FTC: No Scientific Proof That Mosquito Shield Bands Actually Work

k2-_8f643c17-8fa7-4ca3-a907-44c2301139cb.v1Mint oil smells very nice, but the marketing materials for Viatek’s Mosquito Shield Bands claimed that the plant substance can do more than perfume the air. Their plastic bands were supposed to use the oil to create a 5-foot mosquito-free zone around the wearer. Do they work? No, the Federal Trade Commission says. Not really.

You can still find the bands for sale at Walmart or Home Depot, where a ten-pack will set you back twenty bucks or more. The claim is that a fresh band can keep mosquitoes away for as long as 5 days straight. Cool idea, but the FTC has charged the company with making deceptive and unsubstantiated claims about the bands, selling them as a pest control solution without actual evidence that they work. “Defendants do not possess, and did not possess at the time they made the representations, competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate” what they claimed in advertisements the bands were able to do, the FTC wrote in its complaint.

Back in 2003, a predecessor company of Vivitek was found to have marketed different pest control device by making inaccurate claims in its advertising, and the company is charged with violating that order as well.

Charging a company with making outlandish ad claims is just the first step: the case will go through the federal courts. The FTC filed its charges at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

FTC Charges Company, Owner with Deceptively Marketing Mosquito Repellent Wristbands [FTC]