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6 Mosquito-Repellent Clothing Items That Actually Work

Put on these clothes and accessories the next time you're heading outside.

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Mosquito magnets know all the tried and tested tricks to keep the bugs away, including citronella candles, bug spray, and even adding certain plants to your garden. But what even the most insect-averse people may not realize is that special mosquito-repellent clothing can go a long way in keeping these pesky bloodsuckers off you. Keep reading to get pest experts' most recommended wearable items that will keep mosquitoes away, from electronic wristbands to special socks.

Experts gave us advice on what you might need, and we picked some of our favorite products. Prices are current at the time of publication but are subject to change.

RELATED: 7 Reasons Mosquitoes Are Attracted to You, According to Science.

What attracts mosquitoes to bite you?

Woman outside scratching mosquito bites on her shoulder
New Africa / Shutterstock

No, mosquitoes aren't drawn to you because you have "sweet" blood.

"Like most insects, mosquitoes have compound eyes comprised of thousands of lenses. They have poor eyesight and can only perceive the world through a blur of shapes and colors," explains Emma Grace Crumbley, an entomologist at Mosquito Squad. "As a result, mosquitoes rely on a combination of other senses and environmental cues to identify and track a nearby host."

"Mosquitoes are adept at detecting subtle chemicals in the air. Carbon dioxide breathed out by living creatures is easily detected by mosquitoes and used to pinpoint a potential host's location," she continues. "Other molecules, like lactic acid produced by sweat and sulcatone, are chemicals present at unique levels in humans relative to other animals, and they alert mosquitoes of nearby hosts."

However, it is true that mosquitoes are more attracted to certain people.

"Skin volatiles, like carboxylic acids and ketones, are odorless to us but powerful indicators of potential hosts to mosquitoes," Crumbley says. "Scientists believe this is a leading reason why some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others: Different genetic makeups lead to varying levels of volatile compounds on the skin."

So, consider adding these clothing items and wearable devices to your outdoor wardrobe.

RELATED: 5 Plants That Will Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard, According to Pest Experts.

Light-colored clothing

Older Woman Walking Outside in Light Clothing
PeopleImages / iStock

Mosquitoes are more attracted to darker colors than light ones, as they provide better visual contrast.

"It's always better to lean toward light-colored attire or accessories when you'll be outside," says Crumbley. "Stick to white, pastel colors, or lighter shades of blue. These shades reduce overall visibility and can help mosquitoes land elsewhere."

"Black and red are colors you should definitely avoid if you can since the darker tones also cause you to sweat more," Crumbley explains. "Mosquitoes use heat and sweat as indicators for potential hosts, so the hotter you are/the more you sweat, the easier a target you become."

Permethrin-treated clothing

cropped image of man wearing long-sleeved blue t-shirt

With new technologies and special fabrics, you can buy clothes that deter mosquitoes. This is important to note because, as Megan Wede, co-owner of Done Right Pest Solutions, explains, "Even our normal jeans are thin layers. But mosquitoes can bite right through that!"

"Clothing treated with repellent chemicals, such as permethrin, creates a barrier that mosquitoes cannot easily penetrate, providing extended protection," says David Price, ACE, director of technical services and associate certified entomologist at Mosquito Joe.

Permethrin is "the only insect repellent currently used for factory treatment of clothing," according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A lot of these clothing items are made for camping gear or military personnel, but you can buy them through specialty retailers such as Insect Shield. Their permethrin-treated t-shirts, for example, are lightweight, quick-drying, and offer UPF 30+ sun protection. They repel not only mosquitoes but also ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and midges.

$37 at Amazon
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Repellent socks

gray socks on white background

Mosquitoes love to nibble on feet and ankles, so shoe covers or permethrin-treated socks are a great alternative to wearing bug spray.

"Treated covers protect feet and ankles, which are common mosquito bite targets," Price tells Best Life.

If you don't have permethrin-treated socks, wearing thick socks that cover your ankles will still provide protection.

$13 at Amazon
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RELATED: 6 Mosquito Repellent Hacks That Actually Work, Experts Say.

Cliganic bracelets

Cliganic mosquito-repellent bracelets

We're going to assume that no one enjoys covering themselves in bug spray, which is where mosquito-repellent bracelets come in. These simple and inexpensive items are infused with scents that help keep insects away.

As Crumbley notes, the only natural scent approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to repel mosquitoes and ticks is the oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE). However, she says other scents "with research to support repellent properties include peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, clove oil, lemongrass oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil."

So, it's not surprising that mosquito-repellent bracelets are among the most popular insect items. "These items release scents like citronella or essential oils, creating a localized barrier that repels mosquitoes around the wearer," shares Price.

One of the most-loved products on social media for this purpose comes from the essential oil company Cliganic.

"I have tried everything. I'm like, mildly allergic to mosquitoes, and they ruin my life," said @curly.abbs on TikTok. "If you have the same problem, please try this."

"If you're the kind of person that mosquitoes just love to tear up, put one on your leg, put one on your wrist, and you'll probably be fine," said Raphaela Laurean in a recent YouTube review of the product.

The bracelets contain citronella and peppermint oils, are stretchy, DEET-free, and come in individual resealable packets so they can be reused. Cliganic also makes mosquito-repellent, stick-on patches that come in fun designs for kids.

$21 at Amazon
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Electronic wristbands

turquoise mosquito-repellent wristband

You can also try an electronic wristband that helps to keep mosquitoes away.

According to Mashable, electronic wristbands are more protective than standard citronella bracelets because the band "releases ultrasonic waves that create frequencies similar to the ones insects make designed to drive them away."

While the band is not 100 percent effective, it does add an extra layer of protection when you're outside. Most of them are also water-resistant.

$24 at Amazon
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RELATED: 4 Soaps and Scents That Repel Mosquitoes, Experts Say.

Hats with netting

woman wearing a beige safari hat with netting

Hats with netting are a good option if you'll be outside for a long period of time, especially if you're going on a hike.

"These hats protect the face and neck from mosquito bites while allowing airflow, making them ideal for outdoor activities in mosquito-prone areas," says Price.

This popular pick from Amazon comes in eight colors, including neutrals and brighter options such as purple and blue, and it can be worn as a regular bucket hat as well.

$22 at Amazon
Buy Now
Dana Schulz
Dana Schulz is the Deputy Lifestyle Editor at Best Life. She was previously the managing editor of 6sqft, where she oversaw all content related to real estate, apartment living, and the best local things to do. Read more
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