I bought a handfull of these on clearance from another major outdoor retailer just to use them as normal keep-the-sun-off-your-head/neck bandanas. I didn't really believe they would offer much in the way of mosquito protection.
This week a bunch of mosquitos found their way into my house when a door was left open on a warm day and they were terrorizing us through the evening. When I went to bed I covered up with a sheet and thought "what the hell" I'll try the buzz-off bandana for my face. After tying the bandana around my neck I went the whole night with zero bites to my face or upper body. Meanwhile my roommates got eaten alive.
It's obviously no replacement for deet in area with heavy mosquito activity, and the protection only extends to the areas close to he bandana - it's not going to keep them off your legs and arms (thought I think there are buzz-off shirts and pants available) But for what it is it seems to work surprisingly well.
I originally bought this because I have an outdoor job, and it gets hot in the summer. I needed something to block sun, wipe sweat, handkerchief duty, etc. The insect repellency wasn't a big selling point for me, and I felt like a bit of a tool spending so much money on a square piece of cloth.
Jump forward a few weeks. I'm setting up to go mountain biking. The heat is out, and experience has taught me the flies come along with it; especially on those long, exposed fireroad climbs where the challenge becomes less to ascend the grade than to keep the flies out of your throat. I tied it over my head and under my helmet and set off.
The bandana did its duties. It soaked up the sweat decently, and kept the flies away from my face. Those flies that did land usually did so on my arm, and then only for a second. Cool.
Instead of worrying about reapplying bug repellent to my neck area, I used this bandana wrapped around my hat and hanging down covering the back of my neck. It served two important purposes, 1) protecting my skin from bug bites and 2) shielding my neck from sunburn. Handy to use as a backcountry handkerchief or cloth, as well.
Great little piece of gear to have around. Whether on the head or around the neck it keeps the bugs at bay. They're good for around 70 washing too.
No bugs, no problems. Simple.
I wore this on a backcountry canoe camping trip and did not find the bandana to be effective. Mosquitoes, black flies, horseflies and deer flies still had quite the feast. I had better luck with wearing the Original Bug Shirt.
I used this in Oregon on the pacific crest trail this season in July, which was pretty close to the peak of the mosquito season. It kept the mid day swarms off my face, but did nothing on my arms or legs. Around sunrise and sunset all hell breaks loose and it does very little to keep me protected. I tried to get away with using no DEET but a couple days into it and covered in bug bites, I had too. I liked the bandanna in the day, but it really didn't work well when it was thick as hell out.