Does mosquito repellent clothing help to protect from insects?

Insect repellent clothing is not a new trendy invention.

Military uniform, permethrin treated, has long been tested on the military personnel. It has saved the American soldiers from malaria and other insect-borne diseases, some of which can be deadly. The U.S. Army has used permethrin for more than 20 years to treat uniforms.

Only lately has this technology been applied commercially and permethrin-treated clothing has been launched on the market for civilians.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attest high effectiveness of insect repellent clothing and list such clothing brands as BugsAway, Insect Shield, and Insect Blocker.

Such attire will not only protect you from mosquitoes but also from other annoying insects, such as ticks, chiggers, flies and fleas for it contains permethrin.

What Should You Choose: Mosquito Repellent Clothing Or a Spray?

You can buy some ready-to-wear clothing treated with permethrin or you can obtain a spray (Sawyer, for instance) and treat your clothes on your own.

The pre-treated insect repellent clothing can withstand from 25 to 70 washing sessions, but you can by no means dry clean it. You can’t iron it either as, according to the scientists who have conducted several experiments, ironing significantly reduces permethrin content. The main drawback of the pre-treated clothing is its premium price. A t-shirt costs $27 and more.

Zorrel - Insect Shield Apparel Long Sleeve Tee Shirt

Zorrel - Insect Shield Apparel Long Sleeve Tee Shirt has Permethrin, a synthetic analog of a natural repellent found in chrysanthemums. You can wash such t-shirt up to 70 times, but you can’t bleach it. 86% of customers consider this a useful product.

Price: ~$27.95 - $31.35

The main benefit of a spray is a ~$13 price for a 12-ounce Sawyer spray bottle. The effect of a single treatment, however, lasts only up to 40 days or 6 washing sessions. Theoretically, other repellents can be used for treating clothes, such as the ones containing DEET, but they are less durable and don’t maintain the repelling effect after washing.

Is Permethrin-Treated Clothing Safe?

EPA guarantees safety of permethrin-treated clothing. In 2009 they assessed the risks including the risks of toddlers wearing or mouthing such clothing, personnel who wear permethrin-treated uniforms on a daily basis and came to a conclution that permethrin factory-treated clothing is unlikely to pose any significant immediate or long-term hazard to people wearing such clothing. They also claim that such clothes carry no harm for pregnant and breast-feeding women.

Still, you have to use your head and compare all of the possible risks and consequences. Permethrin is a powerful pesticide, so you should hardly treat all of your and your children’s clothes with it while in town. However, in case you or your kids are going to the woods full of ticks and mosquitoes, the benefits of using permethrin outweigh all of the possible risks.

Mosquito protection clothing

Mosquito protection clothing as Coghlan's Bug Jacket protects your body with the help of 100% polyester net. This fireproof jacket looks weird, but it doesn’t hinder movements and will suit anyone who loves gardening or camping. It costs from ~$14, and its Amazon rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars. This is a simple and effective jacket. What else can be there in a mosquito hater’s wardrobe? Coghlan's Bug Pants (from $12) can, for example. These pants are large; they’ll fit even people in the flesh and are fixed on rubber. We have barely found any negative reviews of these pants and jacket.