are citronella bracelets effective?
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jul 25, 2012 9:45 AM Last Post By: jules13
Jul 13, 2012 2:55 AM
Jul 13, 2012 1:33 PM
Jul 14, 2012 9:07 PM
Jul 17, 2012 6:35 AM
This is from a previous post:
I would strongly advise against trusting “repellents” like eating garlic and yeast (including citronella). These things MAY work….not WILL work. DEET is the only real repellent that is good enough and you’d be putting yourself at great risk if you relied on anything else apart from a high % DEET application and a net in areas with Malaria and other serious insect born diseases which can kill are prevalent. Avoiding getting bitten is usually impossible (especially when working) so DEET is essential for protection when in risky areas for prolonged periods.
DEET is a harsh chemical that is nasty, but unfortunately there is no alternative that is in any way good enough if you are serious about not getting eaten. Citronella works by smelling offensive to the bugs so they stay away, and it only works while you can smell it (which isn’t very long). DEET works by making you taste bad, and so when they go near or land on you they can’t bite you. This lasts as long as you don’t wash it off….which can be days if not sweating or washing.
Citronella is totally useless for protecting against any serious insects.
Jul 17, 2012 6:42 AM
Jul 17, 2012 6:56 AM
5From "Comparative Efficacy of Insect Repellents against Mosquito Bites," published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The researchers tested "three wristbands impregnated with either DEET or citronella." "The duration of protection provided by each product was tested by means of arm-in-cage studies, in which volunteers insert their repellent-treated arms into a cage with a fixed number of unfed mosquitoes, and the elapsed time to the first bite is recorded."
By comparison, regular DEET repellents protected from about 90 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on the formulation. Regular citronella products protected for 20 minutes or less.
Jul 17, 2012 8:31 AM
6These research results are a bit inaccurate as it only deals with low % DEET. 100% DEET can last for days as I said, most evidence suggests 10 – 15 hours, but residual effects can last days. It doesn't evaporate from the skin with the solvent, but is left on the skin until it chemically deteriorates, so the higher the % the longer it lasts. I can guarantee high % DEET lasts more than 90mins.
Maybe the research was sponsored by Citronella Plc.!
This research also leads you to believe that regular Citronella products actually work for a while as well as DEET does. Again, this is a dangerous road to go down if you are in a real deal Malaria zone and one which would be dangerous. Like I explained, DEET works in a different way to “aroma” based repellents like citronella, and will actively prevent the insect biting you…….”aroma” repellents just have an unpleasant smell and will not prevent an actual bite if the insect lands on you. Though, DEET is thought to have aroma properties too by masking or preventing the emission of CO2 emanating from you (which is what the little blighters home in on)…..so double whammy!
An expedition outfitters would never recommend anything other than DEET if you are serious about your health.
Jul 17, 2012 8:50 AM
Jul 18, 2012 1:51 AM
8What I meant to say was the results that were communicated were “miss representative” of what DEET can do. The figures you gave only represented low % DEET formulas (4.75% to 24%) and not the 100% concentration that is recommended for high risk areas (I’m not talking about the wristbands as we all know they’re totally usless). When compared with the data you gave for a 4.75% to 24% concentration, the 100% DEET lasts approximately 10 times longer (90 mins compared to 900 mins or 15 hours).
I’m not dismissing your data, just that it doesn’t show what the full strength DEET can do, making folk think that it DEET isn’t as effective as it can be.
Jul 19, 2012 3:32 AM
Jul 19, 2012 3:42 AM
Jul 19, 2012 4:45 AM
11Probably best to use multiple safeguards...
Avoid early evening and early morning outside, wear long sleave shirts and long pants... Stay out of areas where mosquitoes are likely...river beds, swamps, lakesides...especially early evening... Don't travel during Monsoons...use DEET spray as needed...and then perhaps a citronella bracelet...
Also just look and see if there are mosquitoes flying around ...and move if there are...
Jul 25, 2012 9:45 AM
12I have used the "bug bands" and they do seem to help somewhat but are not 100% effective. I have found them useful to use on the nightstand in the hotel room while sleeping or when touring in an area with a light mosquito population. Would not rely on them as sole protection in a jungle or in an area with mosquito-bourne diseases. Possibly if you used several of them at the same time on different parts of your body, it might increase protection. The good thing is that you don't have to actually have them on your skin like most repellents, you can hook to a bag or belt loop or shoe laces or whatever.
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