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Reviews > Health & Safety > Insect Repellents > GCB Lemon Eucalyptus and Catnip > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron

Gods Country Botanicals Buzz Off

Initial Report: Jun 22 2007

Field Report: Sep 23 2007

Buzz off
Image from Gods Botanicals website

Personal Information:
Name: Kathryn Doiron
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Height: 1.7 m (5' 8")
Weight: 68 kg (150 lb)
Email: kdoiron 'at' gmail 'dot' com
Location: Washington DC, USA

Brief Background: I started backpacking and hiking seriously almost four years ago. Most of my miles have been logged in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I have recently finished 1200+ miles (2000+ km) of the Appalachian Trail. My style is to be as light as possible while not spending a fortune. My pack weight tends to hover around 25 lbs (11 kg) with two days of food and 16 oz (0.5 L) of water. I have recently starting getting into winter hiking, snowshoeing and kayaking.

Product Information:

Manufacturer: Gods Country Botanicals
MSRP: US$4.49 for 2 oz (59 mL)
Material: Eucalyptus and catnip oils
Size/Volume: 2 oz (59 mL)
Weight (measured): 2.5 oz (71.9 g)
Volumes available: 2 oz (60 mL), 4 oz (120 mL) and 8 oz (240 mL)
Manufacturer warning: As stated on the manufacturer's website, "Buzz-Off should not be used in mountainous areas where wild cats might be present. Catnip oil does attract wild cats, including mountain lions, cougars, and bobcats. Do not use this product if there is a danger of attracting a wild cat!"

Initial Report:
June 22nd 2007

I received the 2 oz (120 mL) bottle of Gods Country Botanicals, I think. The bottle's label does not actually state the amount of liquid contained in the bottle. It is in a tall narrow spray bottle that is tinted blue. The label on the bottle says the Buzz Off is a catnip and eucalyptus essential oil spray that is aDEET free insect repellent. The website and the information sheet enclosed with the spray refers to a study that shows that catnip oil is 10 times more effective thanDEET . The website also warns that the catnip essential oil will attract all types of cats, even wild cats. The Buzz Off liquid is thin and smells pleasant. It smells vaguely lemony. I applied a little of the Buzz Off oil to the back of my hands to get a better idea of how the spray smells and how it feels on my skin. The oil smells pleasant and was absorbed into the skin leaving no heaviness or cloying feeling that heavy sprays or creams can leave. This was light and left my skin feeling smoother.

The Gods Country Botanicals Buzz Off is what I expected. The bottle looks like the picture on the website and the product is pleasantly smelling with a baby oil like feeling. The lemony smell is due to the lemon eucalyptus oil that is contained in the product. I have not had a chance to try the product outside in the presence of bugs so I cannot yet comment on its bug deterring abilities. Over the testing period, I will be looking into how effective the Buzz Off is against the various types of biting bugs that I encounter. I will look into how long one application lasts and how often the Buzz Off needs to be reapplied.

I expect to take the Buzz Off on day hikes in the area as well as overnights further away. I will mostly be in the DC, Maryland and Virginia areas. I expect to encounter some rain and hopefully lots of nice weather. I will also be wearing the Buzz Off on all my outdoor activities where I might encounter bugs of any type.

Field Report:
September 23rd 2007


Overnight Trip #1:

This trip occurred shortly after receiving the Buzz Off spray and took place over a very hot and humid weekend. The temperature was in the high 90's to low 100's F (32 - 38 C) with about 80% humidity, basically really hot. I did apply the Buzz Off at the start of the trip when first leaving the car. The bugs were around almost right away from leaving the car but did not seem to be biting. I applied the Buzz Off to only my arms. While hiking the 6 miles (9.6 km) to the campsite, I didn't notice any bugs biting either my arms or my legs. This took about 3 and a half hours to hike. I reapplied more Buzz Off to my arms at camp around dusk. The bugs were around but again, I didn't notice any biting. The next day I didn't put any Buzz Off on. Once I reached the car and rested, I didn't notice any bugs biting me. Temperature was about the same over both days of the trip. Elevation gain was about 1500 ft (457.2 m) with a total mileage of 9 miles (14.5 km).


