According to experts, BiteBlocker Herbal Insect Repellent Spray is a safe natural repellent for children and even babies. Made with plant-based ingredients, including soybean oil and geranium oil, it protects for roughly one and a half to two hours. This is equivalent to an mosquito repellent containing 5 percent DEET. If you want a natural insect repellent that lasts longer, Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent (Est. $9 for 4 oz.) can be effective for up to eight hours.
The Journal of Medical Entomology provides a comparative review that covers a wide range of repellents, though it doesn't use many test subjects. Another 2004 study, published in the Canada Communicable Disease Report, compares the effectiveness of BiteBlocker Herbal Insect Repellent Spray and other types of mosquito repellents. An older report from The New England Journal of Medicine includes a review of BiteBlocker for Kids, but we aren't sure whether it had a different formula than the current product. Testing by Slate.com, which is much more informal, looks at repellents in terms of their scent and feel. We found a limited number or user reviews at Amazon.com.
1. Journal of Medical Entomology
Twelve bug repellents, including BiteBlocker Herbal Insect Repellent Spray, are tested on two people for this study. BiteBlocker repelled Aedes mosquitoes for as long as eight hours on one tester, but only for four hours on the other. The other two species of mosquito had more consistent results of seven and a half hours or longer. These results are better than other studies we found.
Review: Laboratory Evaluation of Mosquito Repellents, Donald R. Barnard and Rui-De Xue, July 2004
2. Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR)
This 2004 study published in the Canada Communicable Disease Report makes recommendations for preventing and treating malaria. BiteBlocker Herbal Insect Repellent Spray with 2 percent soybean oil lasts one to four hours and is comparable to products with 10 percent DEET. A chart compares the effectiveness of other types of products containing other natural ingredients or various concentrations of DEET.
Review: Canadian Recommendations for the Prevention and Treatment of Malaria Among International Travelers, Editors of Canada Communicable Disease Report, June 2004
3. The New England Journal of Medicine
Researchers enlist 15 volunteers to test 16 mosquito repellents. BiteBlocker for Kids is the top-rated non-DEET product, lasting an average of 95 minutes. We aren't sure how that product differs from the current BiteBlocker Herbal Insect Repellent Spray (both contain 2 percent soybean oil as the active ingredient).
Review: Comparative Efficacy of Insect Repellents Against Mosquito Bites, Mark S. Fradin and John F. Day, July 4, 2002
Andria Lisle and friends test nine mosquito repellents, including BiteBlocker Herbal Insect Repellent Spray, which finishes in the middle. Testers say it works for about 90 minutes but feels sticky. Only a single test subject was used for each product, and we know effectiveness can vary from person to person.
Review: Bug Off! Which Mosquito Repellents Work Best?, Andria Lisle, July 26, 2005
A handful of user reviews for BiteBlocker Herbal Insect Repellent Spray at Amazon.com are mixed about the smell. However, most say it works well and is a good non-DEET alternative for kids.
Review: Herbal Spray 4.70 Ounces, Contributors to Amazon.com