FTC files complaint over anti-insect wrist bands

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against a company that makes wrist bands intended to repel insects, saying there is no evidence they work.

Online listings say the Viatek Bugband10 repels mosquitoes and other pests up to five days. The FTC says the company doesn't have reliable scientific evidence supporting those claims and calls its marketing deceptive.

Viatek did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Bugband10 could not be found on Viatek's website but the product was available online at retailers including Amazon and Wal-Mart, where a 10-pack of bands was listed at $19.99. The listing says the band is "scientifically proven" to repel mosquitoes, ticks, flies and other insects with a "vapor barrier" that extends up to five feet.

The FTC says the bands contain mint oil.

The FTC's complaint names Viatek Consumer Products Group and its president, Lou Lentine. The agency says Lentine is violating an order from 2003 that involved a device that was supposed to keep insects, mice and rats away using electromagnetic waves.

Viatek is headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It sells pest control devices, anti-barking products for dogs, personal grooming products, and home goods like mops and buckets.