Let’s get straight to the point. Can mosquitos bite through clothes?

There is a common misconception that mosquitos can’t bite through clothes. Unfortunately, this is not true.

Mosquitos are generally able to bite through most types of clothing, but certain fabrics and styles of clothing will make it more difficult for them to do so.

In this post, we’ll explore ways you can help prevent mosquito bites with the clothes you wear.

Clothes that Mosquitos Bite Through

Mosquitos can bite through most clothes, but there are certain types of clothing that make it even easier for them. For example, wearing clothes that are tight-fitting will make it more likely that you are bitten.

Additionally, clothing fabric with thin threading or threads that are not tightly woven is also easier for mosquitos to penetrate. If you have clothing that is made from these fabrics, it’s a good idea to wear an article of clothing on top for additional protection.

Which types of fabric can mosquitos bite through?

  • Spandex
  • Polyester
  • Thin to Medium Weight Cotton

A mosquito will not be deterred from any material that is thin and close to the skin. They can easily penetrate the layer of clothing as you have probably experienced. 

How do mosquitoes bite through clothes?

Mosquitos “bite” you with their proboscis which is a long, thin mouthpart that is inserted into the skin to suck up blood. They need a tiny opening in order for them to be able to penetrate your clothing and bite you so it’s important not only to wear clothes with fabric tightly woven together but also to make sure there are no holes or tears where mosquitos can enter.

Clothing to Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites

I don’t recommend relying solely on your clothing to protect from mosquito bites. I wrote about several ways to prevent or deter mosquitos from your yard. However, the type of clothing you wear can determine how vulnerable you will be to mosquito bites.

There are three primary considerations when choosing clothes that will help prevent mosquito bites:

  • Clothing Fit – Loose-fitting clothes are better for preventing mosquito bites.
  • Clothing Color – Light color clothes don’t attract as many mosquitos.
  • Clothing Fabric– Thicker clothing is better so mosquitos can’t penetrate all the way to the skin.

Clothing Fit to Prevent Mosquito Bites

The best clothes to prevent mosquito bites are loose-fitting clothes. Mosquitos have to reach your skin with their proboscis to bite you. Loose-fitting clothing doesn’t allow mosquitos to reach your skin.

Loose-fitting clothing is also cooler during those warm summer nights. Cooler clothes will hopefully lead to less sweat since mosquitos are attracted to the smell of your sweat.

Clothing Color to Prevent Mosquito Bites

Mosquitoes are more attracted by dark colors, so avoid clothing with dark blue, purple, or black hues. The darker the color, the more likely you will attract mosquitos and be bitten.

Lighter-colored clothes such as white or yellow will not attract mosquitos as much. If you wear light colors then you will minimize the chance of a mosquito landing on your skin and biting you.

Clothing Fabric to Prevent Mosquito Bites

If a mosquito does land on you, then you want the right fabric to help prevent a bite. Fabrics that are tightly woven such as cotton or polyester are less likely to allow a mosquito bite.

Fabrics that contain lycra, nylon, spandex, or any other stretch material may not be dense enough to prevent mosquitos from landing on your skin and biting you.

Which clothing fabric is most likely to prevent mosquito bites?

  • Denim
  • Tight Knit Wool
  • Nylon Ripstop
  • Velvet

Unfortunately, the clothing fabric that is best at preventing mosquito bites is also hot to wear. Mosquitos are most active and prefer a temperature around 80 degrees. It is usually uncomfortable to wear thick clothing that mosquitos can’t bite through when the temperature is that hot.

Other Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites

I recommend using some of the clothing tips above with other mosquito prevention techniques to stay free from mosquito bites. Here are a few tips, but check out our complete guide for repelling mosquitos for more information.

Use a Bug Repellent Spray

Mosquito repellents such as DEET are useful for those times when you are outside. Spray on your clothes and it will help keep mosquitos away. The downside is that these sprays can be messy, but they do work well to prevent mosquito bites in most cases.

Avoid Going Outdoors at Dawn and Dusk

Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Avoid going outside at these times of day to reduce the chance that you will encounter mosquitos.

Mosquitos are more active during these times because they are drawn to our body heat and carbon dioxide from our breathing. These traits are easier to detect during the calm moments of dusk and dawn.

Use Mosquito Repellent Candles and Coils

A good mosquito repellent for your backyard is a mosquito candle or coil. These are generally considered safe and effective, and they don’t have the same harsh chemicals as sprays with DEET.

Mosquito coils also emit an odor that mosquitos do not like so it discourages them from coming into the area searching for their next food source.

Remove Mosquito Breeding Grounds

Minimize the number of mosquitos in your yard by getting rid of standing water. Mosquitos can lay eggs in a variety of containers, including buckets and bird baths that have the right amount of water and shade for mosquitos to breed.

Common Questions

Do Clothes Prevent Mosquito Bites?

Mosquitos can bite through clothes, but certain fabrics and colors will help prevent mosquito bites. Mosquitos prefer bare skin to clothing so wearing long pants and sleeves will help. You should also consider wearing light colors or lighter fabrics such as cotton, which don’t cling to skin the way synthetics do.

Can mosquitos bite through leggings?

Mosquitos can easily bite through leggings and other tight-fitting clothing. Try to avoid tight-fitting clothing as much as possible if you will be in an area with a lot of mosquitos.

Can mosquitos bite through jeans?

Mosquitoes can’t bite through thick denim, but they can bite through tight-fitting skinny jeans. Light colored and loose-fitting denim jeans are a good choice for preventing mosquito bites.

Can mosquitos bite through socks?

Mosquitoes can bite through thick and thin socks because the material is thinly woven. This easily allows the mosquito to penetrate the sock and your skin. However, mosquitos prefer bare skin so higher socks can help deter a mosquito from biting around your ankles. It’s better than nothing.

Why do mosquitoes bite some people more than others?

Some people are more attractive to mosquitos than others. If you’ve ever been bitten by a mosquito, it’s probably because the smell of your sweat or the CO2 in your breath is attracting them.

Conclusion – Can Mosquitos Bite Through Clothes

To wrap it up, mosquitos can bite through most clothes, but it’s not guaranteed. Mosquitos prefer bare skin so it is always a good idea to wear long pants and sleeves if you are in an area with a lot of mosquitos.

If you are worried about getting a lot of mosquito bites then opt for lighter color clothes such as white or yellow. Mosquitos are less attracted to these light colors versus darker colors like blue and black.

Finally, spray your clothes (not your skin) with a little DEET to deter mosquitos when they just won’t leave you alone.

My Story

We had a BBQ with some other families from the neighborhood. 

I was sitting on the back deck of my house, feeling a little stupid because I was wearing long sleeves and pants when it was so hot. But then, I looked around and noticed that while most people were swatting mosquitoes off their arms or legs, not one had bitten me at all. 

I would rather suffer a little from being hot than get eaten alive by mosquitos and itch the rest of the week. 

What’s your story? Share in the comments below.

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