We share this planet with approximately 900,000
(and increasing) species of insects, according to the Smithsonian
Institution. In other words, it’s wise for travelers to pack the
Insect expert Lawrence J. Zwiebel, associate professor of
biological sciences at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, says the
only sprays truly proven effective against the pests are ones
containing the chemical DEET. “There is some concern about it,
especially when used by children, but the large majority of
drugstore products contain low concentrations,” notes Zwiebel.
Popular brands such as Cutter, Fite Bite, Natrapel, Off! and
Repel all contain DEET and can be used to safeguard against
chiggers, gnats, sand flies, mosquitoes and no-see-ums.
For the best protection, Zwiebel advises travelers to wear
clothing that covers legs and arms, and to spray the clothing, not
Another smart move: Keep clean. Bugs are attracted by body odor,
so hit the shower before an outdoor activity or open-air event.