The Cutter Family Mosquito Wipes towelettes are very convenient, do not smell horrible, and they work quite well. The are fairly expensive, but the convenience may overcome that drawback. The packaging has some real problems.
Review created July 6, 2009
Last month I went for a four-day backpacking trip in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The northwoods in June is bug season. I felt like I spent all four days running from the mosquitoes, deer flies, and gnats. There were some ticks, but not too many. I’m usually quite tolerant of the insect population, but the mosquitoes were pure torture.
Anyway, I realized before leaving St. Ignace that I didn’t have enough repellant with me. I really HATE repellants, but had tried out one of these wipes on a group hike the day before I left on my personal trip. So I knew two things: first, I could tolerate the smell and feel of the product, and second, it was fairly effective. So I bought my own container. What I got was a bonus pack with 25 wipes for the price of 20, which was $5.49. This means that even on sale this costs 22 cents per application. I’ve never tried to calculate that with other products, but the wipes really are one use, so every time you pull one out you’ve used 22 cents, no matter what you do with it.
The towelettes are VERY wet. Like any moist wipe they are alcohol based, but these seemed to me (and others on that group hike) to be really wet.
One wipe is easily enough for an adult to cover hands, arms, neck, face & ears. I usually felt that there was enough product left to wipe over my hair and around my ankles. But you must use it quickly after removing it from the container. I think for a child in shorts, one wipe could cover all exposed skin. It does not feel greasy or oily. That was a HUGE plus to me. It dries on your skin, and after a day of using several layers I felt pretty grubby, but not as bad as some of the oily products.
Keep in mind that I was testing this in extreme conditions. The mosquitoes were so bad that whenever I stopped walking I would put on a head net. Nevertheless, the Cutter’s wipes active ingredients kept the mosquitoes from lighting on me really well for about 30 minutes, and pretty well for an additional 30 minutes. In a lower population of flying critters I’m sure it would last longer. I was actually quite impressed. Any product that is effective for longer than 15 minutes in that density of mosquitoes is very good.
The active ingredient is 7.2% DEET. The package claims that it repels ticks, biting flies and other biting insects. The gnats were not impressed with the product at all. That said, I’ve never found anything that repelled gnats. I didn’t seem to pick up many ticks, so perhaps it was somewhat effective against them. The deerflies didn’t care one way or the other. Again, I’ve never found anything that really keeps deerflies at bay.
The package is a huge problem. There is an orange cap that pushes on the body of the plastic cannister. You remove this when you purchase it and peel off a plastic and foil seal. Then you feed the end of the first towelette through an opening in the orange cap. A snap-down portion of the cap covers that fed end. Nothing different from many products here. However, the orange cap does not fit tight enough on the body of the container. It kept falling off the entire time of my trip. Not only that, the towelletes are not perforated well enough. It was very hard to separate them, and then there was too much of the next one protruding from the opening. Then the snap-top part of the lid would not close.
I was hoping that the towelettes might be able to be torn in half in case I wanted to use a smaller amount. I’m sure they could be cut with scissors, but they can’t be torn except at the perforations.
Precautions- nothing out of the ordinary. Don’t get this in your eyes or swallow it. You are supposed to wash your hands before handling food, but this is kind of a joke while backpacking. It was dried on so well that I don’t think I ingested enough to make any difference.
Because of the fairly good effectiveness and tolerable scent I would definitely use this again. The package is too bulky for backpacking, really, and is problematic. For home, picnics or the beach, put the package in a plastic bag and take advantage of the convenience of the product.