Mosquitoes are not only an annoying part of summer camping, but they can also be dangerous. These pesky bugs can transmit diseases such as the West Nile Virus and Zika Virus. To protect yourself from such diseases as well as itchiness, it’s important to shield yourself from their bites.
As an alternative to spraying yourself with diethyltoluamide (DEET), which is a common mosquito repellent, there are various wristbands and bracelets on the market that keep mosquitoes at bay.
Instead of DEET, these bracelets often contain citronella or oil of lemon eucalyptus. These are natural oils that have been shown to repel mosquitoes, but perhaps not as effectively or for as long as DEET. However, these bracelets are a better option for those with sensitive skin, because the use of DEET spray can cause a rash.
|Buggy Bands Reusable Bracelets||
|Para’Kito Mosquito Insect and Bug Repellent Wristband||
|Mosquito Guard Kids’ Repellent Bands||
|RiptGear Mosquito Bracelet for Children and Adults||
|Para’Kito Mosquito Insect & Bug Repellent Clip w/Natural Essential Oils||
Do Mosquito Repellent Bracelets Work?
Of the bracelets we reviewed, we found that the best overall solution is the Buggy Bands Reusable Bracelet. However, there are many other bracelets to choose from with a variety of specifications and price ranges.
If you’re looking for the best mosquito repellent bracelet on the market in 2020, read on for a thorough review and description of several bracelets and their features that will keep your summer mosquito-free.
Buggy Bands Reusable Bracelet :Best Overall
The Buggy Bands Reusable Bracelet is the best overall option among the mosquito repellent wristbands. This pack of 24 bands is brightly colored, comfortable, and durable. Made with all-natural ingredients, these are safe for children and adults alike.
Marketed to protect you from mosquitoes for 350 hours with all-natural ingredients, the Buggy Bands are free of DEET and repel mosquitoes with citronella, tea, lavender, lemongrass, chamomile, and eucalyptus essential oils. These bracelets will decrease in potency over time with exposure to sunlight and water, as with all bracelets of its kind.
Constructed with ethylene-vinyl acetate in a springlike shape, the Buggy Bands Reusable Bracelets conveniently stretch and constrict to fit any wrist size. Their comfort and softness are unmatched.
Each bracelet is individually wrapped so that you can keep track of them more easily and keep them out of sunlight, so that they remain potent. You can also wear more than one band at a time for extra protection from those pesky buzzing bugs.
The Buggy Bands are also waterproof, so they can be worn if you’re planning a day at the lake and want mosquito protection at the same time.
Overall, the Buggy Bands Reusable Bracelet has earned a rating of 9.5 out of 10 stars from reviewing customers.
- EASY TO USE: PARA'KITO pellets diffuse a unique blend of natural essential oils that effectively mask the scents of your breath & body, making it harder for mosquitoes to find you. Super simple, super effective!
- WATERPROOF & REFILLABLE: This comfortable band protects your little ones through all their adventures. Wet or dry, your child will have up to 15 days per refill (2 Refills included). A single pellet fits safe and snug in the mesh pocket on the outside of the Kids Wristband.
- ADJUSTABLE SIZING: Easy-to-adjust Velcro fittings work for kids up to 7 years old and a wide range of patterns let you blend safety with style. Kids will actually WANT to put on this bug repellent!
- FUN & STYLISH PROTECTION: Whether strolling through a forest or playing at the pool, PARA’KITO Kid's Wristbands will become your child's best friend. Can be worn around the wrist or ankle.
- NATURAL ESSENTIAL OILS: Sourced from the best natural essential oils & ingredients worldwide, PARA’KITO is always DEET Free.
The Para’Kito Mosquito Insect and Bug Repellent Wristband is our runner-up choice. With its refillable body style, waterproofing, natural ingredients, and cute design, it is a comfortable and effective option that kids will be excited to wear.
These bracelets have an insertion slot where you refill them with a pellet (two pellets are included with your purchase). Each pellet is active against mosquitoes for up to 15 days. The pellets are free of DEET and claim to work with a patented technology, mostly using vanillin, citronella, and other essential oils, which mask your natural scent from mosquitoes.
The Para’Kito band is equipped with a velcro closure, so it is very adjustable and soft but not stretchy. It comes in a variety of cute patterns that kids will love, such as brown bears, robots, toucans, sharks, giraffes, and monkeys.
Note that the Para’Kito bands are sold individually, with each costing $19.50. This makes them one of the more expensive options per band.
The Para’Kito repellent bands have received a rating of 9 out of 10 stars from reviewers.
Mosquito Guard Kids’ Repellent Bands: Best Budget Option
- NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Our Kids Spiral repellent bands are made with natural plant based essential oils: Citronella, Lemongrass and Geraniol.
