As you may know from previous posts, insects love to bite me. When I’m out for a walk, they crash into each other while fighting for the privilege of landing on me. Other members of the party return un-blemished; I return with what looks like an incipient case of chicken pox. With that in mind, I was excited to be offered the chance to test a new insect-repellant patch, called “Don’t Bite Me.”
The product consists of a stick-on patch around two inches square, and is impregnated with aloe vera and vitamin B1. According to the website, the resulting “slight odour forms a protective barrier around the body that makes you unattractive to insects.” What, even me?
The patch was tested over a range of locations and locations, with the help of a panel of volunteers.
Tester: Tracey Location: Cheshire, UK Activity: Haymaking
Tracey’s comments: “The patch was very easy to use. I had no skin reactions at all. It seemed to work against all insects, but I did get bitten by a horse fly next to the patch! Oddly though as yet the reaction is a lot less than I would normally get.”
Tester: Ian Location: Dordogne, France Activity: Walking
Ian’s comments: “I put the patch on my upper arm at 5pm before going out for the evening. No bites on returning home. Patch remained in position all through the following day. Went out for a walk and returned home still bite free, although there were mosquitos around. The patch was comfortable and didn’t itch at all. I actually left it on for 48 hours because I’d forgotten I was wearing it! There was no red mark when I removed it. It does seem to work, but is probably more comfortable on a bit of skin which isn’t too sensitive.”
Tester: Ann Location: Dordogne, France Activity: Gardening
Ann’s comments: “I applied the patch to my back as I wanted to wear a sleeveless shirt. After five hours, the patch started to itch a bit. but not so much that I wanted to take it off. Went down to the bottom of the garden at dusk. There were some midges but I didn’t get bitten. When I removed the plaster after 36 hours, it left a red patch which itches slightly. It stayed on perfectly through swimming and showering.”
Tester: Sara Location: Cheshire, UK Activity: Horse riding
Sara’s comments: “I took a riding exam which involved a lot of hanging around. It was a very hot, still day, and my poor pony was being eaten alive by horse flies, although I’d covered her with anti-fly spray. I wore the patch on my upper arm, and wasn’t bitten at all, despite the fact that I was sitting on a hot, sweaty horse. Several people around me were bitten. The patch didn’t itch, but when I removed it there was a reddened mark which took a couple of hours to fade.”
Overall verdict: 4/5 The patch seems to work efficiently, and is much easier and quicker to use than insect-repellent spray. The only downside was that it caused some minor itching and skin-reddening on some testers.
The “Don’t Bite Me” insect-repellent patch is available in packs of 5, 10 and 20. Prices start from £5.99. For more information and stockists, visit the Don’t Bite Me website.