Can a wristband repel mosquitoes?

Published On: Jun 18 2014 10:15:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 19 2014 06:23:47 AM CDT

June 18, 2014: Mosquitoes are definitely annoying and that is why the Curtis family was happy to test out a new product -- a rubber wristband that repels mosquitoes. Consumer Expert Amy Davis reports.

HOUSTON -

Mosquitoes are definitely annoying and that is why the Curtis family was happy to test out a new product -- a rubber wristband that repels mosquitoes.

"MosquitNo," infused with citronella oil, is supposed to prevent mosquitoes from biting you.

Two news photographers also tried them out. 

A few days later we caught up with the Curtis family enjoying the outdoors, but say mosquitoes are a problem.

"We actually were really excited to try the bands because mosquitoes are so awful here," Stephanie Curtis said.

"We do have lots of little ponds in our neighborhood and we back up to a very big lake over here," Mckay Curtis said.

So how did the all natural citronella rubber bands work?

Stephanie Curtis gave four kid-size bands to her children and she and her husband wore the adult bands. 

"We tried the bands several nights over the past week, and even fresh out of the package they weren't as strong as we thought," Stephanie Curtis said.

"You can smell a slight citronella smell to it but the mosquitoes still started swarming around us," Mckay Curtis said.

In fact, Stephanie Curtis called it disappointing.

"I was hoping they would work better than they did, but they didn't," she said.

Photographers Brian Shwartz and Jesse Draus also tested the bug bands. They both work nights and setting up lights always draws mosquitoes.

Shwartz wore the band two days.

"I noticed on the right-hand side of me they were fine, but they were getting annoying on the left-hand side, so I borrowed somebody's bug spray," he said.

Draus said he had better luck.

"I thought it was very potent and I didn't get bit the nights I wore it" Draus said.

Dr. Thomas Breaud of Orange County Mosquito Control said the most effective repellent hands down is spray.

"In the scientific literature the repellants are the best we can do. The bands just don't work as effectively. Bands on my wrist are not going to protect my ankles and that's where these mosquitoes like to bite," he said.

Ways to avoid mosquito bites?

  • Use repellants; ones with DEET are the best
  • Avoid going out during peak times -- within an hour of dusk or dawn
  • It may sound like common sense, but wear long pants and long sleeve shirts
  • Get rid of standing water around your home; that's every container that holds water longer than seven days -- it can be a bird bath or dog bowl

While the Curtis' were hoping the bug bands would give them added protection, they said they know these biting pests come with the territory.

"I guess we have grown accustom to it. This is Florida, this is mosquitoes, this is how we have to live with it," Mckay Curtis said.

Orange County Mosquito Control said they spray but can't be everywhere all the time; that's why they need you to not only protect your family, but your neighbors, too. 

If you notice a retention pond you want to have checked out, they suggest calling the county, and if it's breeding mosquitoes, they will come out and treat it.

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