Do mosquito bites ever seem to appear out of thin air? After all, you wear clothing each day and still wake up with red, itchy welts. It’s almost as if the insect pierced your favorite shirt to reach your skin. Can mosquitoes bite through clothes?
We know you’re itching to learn the answer, and this blog won’t disappoint.
The Shocking Truth About Mosquitoes and Clothing
Mosquitoes are a huge nuisance, but their tiny bodies can’t possibly bite you through a t-shirt, right? Surely the mosquito had to crawl under your clothing to drink your blood. That’s the only logical answer, correct?
Let’s cut to the chase: Do mosquitoes bite through clothes? In some instances, yes.
You read that correctly. Mosquitoes CAN and DO bite victims through certain fabrics. Although they prefer to go after bare skin, it is true that a thin shirt or flimsy pair of leggings won’t stop them.
The Type of Fabric Matters
Although mosquitoes can feast on your blood through your clothing, it’s not their preferred method. They will always look for exposed skin first. And there are some types of clothing mosquitoes can’t bite through. Thicker materials offer more protection than thin, breezy fabrics.
Here are some materials to avoid wearing outdoors:
- Thin cotton
These fabrics tend to be on the lighter side and mosquitoes can quickly puncture these materials to reach your skin. That means you should leave your favorite leggings at home! (However, if you do suffer a bite, we’ve got tips for how to stop the itch.)
Can mosquitoes bite through jeans? They can, but they probably won’t try. Denim is a thick fabric, and a mosquito will most likely look for an easier target instead. Tightly woven fabrics and loose clothing also deter mosquitoes—and don’t forget to wear socks!
Because insect repellents, such as DEET, are not safe for use on babies, infants and very young children, clothing is the best way to protect them from mosquito bites. Instead, dressing children from head-to-toe is a better option. Thick fabrics are the best line of defense against bites!
What to Do When Clothing Isn’t Enough
Even if you take all the precautions and wear heavy-duty fabrics, you may still get mosquito bites. What gives? In most cases, the mosquito gets under your clothing before taking a drink. Gaps near the neckline, sleeves, or even buttons are perfect mosquito entryways.
Here’s what you can do about it:
- Always pack plenty of insect repellent. Be sure to spray directly on your clothes but avoid getting it on your bare skin. DEET and other pesticides may cause skin reactions.
- Light a fragrant citronella candle. Even though you may enjoy the aroma, mosquitoes can’t stand it. They’ll fly away and leave you alone.
- Avoid standing water. Mosquitoes love moisture and humid environments. Remember to drain any buckets or containers in the yard.
The Power of a Mosquito Bite
The symptoms of West Nile virus range from barely noticeable to deadly. While mild headaches and low fevers are the most common, some symptoms require immediate medical attention. In rare cases, encephalitis or meningitis may develop; both of which can cause permanent neurological damage or death.
Zika virus symptoms are usually mild, and most people recover quickly. However, Zika can cause birth defects. Doctors have reported cases of microcephaly (small heads) in infants born after Zika exposure, and pregnant women should avoid traveling to areas with Zika-carrying mosquitoes for this very reason.
The best way to prevent mosquito-borne illness is to avoid mosquitoes.
Prevent Mosquito Bites in Your Yard with Mosquito Joe
You want to enjoy the outdoors during the summer, but you don’t want to deal with itchy mosquito bites. Mosquito Joe has a proven solution for you. We offer barrier sprays and natural treatments to reduce mosquito populations.