Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Product Review: Don't Bite Me! Patch Bug Repellent
Black flies and mosquitoes are devils with wings! I hate them and I am sure many of you don't particularly care for them either. While I love my ThermaCELL, the refills can get costly and the unit can be bulky. I had heard about the Don't Bite Me! Patch and wanted to give them a try. I figured that if I didn't have to fire up a device or have extra weight in my pack that it would be beneficial. These patches take up no backpack space, weigh next-to-nothing and are kid safe.
The Don't Bite Me! Patch comes in different quantities and cost approximately $1 each.
These are the Product Features listed on their web site:
  • DEET Free
  • Deters not Repels
  • Lasts up to 36 hours
  • Total Body Coverage
  • Clear, Discreet Patch
  • Safe for Use on Children
  • Waterproof
  • Made in the USA
  • Individually wrapped
  • Acrylic Adhesive
  • Breathable Patch Material
  • No sprays
  • No lotions
  • No towelettes
  • Natural, Simple, Safe!
The Don't Bite Me! Patch provides an alternative to traditional insect repellent by deterring insects, not repelling them. Studies have shown that Vitamin B1 metabolizes in the body to reduce human odors attractive to insects.  Now you can simply put on a patch - The Don't Bite Me! Patch, for up to 36 hours of total body coverage.
Only apply patch to recommended areas: hip, rear, shoulder, back. For small children, the best place to apply the patch is between their shoulder blades or on their rear. Do not apply patch on biceps. The constant flexing of this muscle can cause skin irritation with the patch. 
The first time I applied the patch I learned that last part the hard way. I wanted to see how irritated my skin might get (because that's the kind of guy I am). Sure enough, my bicep had some pretty nice swelling under the patch. Note-to-self: Next time, read and follow the directions. This is extremely good to know, especially if you place a patch on a child. It hurts like a mother coming off the bicep after a long day! This video (not recorded by me) shows how to put it on, but they show it on a forearm. Still not the best place for it, but you get the idea.

Here are the Pros and Cons of the Don't Bite Me! Patch

Pros: Once you have the patch on you don't have to worry about it for 36 hours. It's supposed to last that long. Another Pro is there are no sprays, no DEET and not having to worry about the product stinking and alerting game. It also helps because you don't have to pack a ThermaCELL and all of the refills you might need. It's supposed to reduce human odor that attracts bugs, so maybe it'll work in my favor for hunting, too. If it can reduce any odor I would find that beneficial. You can use it doing just about any activity, even swimming. Let's see a spray or ThermaCELL do that!

Cons: The patches cost roughly a dollar each. I bought the 5-pack to test out. I tested the product out three times. Two-out-of-three times I used the product I got bit. I placed one patch on the first time I went out. For a while I was fine, but soon the flies and mosquitoes were locked on to me and I got bit up. I went home and read the box again and it says if you weigh over 200 lbs. you may need to apply more than one patch. That's what I needed to know the first time (see earlier note-to-self). Weighing in at well over 200 lbs. I needed to apply at least two patches. I did just that. I applied two patches, waiting the allotted 2 hrs. and hit the woods. The second time I tested it I didn't get bit and thought I was home-free. Then came the third day of testing a couple weeks later. For most of the day I was fine, but about 12 hours after putting the patches on my hands got attacked. Three black fly bites later and I was miffed. 

Now, you might think I'd give this product an immediate thumbs down, but I'm not going to do that. There are a few reasons why. First, the Don't Bite Me! Patch is less expensive than ThermaCELL refills and you can easily pack a bunch of these and take them on a plane. Second, no spray and no smell. The third, and quite possibly the main reason, is I plan on seeing if I need to put on three patches to get them to work. I sent a letter to the manufacturer to ask them about my size and if I might need to do something different. This was the response I received:

Couple of things could be going on here. 

1.  It depends if you are deficient in B1 in your diet.  Could be that you just need extra patches for a few days to replenish the B1 your body needs.

2.  If you drink alcoholic beverages or smoke, this too could impact your results and could require another patch.

Bottom line is the patch works for about 8 out of 10 people.  You could have one of these things going on or you could be in the 20% it just doesn't work for.  Hope this helps. 

I might be deficient in B1, who knows. I drink and smoke about the same amount - maybe a beer/cigar or two each month. In one of our bear seminars I mentioned this product and a gentleman expressed his approval for Vitamin B1. He said he takes it a day before he goes hunting and does not get bit up. That will be my next test. Instead of buying a bunch of patches that I have to apply and take off, I am just going to pop a vitamin or two and not have to worry. We'll soon see as I plan on testing that theory this weekend on a deer hunt!


  1. I dunno, Albert. At a dollar a patch, it sounds like you're already dropping two bucks to go in the woods. If you bump it up and try a third patch, that's three bucks. Maybe not so bad if you actually wear it for a full 36 hours, but three dollars for 8-12 hours of a normal hunting day doesn't seem too cost effective. Might be cheaper to order up a bunch of B1 supplements from the health store and go that route?

    I am interested in hearing how your experiments proceed.

  2. My thoughts exactly, Phillip. If I wear it for 36 hours then ok, but wow, a dollar a patch? I am going to try the B1 route and see how that gets me. It'll be cheaper and I'll have plenty of B1 in my body.

  3. For Vitamin B1 to work effectively, it must be taken in mega doses for two weeks prior to your hunt. Because Vitamin B1 is water soluble, you will urinate most of it out of your body. In addition, the digestive tract processes B1 differently for everyone. That's why the patch is so convenient. You can put on a patch two hours prior and it will have the same effect of loading Vitamin B1 for two weeks. The patch is more efficient because it bypasses the digestive system.
    We give free samples of the Don't Bite Me! Patch! if you email us your mailing address to: customerservice@dontbitemepatch.com. You get two free patches to try. Thanks!

  4. Good info, Chari!

    I'm not wild about patches that put stuff (even vitamins) in my system, but that's probably just my personal paranoia. I won't do the seasick patches either, for what it's worth.

    I'll be listening to feedback and reports from folks like Albert to see how it works.