Insect-Repellent Apparel Sales on the Rise

As reported in Promogram recently, concerns about the Zika virus have ignited sales of insect-repellent lotions and sprays. Relatedly, there is now a greater interest in clothing and accessories that repel mosquitos and other disease-carrying insects. For example, The Washington Post reports that fear of the Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses has bumped up sales of mosquito-resistant baby clothes in Brazil.

The Washington Post report says that sales of Baby Protect apparel, produced by GBaby, have risen dramatically to the point the company is having delivery problems. Fábio Pereira, commercial director at GBaby, says in the Post report that in the past four months, sales have increased 150%, to 20,000 pieces a month.

A report in Entrepreneur says that U.S. sales of Invisaband’s mosquito-repellent wristband were up more than 400% so far this month. The report indicates that many makers of mosquito-repellent products will have trouble keeping up with demand. In addition to the wristbands, Invisaband is releasing a new mosquito net. Another company mentioned in the report is Seattle-based apparel company ExOfficio’s line of BugsAway clothing, whose sales are up 30% since the same time last year.

Permethrin is an effective repellent for application on clothing, shoes, blankets and camping gear, (it’s not meant to be sprayed on skin). NC-based Insect Shield LLC is a manufacturer that offers insect-repellent apparel and gear. According to their website, the Insect Shield process binds a proprietary permethrin formula tightly to fabric fibers – resulting in effective, odorless insect protection that lasts the expected lifetime of apparel (said to be 70 launderings). See video on their process here. Permethrin has been used in the U.S. as an Environmental Protection Agency-registered product since 1977. In addition to men's, women’s and children’s apparel, they carry hats, socks, nets and blankets.

Industry suppliers that carry insect-repellent apparel include Gamehide (asi/46701), which carries ElimiTick clothing – apparel that repels ticks, mosquitos and other insects. Rivers End Trading (asi/82588) also carries insect-repellent wearables, including the Columbia Cascades Explorer long-sleeve shirt made with 100% tactel nylon and features Omni-SHEILD advanced repellency.

PA-based Tyndale Company has a variety of work clothes, uniforms and other apparel that protects wearers from disease-carrying ticks, mosquitos and other insects with its exclusive FRMC garments with durable Perimeter Insect Guard. Perimeter interferes with insects’ nervous systems. Available on a variety of Tyndale clothing, this non-flammable repellent is safe for use with FRC and repels insects for 50-plus launderings.

Japanese company Foxfire has insect-repellent clothing featuring SCORON. When a mosquito lands on it and tries to bite the wearer, the specially treated fabric first stuns the insect and then repels it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. Common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting around a week, however serious birth defects, including microcephaly, have been reported. Since there’s no vaccine for Zika, the CDC recommends prevention by wearing protective clothing and using EPA-registered repellents. See more info here.