This Spring started miraculously, with almost no bugs bothering us outdoors, to the point where I wondered whether my samples of BugBand were for naught. Silly impatient me. They came with a vengeance.
BugBand sent me samples of their Boy Scouts of America “Be Prepared” Insect Repellent Combo Kit (Bands and Towelettes), along with their Pump Spray, Portable Diffuser, and Bead Bag. It was interesting to test this more natural, DEET free alternative method of repelling insects.
I used the Bands and Towelettes while gardening for a few hours, a true test of an insect repellent. The Towelettes worked just fine for a while, until I was good and sweaty, and it seemed like maybe that moisture washed away or inhibited the effectiveness. Switching to a band seemed like a logical next step and it seemed to do the trick, as once again the bugs left me alone.
One of the nice things about the Bands are that they come packaged in an innovative reusable plastic “pod” – storing the Bands in the sealed container is said to preserve the life of the product’s active ingredient. A huge benefit to the Bands are that they are waterproof, so if you jump in water without thinking, the product doesn’t need to be reapplied.
The Pump Spray is a lotion that is sprayed and rubbed onto the skin for protection from bugs. I appreciated that it goes on white before drying, so it’s easy to see where you’re covered.
The portable diffuser is a great way to enjoy a pest-free picnic or concert in the park. Covering up to 300 square feet with protection, the diffuser makes it a lot easier to cover a group without individual application.
The Bead Bag is an interesting idea, with the repellent infused into beads within a mesh bag. The bag is placed in any airflow (AC unit, car vent, etc), with the geraniol spread via the air circulation. Hanging it in a tent or screened porch are other suggested uses, but I suspect that its utility is derived mostly from moving air, so perhaps the effectiveness would be lost without direct air intervention.
BugBand’s main ingredient, Geraniol, is a DEET alternative that protects most people from irritating pests such as mosquitoes, house flies, fleas, ticks, and no-see-ums. I can certainly get behind that.
While this is a natural product, geraniol is an extracted plant oil derived from plants such as geraniums and lemongrass, and is the primary part of rose oil, palmarosa oil, and citronella oil. Since some people could have an allergic reaction, it is a good idea to test it out on a small patch of skin before using it all over.
All the products seemed to work as intended – only the Bead Bag was difficult to tell at times if it was working or not. Besides the relief from pesky bugs, I really appreciated the great smell of the product. Of course, that is a personal taste, so your own reaction may vary.
*Products provided for editorial purposes – all opinions are my own.