I don't know about you, but I cringe when I see moms spraying their children with DEET insect repellent. I practically want to scream at them when they spray it right on their skin. People have this misconception that if it is sold freely at stores it must be safe and good enough to eat. Well, guess what, DEET can kill, it is an extremely toxic chemical, and no wonder mosquitoes are repelled by it. You might as well spray Clorox on them, it would probably be safer!
So I was on the lookout for some natural way to repel mosquitoes for this summer because they absolutely love me. Moreover I now had an infant to protect from the blood suckers. When we had a trip to the lake in the forest planned for July 4th weekend I knew I had to find something quick. I stumbled upon Bug Bam, read some reviews, and decided I had to try it. It was very nice to receive some complimentary kids bracelets and a grid to test it out. The photo is of the kids bracelet on my baby's stroller. Here is a summary of my experience that will hopefully give you a good idea of what it is and why it is great to have:
Effectiveness: I'll be honest, I was skeptical. I have tried an OFF! repellent bracelet before (citronella) and it did absolutely nothing for me. The website states that Bug Bam has 95% effectiveness and I'll have to agree. It does not work 100%, nothing will for mosquitoes, not even toxic chemicals. I am happy to say though that using this on several occasions on or near my infant has kept her completely bite free. Although I had no bracelet I stayed near the grid most times and got maybe a couple of bites. Although if you are planning a deep woods outing, I recommend a bracelet on your wrist and ankle for maximum coverage and a stronger aura of scent. For the most part I think Bug Bam is ideal for your backyard, barbecues, evening walks, bike rides, fishing, and lakeside activities. It is also great for your four legged friend, they have Bug Bam tags that you can put on their collar (see wiki photos).
Ease of Use: The bracelet and grids come in reusable bags. Just take it out, put it on, and you are set to go. Easy as that. This works great on infants, but now that my daughter is 6 months she has been showing some interest in it. So I have to keep it either on her ankle or on the stroller/baby carrier. My only constructive criticism though is that the bags rip easily, and while the bracelet is easy to place back in the bag, the grid takes some work. I wish the grid came in a slightly larger bag. If you have a toddler you would have to find a creative way to have it near him as he'll find a way to put it in his mouth - it isn't toxic, but neither is it edible.
Value: You can get two wrist bands for $7.95. One grid for porch, deck, or camping site use costs about the same. You can also get a dog tag around the same price range. I think you can even get a better deal and get a multi pack on QVC. In my opinion the price is fair for a non-toxic alternative to DEET repellents. A bottle of OFF! costs about $6.50, keep in mind that it is a toxic chemical you are paying money for. It is damaging to your health, especially if you don't use it properly.
Design: The bracelets look a lot like 'cause' bracelets that you get at fundraisers and such. It is red and comes only in that one color. It has a little clasp that is basically like a button that you insert in a little star shaped opening to close. It is adjustable. There is a cute inscription: "Because mosquitoes suck!" The grid is just a rectangle with a bunch of star shaped opening and a hook so you can hang it near your tent, canopy, or on the deck. Overall nice design, nicer than DEET spray in any case ;) Ingredients: The bracelet itself is made of polypropylene. The citronella, lemongrass, and geranium give off a pleasant but very strong smell. Hey, the smell is a lot better than the sensation of five mosquitoes biting you at once! That said, it is non-toxic, recyclable, and quite Eco-friendly. They even have a recycling program in place. Send in 5 used bracelets and you get a gift in return. I don't know what it is, another bracelet?
EcoMama Green Factor: A natural way to repel mosquitoes gets my +4.5 thumbs up. Although the bracelet itself is petroleum based, the combination of natural citronella, geranium, and lemongrass plant oils is a safer and healthier way to repel mosquitoes than DEET.
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About the reviewer
Anastasia B (EcoMama)
I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend, a Christ follower, an Interior Designer, a blog author, a cook, an artist, an eco-conscious consumer, a nature lover, … more
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Bug Bam uses a proprietary DEET free formula to repel mosquitoes. The bracelet, made of polypropylene is infused with citronella, lemongrass, and geranium plant oils to naturally repel mosquitoes for up to 100 hours. It is the only repellent band that has been scientifically tested by entomology labs in the USA and Australia.
Bug Bam works by emitting an ‘aura’ of all natural, plant-based essential oils (hence the strong - yet pleasant - smell each product releases). The Bug Bam ‘aura’ masks these odors we humans (and our pets) emit, effectively making you 'invisible 'to mosquitoes.