Can you stop the scratch with a patch? Mosquito patches revisited.

Feb 02, 20171ncogn1t0

The word ‘patch’ has a plethora of meanings. For example, a man with a bald patch and neatly patched jeans could be caring for his vegetable patch whilst going through a bad patch!

Though here at incognito we are only concerned about insect repellent patches. There are essentially 2 types: spatial or ambient (the same as most wristbands.) and Vitamin B patch repellents, which are absorbed into the blood stream through the skin. They are designed to repel or mask you from bugs like mosquitoes in a novel way; they can be completely natural or synthetic or a mixture of both.

The latest patches can be stuck onto clothing or anything else on and mosquito_fail_woolrich_ak_2008-1000x700around the body, they release chemicals or odours into the air to reduce encounters between humans and insects in a broad area. They claim to work as anti-mosquito Star Trek style force fields. Futuristic! But do these new devices work?

Well in short there is no technology currently available within the spatial or ambient repellent market that tests or gives 100% efficacy or protection against any species of mosquito or any other nasty biting or stinging insects.

The ambient patches and wristbands work best locally on the whole i.e. they will offer their best protection where the spatial repellent is placed, so if you put one on your ankle for example, it usually will only work at protecting you as far as your knee.

Vitamin B patch users often say, “they work for me!” Well I hate to use facts in an argument, but unfortunately there is absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever to back any claim that they are at all effective. In fact, you would need to cover yourself like an Egyptian mummy in the things to be effective. Maybe then they could work as a barrier by leaving no skin exposed for an insect to feast on! More information is in my original blog, “It’s Not a Patch On” or view the more recent Rip-Off Britain Holidays episode on youtube.

A study published in ‘Acta Tropica’1  showed Vitamin B skin patches did not repel mosquitoes and a 2015 Journal of Insect Science report2 also concluded vitamin B1 is not a systemic insect repellent. (The same study also showed PMD, incognito’s active ingredient, outperform a DEET based repellent – which attracted 10% of mosquitoes immediately on application!)

So I would never, ever recommend these, but the few new kids on the block that work spatially and offer some protection against insects, may well help in the overall battle against disease-carrying insects, when combined with a good insect repellent.

incognito-room-refresherIf you are in need of a proven spatial repellent to use, we have just the thing you’re looking for! Perfect for lazy days outside, our long lasting ambient incense sticks are highly effective at clearing the air of insects outside, 72% according to the WHO or inside to flush out moths, wasps and other insects, 99% effective. Alternatively burn our rare and elusive organic Java citronella oil in an oil burner. More than twice as strong as the widespread species, this golden elixir will keep also keep pests at bay! Lastly, we have a unique ambient room refresher that can simply be left in the corner of any room or other space inside which keeps insects out day and night, dispersing a fresh, pine, aroma in the process (I personally wouldn’t use this product outside in the open air).  I advise combining these complimentary products with incognito® spray or roll-on for unprecedented levels of protection.

Backed by huge support on indiegogo the soon to be market-ready ‘Kite Kite mosquito PatchThe Kite Mosquito Patch in all its glory.Patch’ is a small square sticker that emits a cloak of chemical compounds that apparently blocks mozzies from sensing you. Amid much fanfare, this device claimed to be the new Harry Potter style invisibility cloak for mosquitoes, initially offering protection for 48 hours. Sounds great, huh? Well, since raising crowd-finance since 2013 it is yet to be available, so they’ve brought out a spray in the meantime… and this provides less than half the normal protection time of a maximum of 2 hours from other insect repellents!

We welcome this new technology, especially as the creators are working with NGO’s in developing countries to help reduce mosquito-borne diseases. Here’s the catch, however:

legsno bottleDespite claims of 2 days’ worth of protection, the creators have now changed their stance and say the patches are purely a lightweight, durable compliment to their own botanical mosquito repellent, which in testing gave only 2 hours protection against aedes aegypti mosquitoes, compared to incognito spray or roll-on which tested 100% efficacy recently against the same species for over to 4 hours and up to 70% protection for 7 hours.

There are other new spatial repellents that can be stuck onto clothing or placed on bags that contain the same active ingredient that we use in our spray and roll-on. This amazing ingredient PMD (oil of lemon eucalyptus) works primarily by camouflaging the body’s kairomones and is best used for application directly on the skin, as that is where most metabolic by-products are eliminated. Therefore, there is a certain amount of scepticism whether these patches are the real-deal or not as they are not designed for direct application to the body. Controversy also arises as no scientific data or reports on their effectiveness have been released yet.

Any product that may offer additional protection against insects is music to our ears- as after all it only takes one mosquito bite to transmit a horrendous tropical disease. That is why we recommend our complementary repellent washes, moisturisers and spatial repellents with our flagship repellents for unprecedented levels of protection all over the world.

Howard Carter – incognito® founder and insect bite prevention specialist


Tom Richardson- incognito®







More articles

Comments (0)

There are no comments for this article. Be the first one to leave a message!

Leave a comment