|Repellent of the future?|
There are some other interesting findings in the Consumer Reports ratings, including the effectiveness of oil of lemon eucalyptus (Repel Lemon Eucalyptus was the second-highest rated, ahead of a 15% DEET repellent.) But the main takeaway? If you want the best, look for picaridin.
At the same time, a fledgling company, Kite, has garnered considerable resources and facilities over the past few years, including a mosquito mega-warehouse for product testing and development in Riverside, California.
The company's goal is to develop new, innovative, cost-effective approaches for repelling mosquitoes. It has received funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and its own crowd-funding efforts (including more than half a million dollars on Indiegogo).
Their signature product--slated for release in 2016--is the Kite Patch, a small adhesive square that repels mosquitoes. Early tests show promise, including this recent glowing testimonial from a New York Times writer. So it seems at least possible that such an approach might work. (The company is largely quiet on the tech behind exactly how it works.)
I am going to hold my judgment until an actual consumer product is released, especially since equivalent approaches to date (repellent bracelets, etc.) are so ineffective as to be all but worthless. That being said, there is a lot that we currently don't understand about what exactly attracts--or repels--mosquitoes. It seems entirely possible that new understanding and breakthroughs will lead to different, more effective ways to repel mosquitoes.
Will the Kite Patch be it? I'll keep you posted.
Learn more about mosquitoes and repellents:
- Two Common Hiking Items that DEET Will Destroy
- How Many Mosquito Bites Would Kill You from Blood Loss...and Other Mosquito Musings
- Picaridin vs. DEET: Face-off of the buzzer beaters
- Picaridin vs. DEET: What Readers Have to Say
- Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others?
- Is Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus as Effective as DEET or Picaridin?
- Do Anti-Mosquito Apps Work? Not the Way You Want.