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We are all a buzz at The Companion Group as our newest brand of bug-repellant wearable and tabletop accessories, Not In My Backyard™, launches this spring. NIMBY (as we call it affectionately) is the fifth brand in our family of brands. In the past 30 years as a design and manufacturing business, we have expanded to produce barbecue tools and accessories, at-home pizza making products, and patio décor. So why tackle bugs?

“We’re trying to branch out from the barbecue to the whole backyard”

– Chuck Adams, Co-Founder of The Companion Group

Supporting an Outdoor Lifestyle

There is more to grilling than the food. It’s the joy of cooking for your friends and family. The beauty of enjoying your own backyard and spending quality time with the people that matter to you and not with the bugs that always mosey over!

That is a problem for you, and as an outdoor lifestyle brand – it’s also a problem for us! How can we make your outdoor experience better? How can we safely and effectively ditch the annoying and dangerous bugs? As a company we thought and thought about the shortcomings in existing “solutions,” the health hazards that mosquitoes can cause, and the needs of an average family. So that is what we were brainstorming in the spring of 2016. The next step: solving problems.

Solving Problems: The Basis for Innovation

We are designers and innovators; but what that really means is that we’re problem solvers. And while researching materials for Not In My Backyard™, we noticed a problem: There wasn’t a safe, family friendly bug-repellent out there. DEET is the commonly used name for the chemical known as N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide which is classified by the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry as a “halogenated pesticide.” It’s also the active ingredient in many insect repellents, and it comes in a range of sprays and gels applied directly to skin. Not cool or safe!

Citronella candles are another popular option – we even make them as part of our Patio Companion brand – but there are more effective, all-natural oils that repel bugs better than citronella. A candle’s range of effectiveness is also limited to around the table.

Ok. So there are a few problems going on here, one being the chemicals. We needed to find an all-natural solution. Fortunately there has been a lot of research on the subject and it turns out that geranium, eucalyptus, and lemongrass oils work better than DEET and citronella to repel bugs. Great!

Second problem, skin contact and sprays. So we decided to really focus on something new, wearables. We developed a replaceable insert, no bigger than a few centimeters, which fit into fabric or silicone bands and clips and they last for days. Additional products like a low volt handheld travel bug zapper, diffuser lanterns, and slow burning incense sticks complete the NIMBY line of products.

More on the science of how NIMBY works.

Third problem, you’re not always sitting still. Candles don’t work when you’re thigh-high in a river fishing, or camping, or playing catch, running, biking, gardening, chasing the kids around, running errands… all the things you do! NIMBY was designed to provide you all the solutions for a bug free day so you can Focus on the Right Kind of Buzz.

Not In My Backyard™ will be available at retailers nationwide Spring 2017.