Not only are they annoying, but mosquitoes also carry some of the globe’s most dangerous, infectious diseases such as West Nile virus, dengue fever, malaria, Ross River virus, and Zika virus. They pass these diseases on to us as they feast on our blood.
Indeed, it seems as though mosquitoes have an almost uncanny ability to find us. They are acutely sensitive to the warmth emitted by our bodies as well as the carbon dioxide we exhale and the scent of both our skin and the sweat on it.
Even though they have an extremely short lifespan of just 2-8 weeks, mosquitoes breed very rapidly. The female mosquitoes are capable of laying hundreds of eggs, giving rise to just as many offspring in a very short amount of time.
The only things they must have in order to breed are a source of standing water (such as ponds, creeks, streams, fishing ponds, swimming pools, bird baths, or moist vegetation) and a food source – like us!
About Mosquito Repellent Bracelets
When it comes to protecting ourselves from mosquitoes, most of us are familiar with all of the sprays, lotions, and roll-on products on the market. You apply these to your skin (or sometimes your clothes) to create a chemical barrier between yourself and those loathsome pests. Most of these products work reasonably well at either repelling mosquitoes or keeping them from being able to detect our presence.
However, they do have their own drawbacks, which you are probably all too familiar with already. First of all, mosquito repellent sprays, lotions, and roll-ons are, to put it simply, messy! They sometimes leave a greasy, sticky residue when applied to bare skin. They stain clothing and have a lingering unpleasant chemical odor.
It also takes quite a bit of time to apply them and they must be reapplied regularly. To achieve comprehensive protection against mosquitoes, you need to make sure that you have covered ALL areas of your skin. You cannot simply apply a dab here and a dab there.
Manufacturers are constantly searching for a way to satisfy the consumers’ demand for a mosquito repellent that is clean, convenient, and effective. One of the innovations they have come up with is the mosquito repellent bracelet.
The idea is very simple. A band or bracelet is laced with mosquito repellent. You then put this on your wrist and the repellent is supposedly slowly emitted by the laced bracelet to form an invisible barrier around you. Manufacturers claim that this allows a simple bracelet to protect you against insect bites.
So, with a repellent band, you should be able to achieve essentially the same effect as traditional products but without any sticky residue on your skin or stains on your clothing. Most of these products are free from unpleasant chemical odors as well. They are a lot easier and quicker to apply than sprays, lotions, and roll-ons and do not need to be reapplied several times per day.
One other notable advantage of mosquito bracelets is that they often are DEET-free.
DEET has long been the main active ingredient in mosquito repellents. While it functions very well as a repellent, some people fear it may be toxic to humans. Some claim that prolonged exposure to DEET results in impaired neurological functioning and even permanent brain damage. Scientific evidence shows that these fears are largely unfounded.
Cases of suspected DEET-related illness and death are extremely rare and cannot be tied definitively to DEET. Other factors may have contributed. In repeated studies, DEET has been found to be effective and safe when used as directed, even on children and pregnant women. Cases of likely adverse reactions to DEET are almost universally mild and due to misuse (e.g., ingesting it).
Unfortunately, despite the science, many people are now leery of using DEET-based repellents, particularly on their children.
Mosquito Bands: Active Ingredients
Mosquito repellent bracelets often rely on natural, essential oils for their repellent effects. The most commonly-used products are lemon eucalyptus, geraniol, and citronella.
- Lemon eucalyptus. Lemon eucalyptus oil has been officially recognized as an effective mosquito repellent and is a common ingredient in natural repellent products and sprays. It is frequently used in mosquito repellent bands and is generally safe to use on the skin. However, it may cause irritation in sensitive individuals and is highly toxic if ingested.
- Geraniol. Geraniol is a natural plant extract that is known to have insecticidal and insect repellent effects. It has low toxicity for humans, animals, and the environment, though it is known to irritate the skin. It is used in low quantities in mosquito repellent bands, so it is unlikely to cause irritation. However, individuals with especially sensitive skin may experience discomfort or allergies when using bands infused with this product.
- Citronella. Citronella is a commonly used ingredient in mosquito repellent candles and diffusers, and may effectively repel mosquitoes. Citronella has low toxicity in humans and animals, though large quantities of the oil may cause skin irritation. This is unlikely to be an issue when using citronella-infused mosquito bands, but sensitive individuals may experience itching or other discomfort.
If you have sensitive skin, you can reduce the risk of experiencing a reaction to essential oil-infused mosquito bands by wearing them over your clothing, or by clipping them to your bag.
