Do Mosquito Repellent Bracelets Work?

Summer is among the best seasons of the year for most people. It is when people get to enjoy warm weather, summer vacations, and relaxing time at the beach. It is also the season that attracts all sorts of pests, like mosquitoes. People try very hard to keep these disgusting creatures from entering their homes to prevent diseases such as the West Nile virus and Zika. Besides that, mosquitoes are a real nuisance, so we have to take extra precautions to keep them from entering our homes and causing problems. But do mosquito repellent bracelets work?

Mosquito repellent bracelets with DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) are effective personal repellents for keeping mosquitoes away. However, some models can cause rashes on people with very delicate skin or make you smell foul and terrible. People have come up with other methods of repelling mosquitoes. For instance, plants that serve as repellants and other handmade mosquito repellants. In that case, some things like patches and bracelets seem too good to be true, but do they work? 

How Mosquito Repellant Bracelets Work

People sell mosquito repellents made with a small metal or plastic band to wear on your wrist. This is safe since you do not have to squirt or rub anything on the skin. However, Consumer Reports claims the repellents on mosquito wristbands are not effective.

Consumer Reports tested two wristbands: the Snap Band, which helps repel mosquitoes, and the Superband, which helps repel spiders. However, when people tried to stick their arms in a cage locked with mosquitoes wearing either wristband, the bugs immediately bit them.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined Viatek, a maker of plastic wristbands that claimed to safeguard against mosquitoes but had not supported their claim with scientific proof. FCC says insufficient evidence supports the company’s claims that its products can prevent mosquitoes from attacking people.

Alternatives to Mosquito Repellant Bracelets

Here are some common mosquito repellent bracelet alternatives you can use at home, although they all come with their fair share of pros and cons:

1. Natural Repellents 

It seems like a good idea to use natural repellants with active ingredients such as garlic, rosemary, and lemongrass and avoid those that contain chemicals like DEET. However, Natural mosquito repellents are regulated differently compared to other mosquito repellant products. The EPA considers natural repellants harmless, so no one can test whether they work. And since the EPA doesn’t need to examine them, companies that sell natural repellents aren’t required to prove that their products are effective. However, Consumer Report tests show that they don’t work well at all.

Most of their tests showed that plants and other nonchemical repellents that worked well for one hour or less were effective against Aedes aegypti mosquitos. These mosquitoes spread viruses such as dengue, yellow fever, Zika, and chikungunya. The chief executive officer of (NPA) the Natural Products Association reported to Consumer Reports that the effectiveness of natural repellants might vary. 

The CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend that DEET can be used even during pregnancy, as its safe. CR’s medical experts agree that DEET is safe for pregnant women; they suggest sticking to mosquito-repellant products with 15% – 30% DEET. But if you don’t want to use such products, Consumer Reports have identified two active ingredients that are effective against mosquitos: 20% picaridin and 30% lemon eucalyptus oil.

2. Ultrasonic Repellents 

Ultrasonic sound waves can be heard even by humans but are sufficiently high to drive away pests. However, there is no scientific proof that they work. FTC has reported several sonic insect repellent companies misrepresenting their products. The New York State Attorney General sent letters to desist the manufacturers of 2 kinds of sonic repellent: STAR iGear iGuard 2.0 Ultrasonic Insect Pest Repeller and the Ultrasonic Pest Repeller. Thousands of scientists have proven that sonic devices do not repel mosquitoes and may cause them to become more active.

3. Mosquito Patches

Mosquito patch uses vitamin B1 to repel mosquitoes. The mosquito patches contain vitamin B1 to make your skin smell bad to insects, and that can cause mosquitoes to stay away from you. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that vitamin B complex supplements do not work as repellents. Still, the number of people who took these supplements and the mosquito species they studied was very minimal. Some say the patches work, but more research is needed to determine whether they are effective.

4. Citronella Candles

Many people use Citronella candles to make their homes smell nice, but there’s no evidence that they’ll protect you from mosquito bites. Candles that smell nice aren’t very effective at repelling mosquitoes. Mikey & Momo was charged with marketing falsely advertised products that repel mosquitoes. The company claimed its candles were as effective as mosquito spray. Mikey & Momo said its scented candles could deter insects as a Deet spray. The FTC claimed that wasn’t true. The agency said any of the available evidence didn’t prove the claims.

5. Clip-On Foggers

Some recent studies have found that mosquito repellant mists blown in from fan-type devices such as mosquito clippers or fans work well. But they probably repel less than repellents that you’d apply to your skin, according to experts at the American Mosquito Control Association. That’s because they produce a cloud that repels mosquitoes around you, but if you walk away from the device, the repellent doesn’t reach the atmosphere. 

Consumer Report has safety concerns about certain medical devices that utilize the chemical metofluthrin. This chemical is a potentially carcinogenic poison as categorized by EPA.

6. Stickers 

Mosquito sticker works just like bug bands. Mosquito patch stickers will protect you by absorbing the smell that mosquitoes are trying to smell. They will also prevent mosquitoes from smelling the oxygen you breathe or the sweat you produce. They can be applied to any part of your body you like. However, you would not want to apply them on some areas of your body, including your face.

Stickers designed to repel mosquitos are as useful as anti-mosquito bracelets. But, as with the bracelets, they are small; putting one on your arm won’t make you smell any different. It’s much easier to have lots of fun with stickers if you stick them in multiple places, like on your arms and shoulders.

7. Clothing that Repels Mosquitoes

There are special clothing that can be used to repel mosquitoes. These products are made from materials that have been treated with insecticides. For instance, permethrin insecticides can be used to treat bed nets and be very beneficial in reducing malaria cases in some regions.

There is growing evidence that these clothes can help you stay safe from certain insects. These products may help stop a mosquito from biting your arm or leg. But it’s not likely that they’ll stop them from biting your other body parts. 


Why are mosquito bracelets so effective?

Most mosquito-repellent bracelets contain essential oils that work well with lavender, citronella, and peppermint to repel mosquitoes. They don’t contain any DEET, though. The smell of essential oils deters insects, and you don’t need to apply insect repellents on the skin.

What do mosquitoes hate the worst?

Mosquitoes hate cinnamon, cedar, lemongrass, patchouli, catnip, peppermint, and many other aromas. Some manufacturers claim that using repellents in place of sprays will repel mosquitoes. Find scented candles that repel mosquitoes and use them when you go on vacations during summer.

Are mosquito-repellent bracelets really that useful?

Mosquito repellent wristbands are effective and don’t require that you smear or rub anything on your skin to repel mosquitoes. However, a Consumer Reports test found that these products are not that effective.

Bottom Line

It is said that having bracelets around your wrists will help you to get rid of the many mosquitoes. Sometimes bracelets work best when used with citronella candles or bug repellants. Mosquito-repelling stickers can also be useful. It’s best to apply repellent stickers to several places on the body to help repel insects. They are better to use when combined with the other insect repellents listed above.

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