I have used the Buzz Off on many kayaking trips, at least 10 trips out. Trips are anywhere between 3 miles and 6 miles (4.8 and 9.6 km) Sometimes I apply before going out to paddle and other times I apply when I get back at dusk. During the day, the bugs don't seem to be a problem on the Potomac River so I stopped using the Buzz Off during my paddle. When I return at dusk and am loading my gear I noticed that the bugs are biting. I have taken to applying the Buzz Off at that point to arms and legs as well as the back of my neck. I have noticed that the bugs leave me alone after that. I am able to load up the car in peace then walk over to a nearby restaurant and back without any further harassment by the bugs.

Overnight Trip #2:

This trip was a repeat of the first trip in distance and location but the temperatures were in the high 80's to low 90's F (26 - 32 C) with humidity around 60%. When I exited the car I applied the Buzz Off to both arms and legs. I didn't notice any bugs biting during the 6 mile (9.6 km) hike in nor once I stopped at camp. Again, this took about 3 and a half hours to hike. The bugs were significantly less on this trip. At camp I did start noticing a few bites here and there and reapplied the Buzz Off. The bugs stopped being a bother.

Observations and Comments:

Over the last 3 months, I have been using the Buzz Off spray exclusively. There haven't been a ton of biting bugs in the DC area or on the trails, but I did encounter some bugs mostly at dusk. There have been a few occasions where I didn't apply the Buzz Off immediately upon exiting the car, and have found myself being eaten. After applying, I no longer get bit.

The Buzz Off solution is a little oily when I first apply it. I was a little concerned that the oil might work like a bronzing oil in the sun but I have noticed no such effect. As a caveat, I do apply sunblock first before applying the Buzz Off if I will be in full sun. I have found that I don't like the spray top on the applicator bottle. Rather than a mist-type spray, I get a single jet of liquid. When this hits my arm or leg, it sprays off in various directions. I have had to spray and move the bottle at the same time to create a line of repellent on my arm or leg rather than have a large dollop on dripping in one spot. I would much rather have a mister type spray head or a flip cap and squeeze type. I have found that I don't need to have total coverage. I use about one squirt per arm and about two squirts per leg. Although this doesn't provide complete coverage, it does seem to provide enough to keep the bugs at bay. While I like the small thin design of the bottle as it makes it easier to shove into side pack pockets or tight locations, I don't like the shape as it is very hard to hold onto the bottle and dispense the spray nozzle when my hands are oiled up from spreading the repellent. The bottle needs some type of texture on the sides to prevent it form slipping around in my hand when I use it.

When I first apply the Buzz Off, I can really smell the lemon oil. After about half an hour, I can sometimes still smell it depending on how much I sweat, but only if I place my nose right against my arm, otherwise, the odour has mostly dissipated. I don't generally notice any bugs for the next hour or two. This time really depends on how much sweating I have been doing and what activity I am doing. The more I work and sweat, the lower the time. If I am just sitting around, I find the Buzz Off lasts longer. I don't normally find bugs biting me when I am hiking, they seem to like stationary prey more. I have, in applying the Buzz Off, sprayed some on shirt sleeves or on shorts and have noticed no ill effects or oily splotches that didn't wash out. I have also used the Buzz Off in combination with sunscreen. I typically will apply the sunscreen first then apply the Buzz Off over top the sunscreen. The sunscreen does not seem tointerfere with the bug repelling abilities of the Buzz Off spray.


Overall, the Gods Botanical Country Buzz Off spray seemed to do a good job of repelling the bugs. I have mostly only encounteredmosquitoes on my travels. While I did not encounter huge flying clouds of bugs as I have in the spring, the Buzz Off seemed quite capable of repelling themosquitoes I did encounter. While the bottle can be a little difficult to hold with oily hands, the slim nature stows well in a variety of places. While I didn't like the spray nozzle provided with the bottle I did get used to it and compensated.

This concludes my Field report on the Gods Botanicals Country Buzz Off. This field term report is the last report in this series, thank you for following this test.

Read more reviews of Gods Country Botanicals gear
Read more gear reviews by Kathryn Doiron

Reviews > Health & Safety > Insect Repellents > GCB Lemon Eucalyptus and Catnip > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron

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