We are all searching for solutions to keep mosquitoes away, and mosquito bracelets can be a great option. Of course, if you are able, it is best to keep them out of your yard to start with. There are a number of backyard bug control products on the market, and most work quite well.
You can use good old repellents, or trying wearing mosquito-resistant clothing. Both work well, and we recommend using them as your first line of mosquito defense. There are downsides though. Mosquito repellent stink and leave you with a film on your skin, and mosquito-resistant clothing might not always match your activity or the look you are going for.
That’s where mosquito bracelets come in.
Mosquito Bracelets – Why to Consider Them and What to Look For
You may have heard about bracelets or wristbands whose manufacturers claim will protect you against mosquitoes. But do they work, and what are their pros and cons? Which are the best ones to buy, and how can you choose the most suitable one for you?
First, imagine the following scenario: it’s a hot, humid summer day; you’re out of the shower, all dressed up and ready to go out. Of course, you don’t want to be yet another ‘victim’ of mosquito bites, but the idea of applying an oily, sticky repellent on your skin doesn’t sound very appealing, especially when you are already applying sunscreen. Plus, there is growing evidence that sunscreen and DEET used together causes more DEET to penetrate the skin, which isn’t good for you.
Here’s where mosquito repellent bracelets or wristbands come to the rescue. While it’s true that these products don’t have the same overall effectiveness of a topical repellent because there is no way a bracelet on your risk can provide full coverage for your neck or your leg, there are certain advantages to using them in some situations. Their purpose is to create a mess-free, quick, more natural alternative to skin penetrating lotions and sprays. All you need to do is slip them on and you’re all set and protected. They’re extremely convenient, don’t leave any residue on your body and clothes, don’t require several applications, you can put them on fast, there’s no mess involved, you won’t run out of repellent, and you can easily hook them to your purse, backpack, or jeans.
What to Look For
- Active Ingredients: Look for bracelets that contain proven mosquito repellent ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, or essential oils like citronella, eucalyptus, or lavender. Stay away from those that rely on an untested method to repel mosquitoes.
- Protection Duration: Check the bracelet’s label for information on how long the bracelet provides protection against mosquitoes. The best ones offer several hours of protection without having to use a new bracelet.
- Water Resistance: Will you be using the bracelet in and around water? Like at a lake cabin or playing on the beach? Then be sure your bracelet has some water-resistance.
- Adjustability and Size: Some bracelets are adjustable, some are not. If not, be sure the one you buy will not be too tight or too loose.
- Odor and Residue: This is a biggie in my book. I like to start with a small batch of bracelets to be sure I am OK with any odor it emits, and to see if it leaves much of a residue on my skin.
- Allergies. Check for allergen information, especially if you have sensitive skin. In addition to the active ingredients, there are materials and ingredients used in making the bracelet. Be sure they work for you.
- Longevity and Shelf Life: Consider the shelf life of the mosquito bracelet. Some products may lose their effectiveness over time, so check the expiration date if applicable
Best Mosquito Repelling Wristbands and Bracelets
We took a look at the best mosquito bracelets on the market.
As most of these products are infused with natural botanical ingredients, the first thing to look for is the essential oils that are confirmed to keep mosquitoes away. For example, citronella, lemongrass, geranium, lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint oils all release vapors that are unpleasant to skeeters, confuse them, as well as making them lose their appetite for blood.
The problem, though, is that mosquito repelling bracelets and bands are not as closely regulated as the mosquito spray and repellent market, where the EPA oversees everything pretty carefully. That means there are unproven bracelets and knockoffs on the market. If you are in a situation where preventing mosquito bites is critical, then stick with the tried-and-true repellents or lotions.
There are some we really like though, that have stood the test of time to some extent. The ones we recommend include:
The mosquito bracelet we like most is the Para’Kito, but it might be for personal preference reasons. Of the options on the market, the Para’Kito has the most attractive look and is least noticeable. This is a good thing if you are wearing the wristband at an outdoor party or event and don’t want it to stand out, but perhaps not so good if you are putting the bands on your children and want to quickly be able to see who is keeping theirs on or not. The Para’Kito relies on refills for the active ingredient, they are not disposable like the others on the list, so take that in to consideration when you are looking at your options. For most adults, though, the refills might be worth it in exchange for a more attractive-looking band. Find here on Amazon.
- More attractive look
- More suitable with nice outfits
- Less waste for the environment
- Not disposable – you will need to have refills on hand.
Another highly-appreciated, natural item, the Cliganic Mosquito Repellent Bracelet is DEET free and waterproof. You can wear it inside, outside, and even when you’re going out for a little hike or swim. Its safe, non-toxic, natural essential plant oils (geraniol oil, lemongrass oil, and citronella oil) repel not only mosquitoes but other biting insects as well. This band will protect you for up to 250 hours and it’s fully adjustable. There are several colors in each package, so you can start off by wearing whichever you find most aesthetically pleasing. Find here on Amazon.
- All natural active ingredients
- Long-lasting — up to 250 hours
- Might not be strong enough for heavily-infested areas
Awesome for both adults and kids, PIC Bugables Mosquito Repellent Bracelets are made out of a soft, microfiber material that will feel comfortable against your skin. It’s a non-toxic, quality-tested, durable product with citronella, lavender, Geraniol, and lemongrass oils as its insect repelling agents, so is highly natural in its ingredients. We liked the light citronella scent.
The bracelet is effective. According to its numerous positive reviews, this bracelet protects against mosquitoes, and many other annoying insects. It offers a long-lasting protection (up to 240 hours), which makes it great for wearing during all sorts of outdoor activities like trekking, hiking, camping, gardening, running, and so on. This mosquito repellent bracelet is also lightweight and adjustable. We are big fans. Find here on Amazon.
- Reliable product
- Citronella scent might be offputting to those who hate citronella
How we evaluated the bracelets
We tried out a bunch of mosquito bracelets to find out which ones work best, in Northern Minnesota during the height of June mosquito season. We focused mainly on two things:
- How well they repelled mosquitoes
- How comfortable they were to wear
We quickly gravitated to bracelets with proven bug repellents like DEET or natural oils. We tested how long they keep mosquitoes away and if they stay effective in wet conditions. We also made sure they’re easy to put on and take off during activities. Checking if they fit comfortably and don’t cause skin issues was important too. Finally, we supplemented our first-hand experience by reading reviews from people who use them outdoors, looking for honest feedback on how well they worked for others.
It is important to note that while adults tested the bracelets, we tried to asses how they would work for children as well.