Mosquito repellent bracelets are widely advertised as a safer alternative to traditional pest control solutions. But do they really work? In this guide, we have explored the advantages and disadvantages of repellent bracelets and attempted to answer the question as to whether they are effective. We have reviewed the two most popular products on the market and compared them with sprays and lotions based on DEET, Picaridin, Permethrin, and other proven ingredients.
These bracelets contain only natural repellents, which is their main advantage over other solutions. They diffuse citronella and other plant extracts that are known to have a repellent effect on mosquitoes. That said, these wrist bands cannot be compared to repellent sprays that are based on the same plants. The bracelets can ward off bug bites only within a few centimeters of the band and do not provide effective “whole-body” protection.
The Truth About Mosquito Repellent Bracelets
Mosquito repellent bracelets have long been advertised as an effective solution for warding off these pests. However, research does not actually back the effectiveness of these products.
While the theory behind them may seem solid, the truth is that the vapors emitted by these bracelets are simply not strong enough to ward off mosquitoes.
How Do Mosquito Repellent Bracelets Work?
Mosquito repellent bracelets are often touted for utilizing natural alternatives to chemical products utilizing DEET. Rather, they diffuse botanical solutions such as citronella and other plant extracts that do in fact typically ward off mosquitoes.
However, these bracelets are simply too ineffective to ward mosquitoes off efficiently. Studies show that these bracelets may ward off bug bites within a few centimeters of the band, but do not in fact provide effective whole body coverage.
Mosquito repellent bracelets claim to provide naturally effective alternatives to chemical sprays, but truly have no ground to stand on when it comes to effectively keeping mosquitoes away.
In some instances, these bracelets can cause more harm than good. In fact, there have been multiple known cases of these bracelets causing a good deal of harm to children, with allergic reactions to the point of blistering occurring.
According to dermatologists, this reaction can be categorized as allergic contact dermatitis, in which a child reacts to either the plastic itself or the chemical repellent. In fact, the safest reported usages of the bracelets where when they were reported to have used non-toxic DEET rather than the plant-based, all-natural repellent commonly used by these bracelets.
Typical Qualities Of Mosquito Repellent Bracelets
Many mosquito repellent bracelets ignore the safety regulations necessary for keeping their users safe, as well as provide inadequate protection against mosquitoes.
1. Bug Crazies Mosquito Bracelets | Waterproof
For example, this popular bracelet blatantly ignores the fact that wearing these plant-based bracelets so close to the skin can cause an allergic reaction, advertising their bracelets as, “safe for pregnant women and kids.”
Reviews of the bracelet report its unpleasant smell; unpleasant to humans, that is, but apparently bearable for mosquitoes. Users report seeing no decrease in mosquito bites, while some actually report having seen an increase in bites while their children wore the bracelets.
Bug Crazies: Check the current price
2. Mosquito Repellent Bracelet 9pcs | Plant-Based
This bracelet claims to be a premium product that provides more comprehensive protection than cheaper bands. However, when used incorrectly, this band could prove to be just as ineffective as the others.
Once again DEET-free, these bands are ineffective and run the risk of providing children with allergic reactions. While this brand seems to work well during casual travel and emits no noticeable scent, those traveling to areas that are mosquito-dense are warned to double-down with additional DEET products.
In instances in which the bracelet is combined with other products, it is touted as effective – likely due to the additional product than the bracelet itself.
TOMAS MARSHAL: Check the current price
What Are the Alternatives to Mosquito Repellent Bracelets?
Below, you will find a review of the five best mosquito repellents at a price ranging from $10 to $15. These are solutions with proven efficiency and based on different active ingredients — DEET, Picaridin, Permethrin, and d-Allethrin. You may choose non-greasy mosquito repellent lotion, a spray for treating clothes or an electric device creating a protective barrier against mosquitoes.
3. Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent | Best Mosquito Repellent Lotion
This mosquito repellent lotion is composed of 20% Picaridin, a chemical compound known for being even more effective against fighting mosquitoes than DEET. Fragrance-free, it is likely you will not notice you are wearing the product, but the mosquitoes will.
Those traveling to areas in which the Yellow Fever Mosquito, known to transmit Zika Virus, would do well to use a lotion such as this, as it is effective against that particular mosquito.
This lotion lasts up to 14 hours against mosquitoes and 8 hours against bugs such as flies and gnats.
Sawyer Products SP5642: Check the current price
4. Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent | Best Long-Lasting
This insect repelling spray claims to be as effective as 100% DEET, making it far more useful than botanical solutions. Able to guard wearers against the Yellow Fever Mosquito and Zika Virus, this spray also protects against mites, chiggers, ticks, and more.
This heavy-duty spray can last up to 6 weeks, or 6 washes of clothing, and is odorless upon drying. Because of this, this product is ideal for those looking for a spray that will protect them while hunting. Treat up to 8 garments with one bottle.
Sawyer Products SP657: Check the current price
5. Repel HG-94108 100 Insect Repellent | Best DEET
Containing 98.11% DEET, this spray helps to protect those attempting to thrive in even the most mosquito-dense areas. With this effective spray, users will be able to protect themselves against mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, biting flies, and chiggers.
This spray also works to fight off mosquitos that carry dangerous diseases such as Zika, West Nile, Chikungunya virus and Dengue virus. This spray is effective for up to 10 hours and is easily traveled with.
Those traveling in even the most mosquito-dense areas will find themselves able to travel without worrying about bugs thanks to this spray.
Repel: Check the current price
6. Thermacell MR300 Portable | Best Electric Repeller
Those who would still prefer an effective mosquito repellent that is DEET-free will likely prefer this Thermacell unit. Creating a protective heat-barrier without sprays, scents, or chemical-to-skin contact, this is a highly unique solution to mosquito-related woes, utilizing d-Allethrin.
Providing a 15-foot zone of protection for up to 12 hours, without utilizing an exposed flame, this is one of the safest and most hassle-free ways to quarantine a backyard or camp against mosquitoes, keeping your friends and family safe in the process.
Utilizing fuel cartridges, the Thermacell creates an effective heated protective barrier against mosquitoes.
Thermacell: Check the current price
7. Babyganics Sunscreen Spray 50 SPF | Best Repellent Spary
Concerned parents will be pleased with the Babyganics approach to mosquito safety for baby skin. The SPF 50+, insect repellent combination of products works together to keep your children safe in the outdoors.
Made without parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances or phthalates, parents do not have to risk causing their children an allergic reaction in order to keep them safe from mosquitoes. Effectively repelling mosquitoes without utilizing chemicals, this spray is ideal for those concerned about keeping their children safe outside.
It is likely that this combo of products will become a summertime essential for any parent.
Babyganics: Check the current price