- DEET FREE : Our Mosquito Guard Kids Spiral Repellent bands are completely DEET FREE.
- PERFECT FOR TRAVEL: Enjoy your vacation with the kids and bring along our handy travel pack of 20 individually packed spiral repellent bands
- PERFECT FOR ANY OUTDOOR ACTIVITY: Ideal mosquito protection for kids while outdoors: whether at home on the patio, deck or backyard; at the park, beach, or pool deck; while camping, fishing or enjoying any other outdoor events.
- ONE SIZE FITS ALL : Our kid’s mosquito repellent spiral bands are fully adjustable, stretchy and can easily be worn on a wrist or ankle
For a more inexpensive option, look no further than the Mosquito Guard Kids’ Repellent Bands. Ranked as the best budget option, these are only $14.95 for a pack of 20 individually wrapped bracelets. This is a great deal that should last for many outdoor adventures.
The Mosquito Guard repellent bands keep mosquitoes away with all-natural essential oils, including lemongrass, geraniol, and citronella. They are also water-resistant but will lose their potency over time when exposed to moisture, as expected.
These bracelets are constructed similarly to the Buggy Bands. They are springy and stretchy to fit almost any wrist or ankle size. Soft and comfortable, they can be worn for many hours but are only guaranteed to protect against mosquitoes for three hours.
If you are interested in these bands, we hope you like the color orange, because the Mosquito Guard bracelets are only available in the bright sunny color.
The Mosquito Guard bracelet has earned a rating of 9.1 out of 10 stars.
- CITRONELLA OIL INFUSED - Made from Citronella oil. DEET free
- FITS CHILDREN and ADULTS - Each bracelet is adjustable and accommodates up to six different sizes
- REUSABLE - Each bracelet can be used multiple times
- COMFORTABLE ULTRA MICROFIBER - Soft microfiber material is easy to put on and take off repeatedly
- GREAT FOR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES - Like travel and vacations, hiking and camping
The RiptGear Mosquito Bracelet is the most comfortable option. The bracelets’ microfiber style feels unnoticeable, soft, and lightweight against your skin. Available in a pack of 15, these are another good value option that will last for many summer days.
These comfortable bracelets are adjustable to six different sizes with a clasp and various holes, and they can also be cut if they are too long for a child’s wrist. This makes the RiptGear a versatile option as well.
Because of their softer body style, they are not as durable as some of the above options, which are more stretchy and constructed of polymer material. However, the RiptGear Mosquito Bracelets are more fashionable and lie flatter against your wrist or ankle, preventing them from snagging on clothing as you move around.
With citronella oil as their active ingredient, each of these bracelets claims to repel mosquitoes for up to 240 hours. They are also water-resistant but will, like the other bracelets we’ve reviewed thus far, reduce in potency over time with water exposure.
Reviewers have given the RiptGear bracelets a rating of 8.8 out of 10 stars.
- PARA'KITO Clips provide constant protection for 15 days per refillable pellet (2 Pellets Included)
- Works in all climate zones - temperate & tropical. It's even waterproof
- Easy to replace - clip it virtually anywhere
- Sourced from the best natural essential oils/ingredients worldwide & DEET free, no animal testing, phthalates-free, paraben-free, dermatologically tested.
The Para’Kito Mosquito Insect and Bug Repellent Clip is an alternative to the repellent bracelets and is our pick for the most versatile and discreet option. The clip is available in black, gray, blue, red, and camouflage colors.
Like the bracelet version, the Para’Kito repellent clip is refillable with pellets and includes two of these with the purchase. As it is another all-natural option, the Para’Kito clip pellets do not contain DEET but instead are made of vanillin and essential oils. Each clip costs $19.50, and each pellet is marketed to last 15 days.
One of the benefits of the Para’Kito clip is that it can clip onto any keychain clip, belt loop, or drawstring loop so that it is close to your body but stays out of the way. This makes it more versatile and hidden than the mosquito-repellent bracelets.
The Para’Kito Mosquito Insect and Bug Repellent Clip has achieved a rating of 9.1 out of 10 stars from former purchasers.
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What to Look For in a Repellent Bracelet
When you are searching for a product to repel mosquitoes, consider first whether or not you want to use DEET. While it is an effective solution to a mosquito problem, there are several reasons to avoid DEET, which we discuss in detail below.
If you choose to pursue a more natural mosquito repellent option, such as a bracelet, consider that you may need to replace the bracelet frequently as it becomes less effective over time. Consider its price as well, because the bracelets may not be as cheap as a simple DEET spray, such as Off!
