Buzz... Buzz... SLAP! Mosquitoes are coming and they're out for blood. With summer on the way and fears about Zika virus spreading worldwide, mosquito control is top of mind for anyone planning to enjoy the great outdoors as the weather warms up.
Repellents are the first line of defense against mosquito bites and the diseases they spread, but they aren't without drawbacks. Topical products applied to skin wear off within hours, and neurotoxin-based sprays often present health hazards.
Enter a "spatial" repellent, which reduces contact between disease-spreading insects and humans by creating an invisible barrier that inhibits the ability of the insect to locate and land on a target.
Sterling International, Inc., the company behind RESCUE!® insect traps and attractants, has expanded their product line to include spatial insect repellents, including a new wearable repellent device called GoClip™.
The active ingredients in GoClip™ are all-natural essential oils that serve as a spatial repellent to keep insects away. The oils are infused into a porous core that allows a controlled release over a 48-hour period. That core is housed in a metallic plastic cover with a clip that easily attaches to a shirt collar, waistband, cargo shorts pocket, hat or lanyard.
When GoClip™ is worn, the fragrance, pleasant to humans, disperses into the air and helps shield the wearer from insect landings. The repellency lasts 48 hours total, or six days – based on 8 hours' use per day. When not in use, the resealable zippered pouch helps it maintain potency.
The launch of the GoClip™ follows years of development that began with a Department of Defense Grant awarded to Sterling in 2008 for a wearable "personal insect repellent device" to protect soldiers in the Middle East from mosquitoes and sandflies.
Using the Gas Chromatography and Electro-Antennographic Detector (GC-EAD) in Sterling's insect research lab, in-house scientists – led by Director of Research Dr. Qing-He Zhang – identified natural repellents by observing how antennae of mosquitoes and other insects responded when exposed to different materials. By the end of the three-year research period, the company developed several prototypes ready for the DOD to field test.
Besides the usefulness to the military, the device had obvious commercial appeal. "We knew consumers would find value in a long-lasting repellent device that protects the space around them from not only mosquitoes, but also biting flies and ticks," explained Sterling President Rod Schneidmiller. "There is nothing to spray or apply to your skin, and the combination of lemongrass, clove, peppermint and cinnamon oils is a pleasant scent."
The GoClip™ retails for around $5 and is available nationwide at participating ACE Hardware, True Value and Do-it Best dealers, as well as on Amazon.com.