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What’s in your bug spray?

When it comes to keeping mosquitos away, you don't have to choose between harmful chemicals and getting eaten alive.



It’s the height of summer—and if you’ve been spending more time outdoors lately, chances are you’ve got a few (or more) bug bites to show for your time in the sun.

And while bites from pests are an inevitable part of summer, it’s important to reduce your risk of bug bites from mosquitoes and ticks. That’s because several species of these insects can carry dangerous disease, including Lyme disease and West Nile virus.

“The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus disease is to prevent mosquito bites,” wrote the CDC in their summer health guidelines. “Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.”

Earlier this summer, the consumer advocacy organization Environmental Working Group compiled the latest research on bug sprays to help determine which repelling compounds were safest.

Keep reading to learn more about what’s in your bug spray…

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