How Can Mosquitoes Penetrate Clothing?

During summer months, wearing thin, loose-fitting clothes is ideal to keep mosquitoes from penetrating your skin. Wearing multiple layers of clothes can provide more protection.

The head and mouthparts of mosquitoes impose a three-dimensional limit on the insect’s ability to penetrate clothing. This is especially true when the fabric is a loose weave.

However, mosquitoes can still bite through certain types of clothing. For example, female mosquitoes need blood for their eggs. They have six thin stylets that pierce skin in search of blood vessels. They can also suck blood through spaces.

In order to develop a textile that will prevent mosquito bites, scientists have used a mathematical model. This model combines the behaviors of mosquitoes to predict how blood is likely to be fed across textiles. This predictive model was validated through arm-in-cage studies.

To test whether a fabric could prevent mosquito bites, scientists modeled the behavior of mosquitoes in three different fabrics. These fabrics were knit, superfine knit, and a three-dimensional knit. These models were used in laboratory testing. They found that these fabrics provided bite resistance of 95% or greater.

The researchers also tested the effectiveness of these fabrics on human subjects. In these studies, the researchers used the study’s protocol, which is approved by the Institutional Review Board of NC State University.

The researchers also found that some types of clothing, such as jeans, are less likely to be bitten by mosquitoes. This is because mosquitoes are less likely to bite through clothing with a tight weave. However, wearing jeans might not be the most comfortable thing to do in warmer climates.