Mosquitoes can bite through any clothing that’s thin and tight-fitting; however, that doesn’t mean that thicker and looser clothes are completely impenetrable either. That’s why it’s important to have a protection plan that includes the use of insect repellent and other mosquito prevention methods to keep those bites at bay.
Clothing That Mosquitoes Can Bite Through
Mosquitoes have a flexible tube-like mouthpart called a proboscis that allows them to pierce through your skin, find your capillaries, and suck your blood. While clothes can lessen your exposure to mosquitoes, they are not impenetrable. Here are the most common types of clothing that mosquitoes can bite through:
Most t-shirts are made from natural, knit fabrics such as cotton and linen, which make them very soft and comfortable to wear. However, these fabrics are also sheer and permeable, so mosquitoes can easily bite through them. Mosquito bites are also more likely if you’re wearing tight-fitting shirts because the fabric lays so close to your skin.
An alternative is to wear shirts made from synthetic and woven fabrics like nylon, polyester, and spandex. While these fabrics aren’t as flexible or breathable, they offer better protection against mosquitoes.
2. Yoga Pants and Leggings
Yoga pants and leggings are made from stretchy synthetic materials that hug your body and allow you to move freely. However, because they are thin and tight, mosquitoes can easily bite through them.
For better protection against mosquitoes, you might want to choose yoga pants or leggings that have a wider fit or activewear made from thicker material. If you still want to keep wearing your yoga pants or leggings, though, just make sure to utilize other mosquito prevention methods such as insect repellents.
3. Denim Jeans
Though denim jeans are thicker than yoga pants, it’s still possible for mosquitoes to bite through them. A mosquito’s proboscis is very strong, so it can still penetrate a tightly-woven fabric such as denim.
If you want to make it harder for mosquitoes, choose loose or wide fit jeans over skinny jeans and other body-hugging styles. Also, make sure you’re wearing true denim material and not jeggings, which are made from fabric similar to leggings. Other considerations are length as full-length jeans offer more coverage than cropped, and denim color as a light wash will not attract mosquitoes as much as darker wash jeans.
4. Sweaters and Jackets
Mosquitoes can also bite through sweaters because they’re made from knit fabrics that have large enough openings in between the threads. So, even if you’re wearing a thick and heavy sweater, there’s still a chance that you might get a mosquito bite.
On the other hand, mosquitoes will have a harder time biting through jackets. That’s because jackets are usually worn loosely and made from thicker materials. Lighter jackets such as windbreakers can still offer some protection against mosquitoes because they are worn loose on the body.
Socks, whether they’re thin or thick, have a lot of space in between threads, so it’s easy for mosquitoes to bite through them. If you’re taking part in outdoor activities such as hiking and camping, nothing will beat the protection offered by closed shoes such as hiking boots and gaiters. You can also tuck in your pants into the boots or gaiters to prevent mosquitoes from flying up your pants and biting your legs.
Even your head isn’t protected from the wrath of mosquitoes. There’s still a chance that mosquitoes will bite your scalp if you’re wearing hats made from woven fabric. For more protection, you can opt for baseball-style caps and other hats made with polyester. Meanwhile, if you’re camping, you might want to wear a hat with head netting so that you’re protected from both the sun and mosquitoes.
If you’re wondering why you get mosquito bites while sleeping, that’s because they can bite through blankets as well. Similar to clothes, choosing thicker blankets that use tightly-woven fabrics will make it harder for mosquitoes to bite. However, mosquitoes will also find other ways to get under your blanket. They’re drawn to that area because your skin temperature will be warmer under the blanket. If your camping or sleeping in an area with a large mosquito population mosquito bed nets are a great solution.
Go for Mosquito-Proof Clothing
It can be quite tedious or even impossible to tailor your entire wardrobe based on whether mosquitoes can bite through them or not. If you prefer not to deal with this hassle, you can invest in mosquito-proof clothing. In addition to netting clothes can be special treated with chemicals that repel mosquitoes as well as other insects. You should be able to find these online or at most popular outdoor stores.
Permethrin is a chemical used in insecticides to repel mosquitoes and other insects. When sprayed onto clothing, permethrin will incapacitate or kill any insect that touches the surface. For humans, though, the permethrin-treated clothes will be non-toxic and odorless.
An important thing to note with this mosquito-proof clothing is that the chemical tends to wear off after a certain number of washes, depending on the manufacturer. You can always reapply using a permethrin clothing spray or other similar products available in the market. Just keep in mind that permethrin is not meant to be directly applied to the skin.
