11 Budget-Friendly Outdoor Bug Repellents (That Really Work)

Stop bugs and pests before they bite.

two bug repellents
Updated July 18, 2024
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Summer means you’ll probably be spending more time outside. After all, it’s warm weather, sunshine, and late sundowns.

But the summer evenings are also full of bugs.

So what can you do to enjoy the outdoors without the bugs? Here are some budget-friendly ways to bounce those bugs from your space and stop wasting money on repellents that just don’t work.

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Thermacell E90 Rechargeable Mosquito Repellent

Courtesy of Thermacell rechargeable mosquito repellent

Price: $49.99

The Thermacell E90 Rechargeable Mosquito Repellent keeps mosquitoes at bay by providing nine hours of protection on one charge.

You can charge it using a USB cable, and its LED display will let you know when it needs to be recharged.

Feit Electric LED Bug Zapper Light Bulb

Courtesy of Amazon bug zapper light bulb

Price: $11.79

Don’t worry about leaving the lights on outside and attracting bugs when you have a bug zapper light bulb.

The Feit Electric LED Bug Zapper Light Bulb features an ultraviolet light that attracts mosquitoes and other pests while lighting your outdoor space.

Electric Fly Swatter Racket

Courtesy of Amazon electric fly swatter racket

Price: $22.94

Swat the flies and other bugs away with an electric swatter.

The Electric Fly Swatter Racket looks like a typical tennis racket, but it’s actually a secret weapon. Give it a wave over food and drinks while you’re outside to get rid of unwanted pests.

The swatter also has a charging stand, making it easy to grab whenever you need it.

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Bug Zapper Insect Killer

Courtesy of Amazon bug zapper insect killer

Price: $37.97

There are also more traditional options that can keep your outdoor spaces pest-free.

Check out the Bug Zapper Insect Killer, which includes a Black Flag Mosquito Octenol Lure. The extra lure pulls the bugs away from you and into the zapper, clearing the air and giving you a relaxing outdoor experience.

RiptGear Mosquito Patches

Courtesy of Amazon mosquito patches

Price: $19.95

Sometimes it’s a good idea to carry protection with you.

Grab a pack of RiptGear Mosquito Patches to put on clothing, backpacks, strollers, and more so you can always have some protection nearby without messing with sprays and lotions.

Zappify Portable Bug Zapper

Courtesy of Amazon portable bug zapper

Price: $43.99

The Zappify Portable Bug Zapper may be on the high end of your budget, but it can be worth it to keep bugs and other pests away.

The portable bug zapper is a great option if you like to venture out in nature and need something to carry with you.

A USB port allows you to charge the zapper for 13 hours of use, making it an easy option if you don’t want to fumble with batteries.

Citronella Plant

Courtesy of Amazon citronella plant

Price: $15.48

One of the more classic natural ways to keep bugs at bay is with a citronella plant.

You can add the plant to your outdoor landscaping around a patio or other areas where you spend a lot of time during the summer.

It can also be planted in a planter or other vessel that you can add to a table or move around as needed for protection.

Murphy’s Mosquito Repellent Candle

Courtesy of Amazon mosquito repellent candle

Price: $11.99

A Mosquito Repellent Candle simply runs on a flame, so you don’t have to worry about juggling USB cables or finding batteries.

The candles use natural materials that bugs hate to work as a natural deterrent for bugs. A natural candle may include citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, and more to keep bugs away.

Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion

Courtesy of Amazon insect repellent lotion

Price: $9.95

A good lotion can give you plenty of protection when you’re walking outside or taking part in outdoor activities.

Try Picaridin Insect Repellent Lotion, which comes in a variety of sizes including a four-ounce version for $9.95.

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Off! Active Insect Repellent Aerosol Spray

Courtesy of Amazon insect repellent aerosol spray

Price: $5.87

Sometimes you want something fancy and unique and other times it’s best to stick with the tried and true.

So grab some Off! Active Insect Repellent Aerosol Spray to stay protected whenever you’re outside and be sure to have some on handfor your next outdoor adventure.

Bottom line

Alex Photo/Adobe happy traveler couple resting

Summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy hikes outdoors or spend time with friends.

There are some great budget-friendly bug-repellent options to help you save money if you’re on a tight budget or have a specific goal for your spending.

It’s also a good idea to consider other choices that could be affordable, such as a bug screen, which may not be a repellent but can keep them away from you.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.