Do mosquito repellent wrist bands work?

Posted on 28th July 2011 in Compare & Review

There  are now countless different mosquito repellent wrist or ankle bands available. Some claim to work with all natural ingredients, some with DEET and some even with naturally occurring minerals. Regrettably  most do not give us any clue as to what the magic ingredient is that repels the mosquito – although with some maybe they do tell us………… but its all in Chinese on the label!

What we can learn is that these bands must be fairly unique as they evoke such diverse opinion as to their effectiveness / defectiveness  as portrayed in various  reviews or forums. There really does not seem to be any middle ground as you will discover if you read  a recent thread from the US website of the tele shopping channel QVC. The reviews here would favour a thumbs down for this particular product, however it is more 50 / 50 when looking at the QVC forum in the UK.

Of course it always difficult to verify the authenticity of ‘customer reviews’, especially on commercial sites such as QVC. Comments I do hold stock with are those posted on various forums at Tripadvisor and the one posted here is eventually fairly damning on these bands.

However, the Consumer magazine Which does recognise them as having some repellency effects as detailed below – but the advice seems to be steer clear of the patches.

My personal take on the effectiveness is based on understanding that they can only work  in a very localised fashion. The basis is that the smell emitting from the wristband deters the insects from approaching  and indeed in many of the reviews it is noted that mosquitoes did not bite in the immediate area where the band was  - but of course this will normally leave a lot more on the menu for the blood hungry mosquito. Many of the bands claim they form a protective ‘halo’ around the wearer but one imagines that the smell being emitted must constantly be of tremendous concentration to be able to do this -and pray there is not the slightest breeze.

Experience has shown me that even with repellent directly applied to the skin one must ensure you do not miss any areas as the mosquito will simply target this. A bit like sunscreen…you must apply to all those areas you wish to protect.

One other point does seem to prevalent with mosquito repellent bands – everyone is different and what works for one will not necessarily work for another. Mind you I must advise you find out if these bands will work or not  for you or your family members long before you REALLY need it to work. Having a holiday ruined by intolerable itches and sore swellings should naturally be avoided.



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