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Reviews > Health & Safety > Insect Repellents > Dont Bite Me Insect Patches > Test Report by Patrick McNeilly

Donít Bite Me! Patch
Reviewed By Pat McNeilly

Initial Report: September 9, 2009
Field Report: November 29, 2009
Don't Bite Me Packaging
Name: Pat McNeilly
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Height: 5í 8Ē (1.7 m)
Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Email address: mcne4752 at yahoo dot com
City, State, Country: Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA

Backpacking Background:
I have been hiking for at least 20 years but backpacking for only the last five years.Most of my backpacking is done as overnight trips and occasional weekend and week long trips.My typical pack weight is approximately 18 to 20 lb (8 to 9 kg) before food or water.Most of my backpacking is the three season variety in the mountains of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.In addition to backpacking, I also fish, hunt, and enjoy orienteering.As a result, some of my backpacking equipment gets use in a number of different venues.

Product Information:

Product: Donít Bite Me! Patch
Size: 20 pack (also available in packs of 5 and 10 patches)
Manufacturer: DIVA Marketing Group LLC
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Listed Weight: NA
Measured Weight: 0.7 oz (20 g)/20 patches (a single patch did not register on a US postal scale)
URL: http://www.dontbitemepatch.com/.
MSRP: $21.99 USD

Initial Report
Report Date: September 9, 2009

Product Description:
Paper wrapperThe Donít Bite Me! Patch (the Patch) is a transdermal adhesive patch which delivers vitamin B1 and aloe through the skin.The theory is that vitamin B1, in high enough levels in the bloodstream, is excreted though the pores and produces an odor which insects donít like but is undetectable to humans.The literature with the Patch indicates it is effective against mosquitoes, gnats, noseeums, ticks, chiggers and sand fleas and that the product is safe for children.

The Patch comes packaged in a paper wrapper measuring 2 3/4 x 3 1/4 in (70 x 83 mm) similar to a large adhesive bandage.The Patch itself measures 1 15/16 x 1 15/16 in (49 x 49 mm) with rounded corners and is very thin and flexible.The patch is waterproof and comprised of three layers 1) an acrylate polymer; 2) an adhesive formulation containing the vitamin B1 and aloe; and 3) a polyester release liner.The polyester release liner is a ďplasticĒ backing on the Patch, which is split down the middle which must be removed before applying it.

Patch itselfThe Patch is to be applied to a clean, dry, hair-free area.The company recommends placing the Patch on the hip, buttocks, upper back, or the outside of the upper arm (Iíll spare you photos of some of these areas).The Patch is applied in a manner similar to an adhesive bandage and the patch must be pressed down firmly to ensure the edges adhere.The Patch will continue to provide insect protection for up to 36 hours as long as it is in place.The Patch is removed by slowing peeling one corner smoothly away from the skin.The company also indicates that there could be a slight discoloration of the skin which will fade naturally over a few days.Skin irritation due the adhesive can occur and it is recommended that the user apply the Patch to different areas with each use.

The patch must be applied at least two hours prior to being exposed to the insects of your choice and the Patch must remain in place for it to be effective.It is also noted that smoking, alcoholic beverages, heavy insect infestation, and a body weight over 200 lb (91 kg) may require the use of two patches.

Product Review:
The Patch is a very interesting concept.It will allow me to use a systemic product that doesnít smell bad and shouldnít be toxic to keep biting insects at bay.This sounds too good to be true.Before I could give it a try I had to see how easy the Patch is to apply.The packaging is pretty easy to open once you find the edge where the paper separated which wasnít all that obvious the first time I tried.Applying the patch is just like putting on an adhesive bandage, however, the Patch is very flexible and the adhesive works better than many bandages.The Patch seems to stretch with the skin and it and stays in place.The Patch itself is clear and I couldnít even see the Patch unless the light was shining on it the right way.I wore the first Patch for at least 36 hours and hardly knew I had it on.

I found that there were no problems with the Patch coming off from sweat or being rubbed by clothing.I took a shower with the Patch on and even the hot water did not appear to have any effect on the Patch.I thought that was pretty impressive.

Patch on skinI only have limited experience with how well it works at keeping bugs away but, in a less than scientific test, I wore the Patch to an evening high school football game.It was not the heaviest concentration of bugs but I did notice insects, including mosquitoes, but I wasnít getting bites.I could see others around me swatting bugs but I didnít feel that they bothered me.This is only limited testing and I feel I would need more experience with the product to give a definitive answer on its effectiveness.

One thing I did notice with the Patch was that I can detect an odor of vitamins.If I smell the entire stack of patches it does smell like a bottle of vitamins.While wearing the Patch I did notice a couple times that I thought I smelled vitamins.It was not a strong smell and seemed to be only temporary but it was there nonetheless.I did not have anyone else comment on the odor, so I donít believe it was in any way offensive.

There was quite a bit of information that came with the product which appeared to be directed at retailers.Much of it described how the Patch is supposed to work, etc.One thing I noticed in the material was that there was a very brief statement that the product has a shelf life of two years.Nowhere on the actual product packaging did I see any type of expiration date.Iím not sure how I would be able to assess whether the product was still potent without having that kind of information at hand.

Field Report
Report Date: November 29, 2009

Field Conditions:
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 ďbuggiestĒ 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.

Product Review:
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 wasnít 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 didnít 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 havenít 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 didnít stick as well but I didnít have problems with it not working.

Summary
The Donít 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 donít like:

1. Vitamin smell
2. Applying the patch two hours before use (minor inconvenience)

This concludes my testing of the Donít Bite Me! Patch.I would like to thank DIVA Marketing Group LLC and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item.


Read more gear reviews by Patrick McNeilly

Reviews > Health & Safety > Insect Repellents > Dont Bite Me Insect Patches > Test Report by Patrick McNeilly



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