You should also consider your personal style, because the bracelets are available in several styles, materials, and colors. If you would rather keep the repellent out of the way and hidden, you may want to choose a clip instead of a wristband or bracelet.
How Effective are Mosquito Repellent Bracelets?
If you’ve decided that you want to purchase a mosquito repellent product, keep in mind that the ingredients involved are the biggest factor in how effective it will be at keeping bugs away.
According to the CDC’s recommendations, DEET, permethrin, picaridin, icaridin, methyl nonyl ketone, and oil of lemon eucalyptus are the active ingredients that most effectively provide mosquito repellent activity. These are the ingredients that you want to look for in any product claiming to keep mosquitoes at bay if you want foolproof protection.
In fact, studies have shown that DEET and oil of lemon eucalyptus were able to decrease the number of mosquitoes attracted to a human by 60% at a distance of one meter. This means that bracelets containing oil of lemon eucalyptus can drastically reduce the number of mosquito bites you have to deal with.
Repellent bracelets containing only essential oils will not protect against mosquitoes for as long of a time period or as effectively as products that contain DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus. However, this doesn’t mean that such products are totally ineffective.
Citronella, which is an active ingredient in most of the above bracelets, has not been proven as effective if the smell dissipates into an open area. For this reason, a citronella bracelet may only be effective in the area closely surrounding the bracelet. This means that you may want to wear more than one bracelet or combine it with other repellent products for maximum protection.
On its own, vanillin has been shown to protect against mosquitoes for up to 4.8 hours. The main benefit of vanillin lies in its ability to reduce the evaporation rate of other repellent substances. This allows them to work longer.
The main benefit of these all-natural products is their safety. Even though they may not be as effective or long-lasting as DEET spray or lotion, they are non-toxic, non-irritating, and safe for children. The same can not be said of DEET, which we will discuss further below.
Another benefit of the bracelets over DEET spray is their waterproofing, as DEET washes off in the water and entirely loses its effectiveness. Keep in mind, though, that the effectiveness of any mosquito repellent (including the bracelets) will be reduced by sweat, temperature, water exposure, and abrasion or rubbing in the case of a spray or lotion.
Should I use DEET Spray Instead? Advantages and Disadvantages
While DEET may be the most effective at actually keeping mosquitoes at bay, it is not without its drawbacks. While it is generally safe to use at normal concentrations, it can cause rashes on those who experience sensitive skin or irritations.
When you are using the DEET spray, watch out for skin irritation. If you notice swelling or redness of the skin on areas where you applied the DEET, wash it off immediately with soap and water to prevent more of an allergic reaction from occurring. With DEET, you should be aware that you may need to call poison control if you have a severe reaction to its use.
Also, DEET should never be applied to skin that has been broken, such as wounds or cuts. You should be careful not to spray DEET into your eyes or mouth, because it is toxic when ingested.
DEET spray can be especially dangerous for children, who tend to put their hands in their mouths after the spray or lotion has been applied. For this reason, be sure to wash off the DEET with soap and water as soon as the child is no longer in danger of mosquito exposure.
If you choose to use a spray or lotion, the CDC recommends using products that contain at least 20% DEET. These will be the most effective at reducing the chance of mosquito bites.
What Else Can I Do to Protect Myself from Mosquitoes?
According to the CDC, to most effectively repel mosquitoes and protect against bites, you should first cover your arms and legs with long socks, pants, and long-sleeved shirts.
Clothing can be treated with permethrin, which is a repellent and insecticide. Make sure to treat your clothing or other gear 48 hours before you plan to camp or hike. The permethrin treatment should remain effective for 70 washes.
If you choose to use a DEET product, apply the DEET spray or lotion wherever you have exposed skin. It should be applied in a fine layer and reapplied carefully, according to the instructions on the can or bottle.
It is also important to note that if you are using a DEET spray in conjunction with sunscreen, you will need to apply the sunscreen more frequently, as the insect repellent spray can decrease the sunscreen’s effectiveness.
To protect an infant from mosquitoes, use elastic mosquito netting to stretch over the infant carrier rather than using a repellent product on the skin. This will keep mosquitoes out.
We hope that this guide has helped clarify some of the advantages and disadvantages of various mosquito repellent technologies and products. Mosquito repellent bracelets offer a safer, more natural alternative to the typical DEET spray or lotion. These bracelets can also be used alongside the spray for added protection.
Of the mosquito repellent bracelets we reviewed, the clear winner is the Buggy Bands Reusable Bracelets, with their comfortable style, extended protection time, multiple bright colors, and durable quality of materials. The runner-up is the Para’Kito Mosquito Insect and Bug Repellent Wristband, a fashionable and cute option for kids.
No matter which option you choose, we hope this guide helps keep your summer fun-filled and bug-free.