About BugZing

The Story Behind Our Company

In his own words, inventor Robert Hockaday describes how he first realized, “there has to be a better way” to repel mosquitoes.

A Look at BugZing

Story 1

Mosquitos were buzzing on night of the Kailua Intermediate School Christmas Concert in Hawaii. Our band had white shirts, pants, and shoes and navy blue with a golden lining polyester capes. I had a full dress uniform on for the band concert and my mom gave me a glass bottle of DEET repellent to put on. The kind that has a small orifice at the top, allowing a small daub at a time on. I put it in my French horn case and went to the band room to warm up. I was late and all the other kids had warmed up and were seated getting last minute instructions in the main room. Our director, Mr Wellington, told me to go into the practice room to warm up. I opened my French Horn case quickly. Out flew that little glass bottle, and then with a one-in-a-million chance it hit the base of the steel stand and broke creating a puddle of the clear liquid on the asphalt linoleum floor. It was dissolving the floor tiles! I could not clean it up. I had no towels and I was not supposed to soil the uniform! Then I was told we all must go to the concert now! Later, there were conspiracy theories by my fellow bandies of how and why the black gooey splotch had appeared on the floor of the practice room, but I never confessed. Years later I saw that evil black splotch was still on that band room floor. I felt forever guilty for permanently damaging the Band Room. I wondered why did mosquito repellents need to be painted on the skin? If it dissolves floor tiles, why is it OK to put all over your skin? Isn’t there a better way?

Story 2

I had a hypothesis and wanted to test it; I could deliver mosquito repellents as vapors, would they be just as effective as evaporating from a skin coating. Sitting on the ground in the afternoon in Hawaii in the shade, about 10 feet away from a wheel barrow with stagnant water, that my father-in-law had surreptitiously grown (without telling Grandma) in the shady part of the yard in Hawaii just before our family vacation. In nice places like Hawaii you just don’t let stagnant water lie around to breed mosquitos and religiously must dump standing water… or thou shall suffer the consequences onto your tender grandchildren.

So without Grandma’s permission we had a nice private hungry population of Tiger mosquitos just for me. Asian Tiger mosquitos are a particularly aggressive species and will hunt day or night. I wore a screen mesh suit that allowed me to bare just my arms to the swarming mosquitos. First I did background landing counts of mosquitoes and flicked them off by rotating my arms. I had a fairly steady landing rate averaging one every 20 seconds. I put on the Citronella ampoule arm band; no obvious reduction in mosquito landings. That was odd… people use this as a mosquito repellent? I pulled out the DEET ampoule and the landing rate dropped to one every 40 seconds. That was also disappointing…this was suppose the best that we have! Only a 50% reduction from the leading Mosquito repellent! I then put on both the DEET and citronella arm bands and the landing rate plummeted to one per hour! Wow we have something! It would appear that a combination of scents was more effective in repelling mosquitos then just a single scent.