Mosquitoes are a universal pest, and are notorious for their itchy bites and tendency to spread diseases. Wearing long, loose-fitting clothing is a good way to protect yourself from these bloodsucking bugs but, unfortunately, mosquitoes can still bite you through certain types of fabrics.
However, mosquitoes can’t bite through every outfit, so, which types of clothes are the most mosquito-proof?
How do mosquitoes bite through clothes?
Mosquitoes are such tiny insects that you probably wouldn’t expect them to be able to bite you through your clothes! So, how do they manage to attack their victims through fabric?
The answer lies in their highly specialized mouthparts. Mosquitoes have six long, sharp mouthparts (called the proboscis) that are spiky enough to penetrate certain types of fabric. These lance-like mouthparts can pierce both your clothing and the skin beneath, so you may get mosquito bites even when you cover up.
The good news is that even mosquitoes can’t get through certain types of fabric, so which clothes are most – and least – likely to protect you from bites?
Which types of fabric can mosquitoes bite through?
Mosquitoes are most likely to bite you through thin fabrics, such as gauze or spandex. They are especially likely to inflict bites through clothes that are close-fitting. This is because fitted, thin garments rest tightly against your body, allowing mosquitoes easy access to the skin. This makes it easier for their mouthparts to make contact with your flesh. You are most likely to be bitten through clothing such as:
- Yoga pants
- Close-fitting undershirts
Can mosquitoes bite through jeans?
Mosquitoes are very unlikely to bite you through your jeans, as denim is too tough and thick for their mouthparts to penetrate. Even tight-fitting or skinny jeans will probably keep you protected from mosquito bites, though they may not be the most comfortable choice in warmer climates.
Can mosquitoes bite through socks?
Whether or not mosquitoes can bite through your socks depends on how thick your socks are! Thin socks, or socks that expose your ankles, are unlikely to offer much protection from bug bites. Thicker socks that don’t expose any part of your skin are much more likely to keep you safe.
Can mosquitoes bite through pants?
Mosquitoes will be able to bite you through thin, tight-fitting pants (like yoga pants). However, thicker or loose-fitting pants will prevent mosquitoes from getting at your skin.
Which clothing is most likely to prevent mosquito bites?
Mosquitoes can bite you through thin fabric, but that doesn’t mean you have to don jeans and a thick jacket to stay safe. Light, loose-fitting garments can effectively prevent mosquito bites, even if they are made of thin material.
Unlike close-fitting garments (which allow mosquitoes easy access to the flesh beneath), loose clothes don’t rest directly against the skin. Even if a mosquito does poke its mouthparts through your floaty shirt or pants, it is unlikely to be able to reach your body and, therefore, less able to bite you.
Thin, loose-fitting clothes can not only help to keep mosquitoes off you, but are also comfortable to wear in warmer weather. This makes them an ideal choice for the tropical and subtropical regions in which mosquitoes are most common.
Other ways to prevent mosquito bites
Use a bug repellent spray
Bug repellent spray is one of the most effective ways to prevent mosquito bites. Sprays that contain DEET or permethrin can provide long-lasting protection from all kinds of bug bites, and should be worn at dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Natural alternatives containing essential oils can also repel mosquitoes for several hours.
Avoid going outdoors at dawn and dusk
Most mosquito species are most active at dawn and dusk. You can drastically reduce your risk of bites by staying indoors at these times of the day.
Install mosquito screens around doors and windows
Keeping mosquitoes out of your house is imperative for preventing bites. If you live in an area where mosquitoes are common, it’s a good idea to install bug screens around your windows and doors to block any potential entry-points. It is also important to keep your doors closed as much as possible to prevent mosquitoes from wandering in.
Sleep under a mosquito net
Many mosquito species are active throughout the night, so people often get bitten while they are sleeping. Although some bug sprays are potent enough to provide up to 8 hours of protection, the only way to guarantee that you’ll make it through the night bite-free is to sleep under a mosquito net. When positioned correctly (with no gaps) nets create a physical barrier around your sleeping body that no bugs can penetrate.
Use mosquito repellent candles and coils
If you don’t want to retreat indoors at dusk, mosquito repellent coils and citronella candles can help to keep these biting bugs out of your vicinity. Coils and candles are inexpensive and widely available for purchase, and can create a mosquito-free zone outdoors where you are less likely to be bitten.
Remove mosquito breeding grounds
If you have a lot of mosquitoes on your property, you may want to make the area less mosquito-friendly. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so find and empty out any water sources around your home. These may include plant pots, blocked drains, pet bowls, bird feeders, and other garden ornaments.
You may think that covering up is the best way to prevent mosquito bites, but your choice of evening outfit is very important! This is because mosquitoes have long, sharp mouthparts that can penetrate thin fabrics, so mosquitoes can bite you through certain types of clothing.
Yoga pants, tights, thin socks and thin, close-fitting undershirts will offer little protection against mosquito bites. Thicker fabrics (like denim) and light, loose-fitting garments are most likely to prevent mosquito bites