Disclaimer: I’m a mosquito magnet. Growing up in South Carolina, I was always told that I must have the “sweet blood” mosquitos devour. Oh they devour alright…even if I use bug spray. There’s been some research revealing folks like me with O positive blood type are more attractive to the little boogers. Plus, I’m a sweater and skeeters love the lactic acid, uric acid, and ammonia aromas emitted in sweat. Double whammy for me! Deer flies love me too – yes, those welts hurt and will wake you up itching. Good news for you if you’re camping or hiking for me as those pesky insects will chomp on me before going after you!
At Outdoor Retailer Summer Show in late July, I was on the hunt for all-natural products to stop the skeeters swooning over me, especially since I was going camping for the weekend. I came across Para’kito. They’re wristbands, which can also be worn around your ankles, with a small pouch for a pellet made of essential oils and ingredients and are DEET free. Each pellet last for 15 days – great I thought for multi-day hiking or camping adventures. Bands are $19.50 and include 2 pellets.
I was also interested in the Para’kito Roll-on Gel. I went out and bought both the wristband and roll-on gel for my camping to road test them, and hopefully find something to keep mosquitos away! The gel cost $19.50. It supposed to be good for 5 hours before you need to re-apply.
I tried the wristband with a pellet first. Reading the packet I was thrilled to see essential oils including citronella, rosemary, geranium, mint, clove, peppermint, and cinnamon as the active ingredients. Fair warning – the pellet scent of citronella is incredibly strong. I was wishing I had opened it the day before and stored it in a Ziploc bag in my car. The wristband was comfortable to wear and I was happy the next morning to report I had no mosquito bites. But, that changed later that day while hiking down from Huron Peak and relaxing by the creek near our campsite. My arms and upper body stayed clear of any bites, but the pesky ‘skitos got after my legs with 6-7 bites.
So I added the roll-on gel to my wrists and legs. That seemed to do the trick for me for the rest of the camping weekend. So my takeaway – the Para’kito roll-on gel is a better option for me in the woods!