Insect repellants alone won’t provide 100% protection against mosquitoes and other insects whose bites can cause discomfort and disease. It’s a good idea to wear insect-repelling clothing whenever you’re enjoying outdoor activities where bugs are present. Insect-repellant clothing is available for adults, children and infants. Since mosquitoes are most active around dusk and dawn, be especially vigilant during those hours by covering any exposed skin.
Is Insect Repellant Clothing Safe?
Clothing treated with bug-repellant chemicals were first used by the U.S. military in the late 1970s. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), permethrin is the only EPA-approved chemical used in clothing designed to repel insects. According to the EPA:
“Permethrin is a broad spectrum, non-systemic, synthetic pyrethroid insecticide that targets adults and larvae of many species of biting, chewing, scaling, soil, and flying invertebrates.”
The EPA advises that only small amounts of permethrin is allowed in treated clothing and poses minimal health risks to humans, including women who are pregnant or nursing.
Permethrin treated clothing should be laundered separately from other clothes.
Tips for Bite Prevention when you don’t have Insect Repellant Clothing
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Always wear socks. It’s also a good idea to wear hats, caps or fine-meshed head nets.
- Make sure all your clothing is tucked in! Tuck in your shirt and tuck the bottom of your pants into your socks. Wear thick fabric because some critters, including tsetse flies, can bite through thin fabric.
- Boots can protect your ankles from insect bites.
- Wear lighter colors – they usually attract less insects than darker shades.
Remember to bring along Bite Helper ™ when you’re enjoying outdoor activities. Include it in your first aid kits. Bite Helper ™ will works to relieve the itch following a bite from mosquitoes, ants, flies and ticks.