We're from the Pacific Northwest and have never been to the East Coast.
We're headed to DC in late June, which I've been told will be hot and very humid.

Here, we get by all summer without using bug repellent on ourselves, but our summer weather is very different. I'm wondering if bug repellent will be a necessity there?
Would we only need to put it on after dusk or would we need it all day?

  • Are you going to be in the city?
    – Karlson
    May 14, 2016 at 19:22
  • 2
    Be aware that DC has shops too, so if you find you need something, you could still buy it.
    – Aganju
    May 15, 2016 at 13:30
  • @Karlson Yes, we are staying within a ten minute walk to the east of the National Mall. May 18, 2016 at 22:50
  • It is highly unlikely that you will need bug repellent unless you're out in the burbs.
    – Karlson
    May 18, 2016 at 22:52
  • 2
    @Aganju I'm expecting DC to have stores, but I don't want the kids to get eaten alive first and then go tromping around on foot with them to go buy bug repellent. That would go badly. May 18, 2016 at 23:14

2 Answers 2


It's very likely that there will be mosquitos and other insects (gnats, no-see-ums, etc.) in D.C. in late June. You may want to bring insect repellant with you, depending on your sensitivity to insects and your planned activities. Obviously, the more time outside, the more exposure. Gnats and similar insects are prevalent during the day, especially in wooded, park areas. Mosquitoes are most prevalent at dusk and evening, but are likely to be present all the time. Some people are more sensitive to and bothered by bites than others. I lived in D.C., and never used insect repellant; I considered itchy bites to be a fact of life in the summer. However, if I was going to visit now, I'd bring packets of repellant wipes and try to remember to use them on exposed skin before going outside.


Generally speaking cities, especially on the East Coast, are trying to control population of pest insects, like mosquitoes, wasps, ticks and the like for the concern about blood and other diseases:

Just to mention a few.

So in the city you're likely to see mostly more benign bugs like bees, bumble bees, lady bugs, butterflies, etc. But even with the pest control that cities employs it's not perfect. So some mosquitoes will still be there, mostly around standing water and during the dusk and night time but it's not anywhere near the quantities that the OFF is advertising with.

Now when you move out of the city the suburbs may require open areas to be left in developments which could leave bug population there untouched so if you're anywhere near something like that what you will encounter is a crap shoot, so depending on where you stay and will be visiting you should plan accordingly but within DC city limits I wouldn't worry about the bug repellent.

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