Believe it or not, the clothes you wear and the products you use on your hair and body have real implications on how “delicious” you might appear to biting insects. Here are some quick wardrobe tips + tricks that can help you to keep your outdoor excursions as bug-bite-free as possible.
What kind of clothes keep the bugs away?
Right off the bat, it must be made known that each insect has their own unique attraction. For example, studies have found that light colored clothing attracts more ticks than dark clothing (and mosquitoes the opposite). So, if you commonly find yourself being served on the local mosquito menu, you may want to try putting on some lighter apparel before stepping outdoors. If biting ticks have overrun your surroundings, you may want to put on some inkier shades.
Once you’ve picked out the right apparel hue for your environment, it’s then important to stock up on some proven insect repellent that won’t deteriorate your clothes. If you don’t like applying bug spray to your skin, we would recommend adding our Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Mosquito & Tick Repellent Mist to your out-of-doors repertoire. It contains no DEET, so it won’t cause your favorite shirts, shorts, sunglasses, or watch band to break down when it’s sprayed on them!
Pro tip: wear high socks, and spray the mist right onto them. Mosquitoes and ticks won’t dare go near your ankles.
Is there apparel specifically made for bug repellent?
While insect repellent apparel might seem like science fiction… recent innovation has seen this concept become a reality. A quick search on amazon.com will yield you insect repellent socks, shirts, even sandals! While we have never personally tested these for ourselves, they seem like a viable option. Of course, we would once again recommend coupling those options with an apparel-friendly insect repellent spray or balm for your skin. Or, if you’re hanging around the house or patio, maybe give one of our mosquito candles a shot.
How does insect repellent apparel work?
There are a couple of different offerings on the market that use different methods. Some brands manufacture shirts, socks, and other garments that have synthetic bug repellent treatments blended into the fabric. The most popular synthetic treatment in insect repellent is permethrin, which was lab created and originally used as a crop pesticide. However, the EPA has since banned it for wide area crop applications, as it is highly toxic to aquatic organisms. The NJ Department of Health has published a fact sheet about this hazardous substance that details all of the potential side effects that come from exposure. These side effects include headache, dizziness, fatigue, eye irritation, and nausea.
There are a few product offerings that utilize natural refill inserts for shoes, socks, and even shorts, but the jury is still out on whether or not they are effective. For now, our recommendation would be to cover up your legs & arms when possible, and to pair that with a natural, clothing-safe insect repellent spray. This one is our personal favorite :)
Any other tips and tricks?
Surprisingly enough, you can make yourself less appealing to biting skeeters with some easy household item swaps. According to a recent study, the use of floral, synthetic fragrances in soaps, perfumes, and detergents (think: rose, hibiscus, etc) can increase the risk of a mosquito being interested in tasting your blood. So, maybe an ocean, linen, fruity, or even unscented aroma might help to keep your clothes smelling fresh, and the bugs disinterested. Finally, a biting bug somehow gets through your wall of protective apparel, we will shamelessly plug our bite relief soothing balm. It’s like magic for those itchy, stinging bites.
That’s all from us! We hope this guide to insect repellent apparel helps you to spend more time outdoors, and keeps you and your loved ones protected from those pesky buggers.
Have fun out there :)
-The Murphy's Team