Best Mosquito Repellent Bracelet: Slip-On Bug Control

Avoid the slathering by wearing your mosquito repellent in bracelet form.
Close up image of a mosquito on an arm.

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It’s the most dangerous animal on earth. It’s less than a quarter inch in size, buzzes around your backyard or campsite, and drinks your blood. And is there anyone on earth who has never gotten attacked by a mosquito?

Only female mosquitoes drink blood. Males enjoy an all-nectar diet. When it’s time to lay eggs, females tank up on blood to develop their brood. That mosquito knows you’re there way before you know she is, thanks to a suite of receptors on her antennas and mouthparts that sense things like the heat and chemicals your body gives off, and the carbon dioxide you breathe out. She lightly lands on you, searching for a blood vessel close to the surface of your skin. When she finds it, she pierces your skin and then uses mouthparts like drill bits to saw through your flesh, while another portion of her mouth acts like a surgeon’s retractor to hold the wound open. Then the mosquito drools specialized saliva into the wound to keep your blood from clotting, and begins to suck. As she takes that blood meal, she concentrates it inside her body, separating the water from the blood cells and dribbling that water out of her rear end.

The site then becomes inflamed, and it itches. It’s a most common annoyance in summer for just about anyone who’s outside, but can be more than that. Viruses can hitch a ride with mosquitoes and enter your bloodstream through the mosquito’s saliva. Some of those viruses cause deadly diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and various types of encephalitis. Mosquitoes are so deadly they kill hundreds of thousands of people worldwide every single year. Wolves and sharks each kill about 10.

The Centers for Disease Control recommend using a mosquito repellent registered by the Environmental Protection Agency, since these are tested and proven effective against mosquitoes. These repellents include DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), and 2-undecanone.

Features To Consider When Shopping For Mosquito Repellent Bracelets

A mosquito repellent bracelet is a great product to use in addition to the registered mosquito repellent you’re already using—or even to use on its own during times when you wouldn’t normally use mosquito repellent. These include bands and coils impregnated with natural bug repellent (or that use impregnated inserts), and electronic mosquito repellents. The most important features of these repellent bracelets are efficacy, duration of the product, and comfort for the wearer.

How Do You Know if the Bracelet Will Actually Repel Mosquitoes?

Obviously the most important consideration when it comes to mosquito repellent bracelets is that the product actually works, but figuring out if it will can be tricky. The best indicator of efficacy is labeling that indicates the mosquito bracelet has been tested and approved by an entomologist—a scientist who studies insects and is an expert in insect control.

Another clue that indicates that a product is likely to be effective is the name brand or manufacturer. While generic or off-brand products may be great options for some purchases, mosquito repellent items produced by industry leaders undergo rigorous testing.

Do You Need a Long-Lasting Mosquito Repellent Bracelet?

Once you’re sure the product you’re considering works, the next consideration is how long it will work. After all, once the mosquito control ingredients wear off, a mosquito repellent bracelet becomes just a bracelet.

For disposable mosquito repellent bracelets or inserts, the packaging will usually list the time frame for efficacy in days after opening or hours of use. If both are included on the label, it’s a good idea to stick with the lower of the two numbers to ensure the product will be working when you need it.

Best Long Lasting Mosquito Repellent Bracelet: Para’kito Mosquito Repellent Band

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The Para’kito mosquito repellent bracelet is designed to go the long haul since it relies on long-lasting pellets you pop into a mesh pocket on the band. Each pellet promises 15 days of mosquito-repelling action. The band uses a hook-and-loop fastener to fit around your wrist or ankle, and comes in a wide variety of designs, including a sports version with reflective stripes. The pellets are a proprietary blend of essential oils, including citronella, rosemary, geranium, mint, clove, peppermint, and cinnamon.

Do You Want a Bracelet with a Natural Mosquito Repellent?

Some people don’t feel comfortable using conventional mosquito repellent or bug sprays. Some people whip up their own DIY insect repellent. Another alternative is a natural mosquito repellent bracelet impregnated with plant-based ingredients. These may be a good alternative for use in places that are low risk for disease-carrying mosquitoes. The two natural ingredients to look for are citronella and geraniol.

You may recognize citronella as the primary ingredient in those old-school mosquito repellent candles. That natural oil works by covering up some of the sensory inputs that attract mosquitoes—specifically the carbon dioxide you exhale and the lactic acid that wafts from your skin. Geraniol is a botanical compound found in geraniums and roses that repels mosquitoes (and some other biting insects) in the lab. Bonus: because they’re oils, you don’t have to worry about citronella or geraniol washing away in rain or other moisture.

Best Natural Mosquito Control Bracelet: Superband Insect Repelling Band

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These individually packaged coil bracelets use proven natural oils (citronella and geraniol) to provide up to 200 hours of protection from mosquitoes. They stretch to fit a wide variety of wrists or ankles—including kids’ wrists and ankles—and are fully waterproof so you don’t have to worry about the product washing off.

Best Mosquito Repellent Bracelet for Kids: Mosquito Guard Repellent Bands

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Mosquito Guard’s kid-sized mosquito repellent bands are bright orange. They rely on a natural oil trifecta of citronella, geraniol, and lemongrass, and so are DEET-free. They are non-greasy and promise a pleasant scent, which is helpful for kids who are sensitive to sensory inputs. This company also makes mosquito repellent stickers.

Best Budget Mosquito Repellent Bracelet

High tech gadgets aside, mosquito repellent bracelets (or the inserts for them) are something you will need to purchase over and over again. It’s a good idea to stick with brands you know you can trust to deliver a high quality mosquito control product. To save money, the best bet is to buy in bulk, which drops the price per bracelet significantly.

Best Budget Mosquito Repellent Bracelet: Buggy Bands Wristbands

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Buggy Bands are an ideal budget option on two fronts: duration and bulk savings. These bands provide up to 350 hours of protection from mosquitoes—nearly double many competitors. And buying a pack of 48 bracelets shakes out to just 48 cents per bracelet—about half the price of buying bands in singly or in smaller packs.


Q: Why do mosquito bites itch?

When that mosquito drools its saliva into you to keep your blood flowing, your immune system recognizes it as a foreign substance and immediately steps in with a histamine response. Histamine is a signaling molecule—like an email that alerts your body to amp up the flow of blood and cells that fight infection to the site. That messaging causes inflammation, including swelling, redness, and itching.

Q: How can I stop mosquito bites from itching?

There are two ways to stop mosquito bites from itching. One is to stop that histamine response by taking an antihistamine pill like Benadryl or Claritin. The other is to apply a topical cream like calamine lotion. Products that reduce inflammation can help, too. These include over-the-counter corticosteroid creams or natural anti-inflammatory products like aloe vera, honey, oatmeal, or tea. It’s important not to scratch mosquito bites if you can help it, since it can cause a mosquito bite to become infected.

Q: How long do mosquito bites last?

How long a mosquito bite lasts really depends on your body. Most people can expect the itching and swelling to subside within a day or two, but the immune response can last up to a week. Some people are very allergic to mosquito saliva—a condition called skeeter fever. For them, mosquito bites can last longer and bring extreme swelling and itching plus fever and blistering. If you’re worried about a persistent or extreme response to a mosquito bite—or if you have signs of a medical emergency—seek help from a health care provider.

A Final Word On Shopping For Mosquito Repellent Bracelets

Mosquito repellent bands are a great way to back up EPA-registered mosquito repellents, or for everyday use in low risk areas. The best mosquito repellent bracelet for the job will rely on an effective mosquito control formula tested by entomologists, last for several days, and be comfortable for a wide range of wrist and ankle sizes.