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Solar Powered Mosquito Guard Review

on July 16, 2004 12:00 am

 

Summertime in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is mosquito city. I have an ornamental pond in the backyard which is an attraction to mosquitoes to lay eggs. After dark, the yard is practically a Bela Lugosi film festival, there are so many creatures after my blood!

For those of you who are not up on mosquito 411, here are a few facts from mosquito.org, the site for the American Mosquito Control Association, about our blood drinking unwanted summer guests. Female mosquitoes are the ones that bite, requiring blood to nourish her unborn young. Mosquito bites can transmit diseases such as Yellow Fever, Malaria, West Nile Virus, and various types of Encephalitis. A necessary part of gestation, mosquito eggs are laid in water and join together to form "rafts", so any place with water can be a potential incubator.

In the past, I’ve tried several citronella candles and bug sprays with mediocre results. Frustrated and itchy, I decided to give a product from Restoration Hardware (a great gadget store) a try.

The solar powered Mosquito Guard is an interesting concept. It is a key chain (and belt clip) attached to a high-frequency generator. The device is powered by tiny solar panels that recharge in about 5 hours. The sound emitted by the Mosquito Guard repels the mosquitoes away from the user.

Product Details & Features

The Mosquito guard is comes in several colors, is 2" H x 1" W x.5" D inches and weighs about 24.3 grams. An On/Off toggle switch to save power when not in use.

Initial impressions

After opening the box, The device clips easily to belt or waistband and stays there, even in heavy activity. When turned on, I can hear a very soft high pitched noise, likely not the actual frequency that repels the mosquitoes but rather to let the user know that the device is on and charged.

Upon reading the box, I noticed the phrase:
While no scientific evidence proves that mosquitoes can hear, it seems to work for most people.

That doesn’t seem too reassuring. However, a bit of online research showed ultrasonic repellents testing has been inconclusive.

Because, there are many things that science has not yet explained or proven so I donned the gadget and bravely went outside in the interest of mankind.

Product Testing

I decided to charge it up and test it in several situations: using the belt clip during the day, using the belt clip at night, in a pocket during the day, and in a pocket during the evening. Here are my limited (and non-scientific) findings.

Belt Clip Day:
For this portion of the testing, my dad volunteered to be the one wearing the device, while I went out unprotected. We walked our dogs in a grassy area where mosquitoes and other bugs tend to bite. Over the span of 20 minutes I was bitten twice, while my father was bitten three times.

Table top at Dusk: Dusk is prime time for mosquito I put the device in the center of my glass top table while entertaining some visitors. I was bitten once, and my guests were bitten several times.

Belt Clip Night:
For the night test, I recruited my husband to wear the device and go for a walk with me along the same route. I was bitten once, while my husband, who was wearing the device was not bitten at all.

Overall, I was disappointed with the performance of this product. The concept and design are good ones, I just did not believe the mechanism was especially effective. Also, if this key chain is kept into your pocket, the results are reduced even more.

 

Price: $9.00

Pros: 

No chemicals or dead bugs to worry about
Solar Powered
Small and lightweight, perfect for camping or travel
Inexpensive

Cons: 

Not particularly sturdy
If kept in a pocket it is not exposed to light and therefore will not recharge.
Not as effective as traditional methods, such as DEET
Can frighten some animals

 

Product Information

Price:9.0
Manufacturer:Restoration Hardware
Pros:
  •  
  • No chemicals or dead bugs to worry about
  • Solar Powered
  • Small and lightweight, perfect for camping or travel
  • Inexpensive
Cons:
  •  
  • Not particularly sturdy
  • If kept in a pocket it is not exposed to light and therefore will not recharge.
  • Not as effective as traditional methods, such as DEET
  • Can frighten some animals

Comments

  1. 1
    Julie says:

    Post your comments here on the Solar Powered Mosquito Guard review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/mosquito-guard-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  2. 2
    thsu says:

    I saw a 60 Minutes report on mosquito devices, and the only items that were shown to work were deet and carbon dioxide emitters. Bug zappers, candles, and ultrasonic devices had no effect on mosquitos.

    If you’ve got a yard, your best bet is a carbon dioxide based mosquito trap. They are NOT cheap, starting at $150 for a mere half acre unit. Also you need to run them for a few hours ahead of time to kill off the local mosquito population before using your yard. But at least it works.

  3. 3
    chriszzz says:

    This device seems similar to those AA-battery powered mosquito repellants that sells around here for $2. They don’t work. I live in the tropics where mosquitoes are as common as used-car salesmen, and even more reviled. Bought these battery powered mosquito thingies, and all I can say is that the mosquitoes didn’t seem to mind them one bit.

  4. 4
    Meredyth says:

    For the most part, I believe (after many itchy bites during product testing) that the effectiveness of this method (ultrasonic) is questionable.

    However, if you are looking for some good resources for scientific data on a variety of mosquito management methods here are a few I have found:

    Colorado State

    The Center for Disease Contol (CDC) West Nile Virus Page

    Enviornmental Protection Agency (EPA) Mosquito Page

    The American Mosquito Control Association

  5. 5
    Abid says:

    Electronic frequency emitters don’t really work against Mosquitoes. Why I know? Because the manufacturer said so. :eek:

    In Asia, there is a tiny unit that looks very pretty and plugs directly into the AC socket. Like this solar powered unit, it emits a high pitched sound.

    I happened to know a friend that knows the manufacturer. The company sells hundreds of thousands of these units per month for only $3 each and the owners admits that they don’t work. They also said that it didn’t matter so long as the little units were selling like hot cakes! The price is so low that people would just buy them for fun and forget them after a while.

    High sound frequencies do irritate mosquitoes but each species of mosquitoes is sensitive to only a particular frequency. And whether the irritation is sufficient to stop biting is anyone’s guess. I know as I have tested various frequencies on stationary mosquitoes and at one frequency (and only one for that particular species), the mosquito starts shaking.

    Either irritated or dancing, not quite sure! :D

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