Medical Q&As

Mosquito repellents - bracelets effective?

Are anti mosquito bracelets effective in preventing mosquito bites?

Mosquito bracelets do not provide sufficient protection against being bitten by mosquitoes. These bracelets come in a variety of forms. Some are impregnated with chemicals that are supposed to repel the mosquitoes whereas others emit a high pitched ultrasonic sound that is also supposed to repel mosquitoes. In the case of the former device some deterrence may be provided to the wrist area but it will have absolutely no deterrence effect in relation to other exposed areas of skin. In the USA one manufacturer of ultrasonic mosquito bracelets has been cited by a government agency for making false and unsubstantiated claims for its product. Most authorities continue to recommend the use of DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide) containing sprays, which should be applied to exposed areas of skin. Malaria continues to be a major killer and it is extremely important that people travelling to areas where the disease is endemic should be adequately protected. The use of effective repellents is an important arm of prevention along with taking the appropriate tablets for the area being visited.