A new study has found that clothes lined with an ultra-thin layer of graphene can prevent mosquito bites. Graphene’s effect is two-fold: one, it makes the fabric impenetrable to mosquitoes; and two, it also blocks signals coming from sweat that signal to mosquitoes that blood is nearby. While graphene clothes have yet to roll out on a large scale, it’s a viable option for those who want mosquito-proof clothing that doesn’t use chemicals.
Protection Plan for Mosquitoes
Even if you follow every recommendation outlined above for mosquito-proofing your wardrobe, you still can’t 100% guarantee that mosquitoes won’t bite through your clothes. As such, it’s important to have a protection plan that will prevent mosquito bites. This means using products that will repel mosquitoes as well as keeping your home or the outdoor environment as mosquito-free as possible. Here are some tips that will protect you from mosquito bites.
1. Use Insect Repellent
Insect repellents should be your primary line of defense against mosquitoes. You should choose an EPA-registered insect repellent to ensure that the product is safe and effective.
Chemical-based insect repellents
DEET and picaridin are the most common active ingredients found in mosquito repellents. These chemical-based insect repellents are considered safe to spray on clothing or apply directly to your skin.
However, possible side effects include eye and skin irritations. There is also growing concern over the use of these products since the chemicals are considered potent enough to use as pesticides. If you want to avoid direct skin contact, you can use mosquito bands or patches, but they will only protect nearby skin.
Natural or organic insect repellents are a great alternative to chemical-based insect repellents because they’re safer but just as effective. These insect repellents use plants that have the natural ability to repel mosquitoes and other insects.
Some of the most popular plant-based insect repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus, citronella oil, neem oil, tea tree oil, lavender, and lemongrass. Natural alternatives are recommended for infants and children who are too young to be exposed to chemical-based insect repellents.
2. Keep Your House Mosquito-Free
It might be impossible to eliminate mosquitoes from your house completely. However, you should at least try to keep your environment as mosquito-free as possible. Have screens on your doors and windows to limit the ways that mosquitoes can enter your house.
You should also avoid having stagnant water on your property. Drain the water in your birdbath, pools, buckets, flowerpots, and trash cans because these areas can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If you have a garden, it might also be a good idea to have insect-repelling plants to further protect your property.
If mosquitoes around your house are a common problem some companies are now selling bat houses to help introduce bats to the environment which naturally prey on the mosquitoes. An alternative to bat houses for more populated mosquito areas would be to invest in a misting system.
Meanwhile, if you already have a severe mosquito infestation, don’t hesitate to call professional mosquito control services so that they can implement a treatment plan that will ensure that your house is safe and mosquito-free.
3. Camping tips to Follow
Hiking or camping in the great outdoors means you’re much more likely to encounter mosquitoes. Thus, there’s also a higher risk of getting bit by mosquitoes. Not only are mosquito bites itchy and annoying, but they can also put your life in danger as mosquitoes can transmit certain diseases such as Zika, Dengue, West Nile, and Yellow Fever. To protect yourself from mosquito bites, here are some camping tips to follow.
Choose your camping location wisely
You should set up camp in an area that’s relatively mosquito-free. This means choosing a camping location that has drier soil and is far from a body of water. You can also choose to set up camp on higher grounds with steady winds because mosquitoes will be less likely to linger in these areas. Before leaving your campsite, make sure to drain all stagnant water so that you won’t inadvertently create a breeding ground for mosquitoes for the next batch of campers.
Have insect repellent, proper clothing, and other materials to bug-proof your camp
Insect repellent should be both a staple and a priority in your camping checklist. Aside from putting on insect repellent, you should also remember to reapply every couple of hours because the product can wear off due to sweat or water.
Campers should wear the proper camping attire to lessen the chances of getting bit by mosquitoes. To summarize what we’ve outlined above, choose lighter-colored, loose-fitting, and full-coverage clothes.
There are also other things you can bring to bug-proof your camp. You can place a mosquito net on top of your tent to prevent mosquitoes from entering your sleeping area. You might also want to have red and yellow camping lights because these colors are not attractive to mosquitoes and other insects. Nevertheless, they’re bright enough to illuminate your campsite at night.
Avoid scented products
Scented products such as soaps, lotions, makeup, and perfumes will not only attract mosquitoes and other insects, but they can also attract more dangerous wildlife in the area. So for your own safety, avoid using sweet-smelling products when camping in the great outdoors.
There’s no doubt that mosquitoes are one of the most persistent and annoying insects out there. It doesn’t help that these little creatures carry viruses with them that can make us very sick. You, too, have to be resilient in taking the right steps to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Hopefully, this guide made you more aware of the best clothing for mosquito protection as well as following through a protection plan for further prevention.