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Now, with the advent of technologies, you don’t have to worry anymore regarding the harmful effects of applying bug spray on your body as many companies have come up with insect-repellent-infused clothing or in simple terms, the insect or mosquito proof clothing, which is really effective on your skin. The most beneficial side is that you don’t need to reapply and there is no odor too. The repellent capacity of the clothing lasts for around 70 washings, which is the guaranteed warranty period of the garment.
The very first mosquito repellent clothing which is recorded by the U.S EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is Insect Shield. This is the technology which is applied to the majority of the insect repellent clothing and the companies. Many hikers or the backpackers are having doubts like is there any need for the repellent clothing, do mosquitoes bite through clothes and so on. The answer is absolute “YES”. The Insect Shield guarantees the users from flies, midges, ticks, chiggers, ants and the mosquitoes. This bug repellent clothing has got 0.52 percent permethrin and can be washed like any other garments. It can be used by men, women, and children.
Even though Insect Shield is being applied for a majority of the insect-repellent garments, many companies like Craghoppers’ NosiLife, Columbia and Koppen have designed long-lasting fabrics which repel bugs or insects. On the other hand, permethrin is the major ingredient in each technology used since this is the only insect repellent which is approved by the EPA for pre-treated fabrics.
Although Insect Shield is used for most insect-repellent clothing, other companies have also created their own long-lasting fabric that repels insects. The main ingredient behind each of these technologies is permethrin as it is the only insect repellent approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for pre-treated fabrics. Filling permethrin to these fabrics will make bug-repellency efficient as well as longer-lasting.
Permethrin – What is It?
Permethrin is a kind of insect killer which is sprayed on the garments for killing black flies, mosquitoes, and other bugs but doesn’t have any kind of negative effects on the body if it is used in the right way. It is one of the major elements which are used in the production of Insect Shield as well as in Buzz Off garments for killing the insects when they sit on your clothing. There are even options for buying Permethrin in the liquid form and spray it on your hiking garments. However, this kind of self- applied liquids will have its effect on the fabrics for around 4 to 6 washings. The bottle is coming with an adapter for spraying and can very well cover four complete sets of clothing which includes socks, pants and your hiking shirts.
Keep in mind that you should always check for the instructions which are written by the manufacturer prior to using it for handling it safe and effective. You should apply it to garments which you will be using during hiking time or during any other outdoor activities. Make sure that you apply it in a windless, however, ventilated area just like the garage. Let it dry and then you can use it.
How Does Permethrin Function?
Permethrin is the insect killer which is a synthetic form of the chemical that is developed naturally by the flower chrysanthemum. Even though it is a repellent, it is more similar to an insecticide. It mainly functions by not just preventing mosquitoes from sitting on your body, but it kills or incapacitates the bugs once they have landed. One of the major benefits is that using permethrin-treated clothing for a longer period of time will develop a shielding buffer around you, thus reducing the number of overall mosquitoes coming near you.
Apart from being applied in the garments, it is also used (sprayed) in public areas or in homes as a cream for treating animals and also in the lotion form for preventing lice and scabies on humans. Right from1990’s, U.S military people have been using permethrin-treated uniforms.
Is It Safe to Use Permethrin?
The EPA categorizes the Permethrin as the human carcinogen, meaning that if you intake it, there are chances to develop Parkinson’s disease. On the other hand, the EPA claims that the amount in which it is sprayed or used in the garment making is too low to show results of these dangerous diseases in humans including in expecting mothers. Certain studies proved that those factory-treated garments with Permethrin will not leak much on your skin and the tests conducted have proved it.
The Application of Insect Repellent
Apply the bug repellent to the skin which is exposed during your outdoor activity and on your clothing. Apart from those common bug repellents which contain different active elements, try the ones that contain, picaridin, IR3535, and DEET as they are found to be more effective. Some of the other products which have shown positive results may include eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol and a little bit oil of lemon. Even a very short duration of time spent outside can get a mosquito bite and this shows how important mosquito clothing is.
Can the Mosquito Suit Prevent You from Mosquito Bites?
If possible, try to buy long sleeves, best pair of socks and long pants while hiking. Mosquito bite through clothes which are really thin and hence it is always better if you could spray the garments using repellents as this will provide you extra protection. Remember that you should not use any repellents directly on your skin which contain permethrin as the major ingredient. This is a product which should be applied to clothes or on your hiking gear. Keep in mind that you should not use DEET like repellents on your skin under the garments.
Using mosquito net hat is yet another option and it is one of the most essential and the important piece of gear in your traveling kit. Try to that mosquito hat which is made out of fine mesh. Some are specially made for protecting you from all flying insects such as flies, bees, mosquitoes, gnats etc. It can be folded and kept inside your backpack when not in use.
Try to Find Out the Peak Mosquito Hours and Stay Away
Morning and evening time are probably the peak hours during which you can expect more mosquito bites. So take extra measures to stay safe and to avoid the bites. Try to use protective clothing with repellents during these hours. However, these are not only the timings in which you can expect mosquito bites, these are the time in which you can expect more in numbers.
Is it possible to make Our Own Bug Repellent Clothing?
Of course yes. You can buy one bottle of permethrin and spray on the clothes which you are using for your outdoor activities. Even though this technique is not yet tested, the EPA claims that these kinds of sprays can offer you with the same protection and the factory treated ones. The only thing to be careful is that you have to spray evenly and go through the instructions one by one before using it. However, those garments which you treat at home needs to be reapplied after every wash.
If you are planning to treat the clothes all by yourself, and then make sure that you buy those sprays which are made especially for garments. While spraying, ensure that you are in a well-ventilated area which is protected from the wind. Hang the clothes outdoors after spraying and dry it well before using.
Are there mosquitoes in Alaska?
Yes!!! Alaska is a place where mosquitoes are really an issue for the hikers or the campers. The peak Alaska mosquito season will be from June second week till July last and hence it is advised to take the necessary precautions before you start.
Tips to Stay Protected from Mosquitoes
If you find to be yourself during the peak mosquito hours, then there are lots of easy measures which you can take to handle the situation and stay safe. Try to use loose cut long sleeves model shirts and long pants. This will help to develop a physical barrier which will help to keep the insects away from the skin. Instead of going for porous synthetics, make use of tight weave cotton pants and shirts. Keep in mind that mosquitoes are more attracted to darker colors, especially blue. Try not to use any kind of lotions, scented soaps, and shampoos. If you are planning for a multi-day backpacking, then buy one head net as this may be really useful to you. Make sure that you carry the right repellent for the clothing.
Mosquito Repellents Brands
You can’t always cover up your whole skin. This is the time in which you need to buy a good mosquito repellent. Don’t worry anymore if you are in Alaska since there are some good options or brands for bug protection.
Without any doubt, DEET is one of the top brands and it is the most effective method to keep protected from the mosquito bites. It can be more effectual when you boost up the concentration from 0 percent to 40 percent. Just 30 percent to 40 percent DEET is what you really need. Yet another natural alternative is Citronella. This is a natural herb which could safeguard you from the dangerous mosquito bite. The only thing you need to ensure prior to buying these products is whether the herbal alternatives which you buy contain a minimum of 10 percent of the active ingredient of the insect repellent. Another option which you can choose is the Bite Blocker. This is an oil-based insect repellent which is a combination of geranium oil, coconut oil, and soybean oil.