d rather not use DEET, CR also recommends some repellents made with 20% picaridin or 30% lemon eucalyptus oil.