FR: Don't Bite Me! Patch - Pat McNeilly
Below is the text of my FR for the Don't Bite Me Patch. The html version is in the Tests folder at:
This is a consumables report so I am assming that this is the last report for the series. If not, please let me know (although it will be hard to test if that is the case).
Report Date: November 29, 2009
I have used the Patch on six dayhikes in the Maryland and northern Virginia area. These have included hikes along the Potomac River in the C&O Canal Historical Park, the Seneca Creek State Park, and the Sugarloaf Mountain Park in Maryland. I also wore the Patch on one hike in the Norvin Green State Forest in New Jersey. The weather conditions on the hikes ranged in temperature from 60 F to 95 F (16 C to 35 C). The conditions were mostly humid and I did encounter rain on two of the hikes.
I used the Patch while orienteering in Virginia in the Hemlock Overlook Park. The conditions included patches of thick brush and swampy areas along the Occoquan River. The temperature was approximately 85 F (29 C) and humidity of about 80%. Not a great day for orienteering but a good day for bugs.
In mid-October we had a cold snap that essentially ended the bug season here. Prior to that, I tried to use the Patch in the "buggiest" areas and conditions that I could encounter. I have tried to keep the Patch on for at least 36 hours, which has allowed me to use the Patch on other activities, like working in my garden.
During the field testing of the Patch, I have been able to use nine of the original twenty patches in the pack. I can say that while wearing the Patch I have only had one bug bite, which I am attributing to a mosquito. At times, I have been hiking with my wife and was not affected by bugs even though she was complaining about them. So, my impression of the Patch is that it seems to work. It is a bit unfortunate that the product wasn't received in time for a real heavy bug season. Right now, I would have no issues with wearing the patch as a primary bug repellant.
There are a couple things that need to be mentioned about the Patch. First, as I noted in the Initial Report, the Patch does have a vitamin smell. My wife has noted the smell, usually when I have the Patch placed on my upper arm or shoulder. I found that placing the Patch on my hip was a good alternative and I didn't notice the smell, as much.
One of the good things about the Patch is that it does seem to work for more the 36 hours, as indicated by the manufacturer. I have put it on one day and not been bothered by insects the next. This is much easier than putting on multiple batches of insect repellant. The one important thing to remember is that the Patch must be put on two hours prior to an activity. I have been pretty good about it but have had to stop and think about making sure the patch is on before going out.
I haven't had any problems with irritation from applying the Patch. As I used the product, I tried not to repeatedly use the Patch in the same location, so as to avoid problems like allergic reactions. The Patch adheres very well and has not come off while hiking or running. I did have a slight problem with the Patch completely adhering to the skin if I touched the adhesive while I was applying the Patch. Typically, this meant that a small portion of the Patch didn't stick as well but I didn't have problems with it not working.
The Don't Bite Me! Patch is a transdermal insect repellant patch which contains vitamin B1. The Patch is easy to apply and stay in place very well, even during hiking and running. The Patch repels insects as long as the Patch is in place for up to 36 hours. The Patch appears to work as intended, however, testing under heavier bug conditions might be helpful. The Patch does have a vitamin smell to it but this is not as noticeable depending on where the Patch is applied on the body. It is important to remember to apply the Patch two hours before venturing out among the bugs.
Things I like:
1. Seems to keep bugs away.
2. Easy to apply.
3. Works for an extended period of time.
Things I don't like:
1. Vitamin smell
2. Applying the patch two hours before use (minor inconvenience)
This concludes my testing of the Don't Bite Me! Patch. I would like to thank DIVA Marketing Group LLC and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item.