Are there mosquito-proof fabrics that will keep us safer outdoors?
There are many resources for purchasing mosquito-resistant clothing. These are clothes that have been specially treated with mosquito repellent, called Permethrin. There are some companies, who will treat your clothing for you, and send it back. Otherwise, we can choose to treat our own clothes with Permethrin before going hiking, hunting, or camping. This is a widely-used method of personal mosquito protection, but is there a fabric, which does not contain mosquito repellent, which will keep mosquitoes from biting us?
What clothing will and will not protect you against mosquito bites?
Loosely-woven fabrics, such as gauzy cotton and spandex, are not recommended for spending time out in nature, unless they have been treated with repellent. Female mosquitoes’ long, slender proboscis can penetrate through the holes of loose weaves and pierce our skin for a tasty blood meal. If you are heading outdoors without treated clothing, it is better to choose denim, nylon, or tightly-woven wool. The issue with these mosquito-resistant fabrics is that they are not super-breathable. While they will offer some protection against mosquito bites, you might also be very hot wearing them.
There is news on the mosquito-proof clothing front.
Results from a trial by North Carolina State University researchers earlier this month are in, and they look promising! After modeling the biting behaviors of the Aedes aegypti, they developed a material that proved to be 100% mosquito bite-proof. One volunteer was confined with 200 disease-free mosquitoes while wearing this innovative material and received zero mosquito bites. A new textile startup company in North Carolina has prepared to bring the material to the consumer market, with high hopes in greatly reducing the transmission of mosquito-borne illnesses. The difference in this fabric versus the mosquito-resistant options listed above, is that it is not so thick that it cannot be penetrated; the new material actually bends the mosquito’s proboscis when it attempts to penetrate. Associate professor of fashion and textile design at NC State University, and co-author of this study, Andrew West says, “To me, that’s revolutionary. We found we can prevent the mosquito from pushing through the fabric, while others were thick enough to prevent it from reaching the skin.”
Cohasset mosquito control starts at home.
While mosquito-proof clothing is a huge step for outdoor adventures, we must remember that treatment for prevention of mosquito-borne illnesses is important at home. Mosquito Squad of Boston Metro South is here to help protect your home and family with EPA-registered mosquito barrier protection spray, which eliminates up to 90% of the mosquitoes around your home for up to 21 days after application.