Best bug spray for kids

As traveling parents, preventing bug bites from ticks, mosquitoes, and other pests is a big deal, so we’ve been on a long-time hunt for what we consider the best bug spray for kids.

After all, our travels take us to places where mosquitoes and ticks are a fact of life. As we start traveling to other countries, we also know that we’ll have to be just as diligent about a good bug spray for kids. Plus, we know from experience how much mosquitoes LOVE Connor. When he was seven months old, we finished a weekend camping trip with a baby covered in mosquito bites, but the other kid on the trip had almost none.

Special discount for Learners and Makers fans

Before we go on, we’ve partnered with Ranger Ready for a special discount for you on their lineup of DEET-free picaridin and permethrin pest repellents.

When you place your order at, just enter code “LEARNERSANDMAKERS” at checkout for 10% off your order!

Our best bug spray for kids: Ranger Ready DEET-free repellents for skin and fabric

We’ve tried lots of pest repellents over the years. Natural sprays. DEET sprays. A while back, a DEET-free pest repellent company called Ranger Ready reached out to us. The company’s founder has Lyme disease, and he wanted to make it easier for people to use repellents on their outdoor excursions to try to prevent others from getting bitten and infected by pests like ticks.

We like what we’ve learned about the company and their products, enough that we decided to join Ranger Ready’s affiliate program (so if you buy Ranger Ready products through our links, we receive a commission, at no extra cost to you).

DEET-free, effective picaridin bug spray that we actually like putting on our skin

A little real talk here: Most bug sprays feel terrible on the skin. They’re heavy and greasy, like you’re slathering yourself in spray margarine.

When we first tried out Ranger Ready during a camping trip, we wondered if it would be more of the same. But for all four of us, Ranger Ready offered something unexpected—and most welcome.

We actually liked putting it on our skin.

Now, we’re not going to say that spraying on some of Ranger Ready’s picaridin spray is like slapping on some of your favorite perfume or cologne. But it’s pretty darn close.

The spray is light to the touch, easy to spread, and dries quickly. There’s none of that greasy, heavy feel we’ve had with other sprays. Plus, we like the scents (and there’s a non-scented version). Even the kids like putting on these sprays!

Best bug spray for kids: We can even spray clothes and gear without wrecking the fabric

For our 6-week trip, we knew we’d be in places where we might encounter the occasional mosquito, but our biggest concern was ticks. Even in winter or early spring, ticks can be active if the daytime temperature is over freezing. The tick we might have to watch out for, the Lyme disease-spreading western blacklegged tick, can be active in winter, so we wanted to be prepared.

Our Ranger Ready picaridin sprays can go on our skin, and we also like that they don’t have some of the same body or environmental concerns as DEET sprays. Ranger Ready also has another formula, which uses permethrin, that is designed for use on fabric. We packed some of this as well, for spraying on our pants, camp chairs, and even the canvas around the door of our popup camper.

When our adventures took us through tall grass, we still checked for ticks later, but we also knew we could adventure with more peace of mind and less worry about ticks and tick bites.

Spraying our clothing and gear was also really easy—it just takes a bit of forethought. The spray needs time to dry in and set up, so Ranger Ready recommends that you apply, then wait a few hours. For us, we would apply the spray at nighttime, then whatever we wanted to use was ready to go in the morning.

Even better? Ranger Ready’s permethrin protection can last up to 5 days before you need to reapply.

Ranger Ready has become the best bug spray for our kids, and we think your kids would like it too

If you want a reliable, family friendly pest repellent that doesn’t have DEET and can be used on skin and gear, we recommend you check out Ranger Ready’s line-up of picaridin and permethrin repellents. It can be a big help—and give you peace of mind—when trying to prevent bites from mosquitoes, ticks, and other pests while you and your family are in the outdoors.

Remember: You get 10% off your Ranger Ready order today

Ready to see if Ranger Ready is the best bug spray for your kids?

When you order from Ranger Ready today, just enter code “LEARNERSANDMAKERS” during checkout for 10% off your order!