Pros: Lightweight, 12 hours of protection, do not apply to skin, ON/OFF switch
Cons: Works best if stationary, not so if moving around a lot
Mosquitoes are pretty bothersome year round at my home, but right now they are unbearable. I already use quite a few repellents for my yard and around my pool and porch, but this time of year I spend a lot of time in the garden. I also spend a bit of time at my neighbor’s with my daughter, doing yard work. When doing things away from home (that would still be considered “outdoors”), I usually use mosquito spray of some sort. I’ve found some that had low levels of DEET but would still repel mosquitoes, for use on my daughter, who I am not too thrilled to spray down with chemicals. You’ve probably seen the advertisements on TV recently as well, for the OFF Clip-On Insect/Mosquito Repelling Fan, a type of electronic insect repellent. It looked appealing enough to me, keeping the garden in mind, that I sought them out in my local Wal-Mart where they cost a almost $7 each. (Check out offprotects.com for a limited time printable coupon for a free refill pack with purchase!)
With each OFF Clip-On (SC Johnson), you get the fan unit which consists of blue plastic, one repellent pad sealed in foil, and two AA alkaline batteries. To assemble the unit and begin using it, the first thing you must do is turn the fan over and remove the little white tab from the battery pack so the batteries will begin to work. Next, you take the repellent pad and remove the foil seal (it peels off easily) and then, after opening the face of the Clip-On, place it into the unit with the orange side down. Now, it’s ready to roll.
Possibly the greatest thing about this Clip-On is that it has an ON/OFF switch, so you don’t have to waste product when you don’t need it. It also features an indicator (green) that will let you know once you have run out of repellent so you can refill it. (Refill packs cost about $5 for a pack of two). Each repellent pad has enough repellent in it to give you 12 hours of protection. But, it is recommended that after opening the repellent pad, you try and use it up before 2 weeks, otherwise it isn’t effective anymore (if you use it off and on in short intervals, instead of all 12 hours at once). Something else about this repellent: it isn’t DEET. It’s something called metofluthrin (31.2%) that they use here.
The OFF Clip-On, like the name implies, will clip on to your clothes (I use my belt loop on my jeans), but you can also use the clip to place it in a standing position, incase you want to use this while you are sitting. (Not recommended to have this blowing around food, incase the place you are sitting includes a picnic). It clips on really easily and is just as easy to unclip. My daughter is 8 and she can do it herself, so there’s really not a lot I have to help her with when she uses hers (other than refill it).
We use the OFF Clip-Ons when we are in the garden, as I mentioned, as well as when we are out playing golf, or outdoors away from home. With this product, there is nothing to spray onto your skin. What’s great about this being a fan and not a spray-on is that when we are doing back-breaking sweaty work, we won’t feel “greasy” or have that gross feeling that spray-ons can give you. Also, it is odorless, so we don’t have to smell that sickening medicinal-chemical smell that one usually associates with mosquito repellent.
When the unit is on, air will suck through one side and blow the repellent out the other (it’s a fan, so works as such), and it does so quietly (can still hear the hum but it is faint). This is supposed to put a cloud of protection around you, and drive the mosquitoes back. When we stood still, the Clip-On worked great and kept all of the mosquitoes away. But, if we were not stationary and actually worked, we still had to slap away a good bit of mosquitoes (although, it was not nearly as many as a couple of others had to, those that had No protection whatsoever). If we paced ourselves (since the packaging says something about giving it a few moments to rebuild the cloud around you), and stopped often enough for the repellent to build around us, we saw a definite decrease in the amount of mosquitoes that tried to land on us. (It worked amazingly when we took breaks and rested in the shade. No mosquitoes were around the entire group of 4) There is one concern though, and that is breathing this repellent in. That’s supposed to be AVOIDED, so you might want to take a little care. Also, the repellent shouldn’t be absorbed through the skin, so you may want to wear gloves or just wash your hands afterwards while inserting the disks (reason #! I don’t let my daughter do this herself).
I do not think this is the absolute most effective mosquito repellent on the market today, but, it is still effective enough and scores better than spraying chemicals onto my (and my daughter’s) body. It kept us completely protected while doing chores like raking up pine straw or picking beans because that’s a bit of slower work. But, when we go down the rows hoeing or anything else that is a lot faster we still have to bat away a small percentage of mosquitoes. But, no complaints here, because otherwise we would have walked away missing about a pint of blood each* from those blood-suckers. (*not literal) The repellent is supposed to last 12 hours, and I would say that’s a fair estimate because it took me 4 days to run one completely dry. I just like that I don’t have to buy a whole new Clip-On every time my repellents run out; I just need to buy more refill packs. (It would be nice if they came in something other than 2-packs, though).
For those who love the outdoors, those who plan to spend a day at the lake, go fishing, gardening, golfing, or any other event, this may work well for you also. It’s really lightweight and doesn’t get in the (my) way, and the mosquitoes seem to really hate it. I would recommend it, and plan to keep on using mine for working in the gardens.
Other OFF products:
OFF Deep Woods Spray
OFF Powerpad Lamp
OFF Powerpad Lamp Refill
And for the Yard: