Bugs Be Gone

by Rona Berg

An insect-repellent scarf from Shoo for Good

Whether you are spending time outdoors in your own backyard or venturing out on an African safari, when the bugs are biting, it’s good to have some extra protection. Enter insect-repellent clothing, designed to ward off ticks, mosquitoes and more.

Originally developed for members of the military who suffer terribly in remote, insect-laden outposts around the world, clothing that’s infused with insect repellent is having its moment in the mainstream this summer. 

Outdoor clothing brands–and style mavens!--are ramping it up, with insect repellent bound into the fabric fibers of their designs, or the creation of clothing made from ultra-fine mesh that provides a physical block to keep bugs out. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Shoo For Good

Shoo for Good founder Christy Hobart loves a good garden party but did not enjoy the onslaught of insects that came along with it. A former fashion editor in NYC, Hobart now lives and works in Santa Monica, CA, where she spends time outdoors gardening, entertaining friends, raising chickens in her garden. A few years ago, the mosquitoes got significantly worse, and Hobart decided to design a range of sheer or lightweight scarves, wraps and throws infused with InsectShield, an EPA-registered permethrin, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), that is bound into the fabric fibers. The stylish pieces repel insects for up to 70 washings and help contribute to the fight against malaria. With each piece sold, a contribution is made to the United Nations Foundation's United to Beat Malaria, an organization that provides protective bed netting to families in malaria-ridden regions of the world.

Shoo for Good cotton scarves and wraps repel mosquitoes and other bugs for up to 70 washings. They are created by artisans in Ethiopia who work under fair and sustainable conditions as members of the World Fair Trade Organization, including women who spin locally sourced cotton, dyed in small batches with traditional techniques that have been passed down for generations.

Outdoor Research Bugout Brim Hat 

This hat will take you to the Australian outback, the bush in Africa, or a hike in the Malibu Hills--anywhere you will find insects--and offers protection from biting bugs with Insect Shield® technology. With a wide brim and mesh vents and adjustable draw string, it is moisture-wicking, water resistant and also offers UPF 50+ protection to keep you cool, dry and bug-bite-free. 

Mozzie Style

The experience of Mozzie Style jackets and pants is like wearing a portable screened-in porch. The jackets and pants are made of fine mesh that is highly breathable, but with holes too small for bugs to penetrate. Simply designed, lightweight, made from recycled polyester, the pieces provide a physical, insecticide-free barrier that has been tested by Oklahoma State University and found to significantly reduce the number of bites. Similar to a long-sleeved shirt, but cooler and more comfortable in warm weather.

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