How Are Mosquito Repellent Bracelets Used?
There is no safety reason why you shouldn’t wear more than one band at a time, especially if you are using them over your clothing or attached to your bag. Most mosquito repellent bands are infused with natural repellents which have little to no toxicity in humans, though they may irritate sensitive skin. However, the smell of these products can be quite potent, so you may not want to intensify the odor by wearing several at once.
A Word of Warning!
Mosquito bracelets are still a technology in its infancy. That means that they are not yet an adequate replacement for traditional forms of insect repellent. One single bracelet is simply not powerful enough to provide you with comprehensive protection against mosquitoes. So, while promising, it is better not to get your hopes up about mosquito bracelets!
Mosquito bracelets certainly offer many advantages over insect repellent sprays, lotions, and roll-ons. They are also far more affordable than outdoor fogging solutions. This technology is still relatively young, though. So, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and assume that they can replace other repellents outright.
They are considered one of the least effective methods to keep mosquitoes away, though some consumers have had success. They can, however, be used to complement conventional insect repellents.
Choosing a Mosquito Bracelet
When deciding what mosquito-repelling band is best for you, you should keep the following in mind:
- Try to get yourself a bracelet that is waterproof so that you can use it both indoors and outdoors.
- Look at the expected lifespan of the product. It should give you at least 100 hours of usage.
- Can mosquito repellent bracelets be refilled? Many mosquito repellent bracelets can be refilled, which is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. When shopping for a mosquito band, look for a brand that offers refillable products to get the best value for your money.
- Some mosquito repellent bracelets come in only one size. This means they will not fit young children or those with thick wrists. But some bracelets come with an adjustable strap which makes them perfect for any size wrist. This also means that you can attach them to items of clothing.
- Best materials for mosquito repellent bracelets. Mosquito repellent bands are made from a variety of different materials, so which should you choose? It’s important to consider your lifestyle and what you plan to do while wearing your band. If you will be in a hot climate or engaging in physical activity, it is best to choose a material that is both durable and breathable. If you plan to swim, look for a product that is made with waterproof materials.
- Check the ingredients and make sure they’re safe. All-natural doesn’t automatically mean safe. After all, arsenic, mercury, ricin, and snake venom are all-natural, poisonous substances.
- Most of the essential oils commonly used in mosquito repellent bracelets are broad-spectrum insect repellents, and may also help to ward off fleas, flies, and ticks. Lemon eucalyptus oil and geraniol are two ingredients that are known to repel a wide variety of bugs.
These bracelets in this article have been specially selected as being the best mosquito repellent bands around. All of them have different designs and features. Starting from the simple bands to the very bright and colorful ones. All of them have their advantages and disadvantages.
That is why when you look into buying one of these, you have to consider all of the features and needs that you consider necessary. All in all, none of these wristbands will let you down. They will definitely be a huge help in fending off insects and mosquitoes to allow you to enjoy your time outdoors.
My daughter just got a very unpleasant chemical burn from the Bug Band. She only had it on for a few hours before it burned her around her wrist.
I’m sorry to hear that, Lara. I would suggest you to write the manufacturer (EES, Inc) of Bug Band about this, because this sounds like a serious problem the company needs to fix.
I was satisfied with the “life” friendly repel bracelet.
Thank you for this information! I had picked a few styles to try on Amazon and came across your article before purchasing. So glad I did. Several of the brands you listed, I had looked at on Amazon and Home Depot sites. Glad to get more info before I try them!
Glad I could help, Corissa!
I’m told that some of the natural ingredients in these products are not allowed in Europe. Do you know if that’s the case and why europe doesn’t allow them?
As far as I know, all the natural ingredients (the essential oils) that these products contain are allowed in Europe. But, please, correct me if I’m wrong! Which natural ingredients were you referring to?
I’m trying to find a bug band suitable for children and adults, (will buy 2 sizes if needed), waterproof, and made in US?
If you’re looking specifically for waterproof bug repellent bracelets that are made in the USA then you should check out the Mosquito Band Bands.
Which of the bands would be a good alternative to repel ticks on kids and adults?
These ones would be a great option for both adults and children
Some of the bracelets refer to biting insects but only one says fleas specifically. Would they all be the same in repelling fleas as well as mosquitoes?
Some will, some might not. Considering these are mostly based on oils, it all depends on what oils have been used. I would suggest to always trust the product label and use the product for the intended purposes.
Are the bands safe for dogs to wear
You should always check the label before using them on animals, but yes, some are animal-friendly. One example being SuperBand by Evergreen Research.