Dress for Success: A Clothing Blog

5 Reasons To Use Bug Repellent Clothing

by Clifford Fowler

Bug repellent clothing uses a chemical called permethrin, which provides effective protection against ticks, mosquitoes, biting flies, and other nuisance insects. It also provides many benefits over the use of skin repellents alone. You can purchase clothing pretreated with permethrin, or you can invest in a do-it-yourself spray that you can apply to your favorite outdoor items.

1. Increased Effectiveness

One problem with applying bug spray each time you go outside is that it is hard to gain even coverage. Invariably some part of the body is missed and gets targeted by biting insects. Further, water and sweat can wash away the repellent, necessitating frequent re-applications. Bug repellent clothing is already evenly coated and the coating can last the lifetime of the garment, so you know it is still effective. 

2. Lower Toxicity

There can be concerns about applying bug repellents directly to the skin. Some people are simply sensitive and suffer skin irritation. There are also worries about toxicity to humans with some types of bug repellents, especially when used on children. Bug repellent clothing is non-toxic once it has dried into the fabric (although all label cautions should be followed if you choose to apply permethrin to your own clothing). Even if you still use some skin repellents on exposed areas, you will be lowering exposure overall.

3. Improved Coverage

One of the best defenses against many biting insects is wearing long sleeves and pants, but some bugs can still bite or sting through thin fabric. Bug repellent clothing solves this problem by ensuring that nothing will come through the clothing to bite. In other cases, bugs like ticks may be drawn to cuffs and sleeves as they seek out a place to feed. The treated clothing prevents these pests from crawling beneath your clothing.

4. Fewer Gear Concerns

Many insect repellents act as a solvent when they get onto certain materials, like nylon. Unfortunately, a lot of pricey outdoor clothing and gear contain nylon. Permethrin-infused clothing is not a solvent so there will be no worries about accidental gear damage from either over-spray or simply from wearing the repellent.

5. Easy Maintenance

Don't let worries about clothing maintenance turn you away from bug repellent clothing. The good news is that permethrin-infused items can be washed and dried as usual — no special care is needed — and the repellent nature of the items won't be compromised. The only thing to avoid is dry cleaning, as dry cleaning chemicals and methods can strip off permethrin.

Consider bug repellent clothing if you are tired of mosquito and other bug bites.