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Adventure clothing to fend off mosquitoes

March 31, 2016

IMG_0265Love the outdoors? Who doesn’t, right? But most of us could do without all the creepy crawlies, biting bugs and menacing mosquitoes. Aside from being just plain annoying, mosquitoes and ticks can present a danger to your health, as they are frequent carriers of diseases such as West Nile virus, Lyme disease and, more recently in the news, the Zika virus.

Fight back

Among the ways you can combat mosquitoes and other biting insects is, of course, by slathering on lotions or spraying your skin, or saturating the air in the immediate area with repellents, or trying bug zappers. But another great way to protect yourself is through your choice of adventure clothing. In today’s marketplace, there are products that have effective insect repellent ingredients imbedded in the fabrics.

IMG_0266Permethrin is widely used on a variety of adventure clothes. The active ingredient in Permethrin is a synthesized version of pyrethrum, which is found in the chrysanthemum flower. Permethrin has been found to be effective in repelling and killing mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, no-see-ums, chiggers, mites and lice, among other insects.

Insect Shield is a popular Permethrin-based product that is found on a variety of garments. ExOfficio’s Bugsaway line includes, men’s and women’s pants, shirts, hats, bandanas and hooded pullovers. Insect Shield touts its insect protection on many garments to last up to 70 washings, which in many cases would be the clothing’s expected lifespan. The company does, however, warn against dry cleaning.

If you already own adventure clothes without Insect Shield, you can add Permethrin yourself. Sawyer Products has both aerosol and trigger spray products that can be applied at home, and they last through six washings or 42 days in the sun. Sawyer’s Permethrin also dries odorless and does not stain garments. It’s the perfect way to add repellency to a Scout uniform for summer camp, or even the fabric of a hammock.

So as you plan future camping trips and travel adventures, don’t forget to protect yourself and your family from those pesky insects with the right adventure clothes.

By Rich Kenda