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NMSU researcher collaborates with company, Arrowhead Center to test mosquito repellent wristband

A New Mexico State University professor is collaborating with a New Mexico company and Arrowhead Center through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program to test the efficacy of a mosquito repellent wristband that promises to be more effective than other commercially available repellents. The BugBling™ band has different active ingredients compared to other mosquito repellent bands on the market.


Photo of an arm modeling a red wristband.
NMSU student Hae-Na Chung wears the BugBling™ band developed by Energy Related Devices and tested by NMSU professor Immo Hansen as part of his research into mosquito repellents. (Courtesy photo)
Photo of a man and a woman demonstrating a Y-shaped tube.
NMSU biology professor Immo Hansen, left, and research assistant Stacy Rodriguez demonstrate how they test mosquito repellent effectiveness using a Y-shaped tube. Hansen and Bob Hockaday, president of Energy Related Devices/eQSolaris, tested Hockaday’s BugBling™ band mosquito repellent with the help of the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program through NMSU’s Arrowhead Center. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Through the NMSBA program, Immo Hansen, an associate professor of biology in NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, has been the subject matter expert working with Bob Hockaday, president of Energy Related Devices/eQSolaris to test the BugBling™ band. Energy Related Devices/eQSolaris is also a client of the Arrowhead Technology Incubator at Arrowhead Center.

Hansen and his research assistant Stacy Rodriguez tested the product with two experimental setups. Two band prototypes - one containing citronella and DEET, and the other containing oil of lemon eucalyptus and DEET - were tested using a Y tube and a taxis cage setup. The second test used a wind tunnel at NMSU to standardize airflow. Hansen said both prototypes were highly effective at reducing mosquito attraction.

The efficacy of both prototypes of the BugBling™ band were compared to two commercially available products – Invisiband and OFF ClipOn. The result: the effect of both BugBling™ bands were stronger than the two other products.

“The BugBling™ band strongly repels mosquitoes and proved to be superior compared to the other devices we tested,” Hansen said. “In fact, it was the only device that had a significant effect in our tests.”

Hockaday said the test results helped the BugBling™ band become “real” to the business world.

“With an independent test of our unique mosquito repellent technology it makes a spectacular difference in our credibility,” Hockaday said. “For a little company that creates a disruptive product that far out-performs against commercial products, it is hard to be taken seriously. The NMSBA assistance was able to engage independent testing in a unique New Mexico laboratory to scientifically confirm our product was several times better.”

Griselda Martinez, the NMSBA program manager at NMSU, said the mission of the NMSBA program “is all about support small businesses in the state of New Mexico to continue their growth. Seeing the development of this product and the potential to capture such a big market is of great excitement to our organization as we continue to work to develop our region.”

Hansen’s mosquito research recently attracted worldwide attention after discovering mosquitoes are strongly repelled by Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume.

Hockaday said that the results and information received through this NMSBA assistance have allowed him to continue with the process of registering the BugBling™ band with the Environmental Protection Agency.