What’s the top spoiler when camping, trekking, playing, or simply relaxing outdoors?
Getting swarmed by insects particularly of mosquitoes. The conventional solution to protect your skin is to use mosquito repellants in the form of spray or lotion.
Although they are very much safe and effective, a lot of people think twice in using them because of that sticky feeling and somewhat unique smell.
According to Off!, the next best alternative is to use a mosquito clip on fan.
What is a mosquito clip-on fan and how does it work?
The clip on fan is a small device which promises to drive away mosquitoes without the need for you to apply repellant sprays and lotions.
It’s basically a tiny battery-powered fan which disperses and circulates the chemical content of the refillable unit. Instead of DEET or picaridin which are used in lotions and sprays, metofluthrin is the main insecticide concocted for these fans.
The fan is designed with a clip for hooking in the waist, belt area, or any other part of the user’s clothes.
The principle is relatively simple; when the fan is turned on, it disperses the metofluthrin around the person creating an invisible cloud of protection against mosquitoes. Once opened, the refill disk can provide continuous protection of up to 12 hours.
The beneficial features
Why is the mosquito clip on fan worth a try?
Because it’s easy to use, just turn it on, clip or place it near your body, and wait for a few moments to build that mosquito barrier around you. It’s often clipped on the back of belts or placed near feet or other body parts that get bitten a lot.
The unit is silent, the refill used is odorless, and it eliminates all the discomforts of using sprayed mosquito repellents.
Is the device effective?
Metofluthrin in itself is already proven effective as a mosquito repellant, so the fan simply ensures that your body is covered with it.
Based on a scientific study, it is 97% effective when it comes to repelling mosquitoes although it may need to be tested first for all the other insects.
Study on the effectiveness of the Off! Clip-on Mosquito Repellent
Yup, there’s even a study done on whether these things work. PubMed reports about 6 test persons conducting a field trial in North West Florida. The study is titled, Field evaluation of the Off! Clip-on Mosquito Repellent (metofluthrin)
It found that the mosquito clip on provided 70% protection from bites of a specific type mosquito for more than 3 hours.
In a second field trial they looked at how a repellent device that had been open for more than a week performed. It provided 79% protection from another type of mosquito. (the studied types, Ae. albopictus and Ae. taeniorhynchus)
Who exactly commissioned and financed this study is not entirely clear. The extent to which the results are unbiased is therefore also not completely clear.
Consumer Reports tests
Consumer Reports tested the Off Clip-on repellent by attaching it to the waists of four individuals for 12 minutes every hour. During this period they sent them into screened enclosures with 1,000 mosquitoes.
Although Off Clip-on initially reduced the number of mosquitoes near our testers, two of them still received one bite each during their first session. That’s far less protection than the 7-plus hours of complete protection we’ve seen with many skin-applied repellents.
What do reviews and consumer experiences say about the device?
Does it work according to users?
Yes it seems to work. Amazon shows a whopping 3,5 out of 5 star product rating and many positive user reviews. It has some drawbacks though.
Generally, almost all the consumers who have experienced using the mosquito clip on fan agree in the devices’ capability to ward off mosquitoes.
But most also agree when it comes to the device’s limitations or drawbacks which include the following:
You only get the full benefit if you’re stationary. This is because the chemical distributed by the fan can be affected by wind or your motion making it less effective for certain outdoor activities.
However, some reviewers point out that the clip on fans function “while working in gardens and definetly not standing still too.”
Opinions differ on how well these gadgets work. According to some users the chemical barrier the fan creates can still be overwhelmed by a swarm of mosquitoes.
Some users have tested the device near ponds or forests areas where huge numbers of mosquitoes rule. The result; still a lot of mosquitoes managed to get through the protection created by the clip on fan.
Other users said that the Off mosquito fan worked well in the Midwest with its notorious mosquito population.
- Your entire body must be unobstructed. For example; when you place the fan on top of a table while you are reading or working, the repellent might not protect your feet and legs which are hidden underneath.
- There’s also a concern with the fan’s design and built. It’s made out of plastic and doesn’t look to be that durable.
- Finally, using the fan can be more expensive than the repellent lotions or sprays. Since repellant formula contained in the refill disk can only last for 12 hours, you might have to spend extra dollars to be able to use the fan for several nights or days.
Entomology and mosquito control experts point out that dense swarms of mosquitoes tend to overwhelm devices that spread repellent in the air. This is the same for backyard candles and foggers.
Spray-on repellents remain the primary protection method against mosquitos. A clip-on fan can be handy in certain situations but don’t count on it as your primary repellent. Whether it will work for you may depend on the types of mosquitoes in your area too.
The Off! clip-on device may occasionally be useful, just don’t forget to pack your spray.