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Insect Shield® Advantages

Insect Shield® Apparel repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ums).

97.6% reduction in bites

Why use insect repellent treated clothing?

Permethrin is a powerful insect repellent. Permethrin-treated clothing can significantly reduce the incidence of insect-borne diseases. A study conducted with the Armed Forces in Columbia showed that permethrin-treated uniforms reduced the incidence of malaria by 75.5% [Source: J. Soto, et al CID 1995:21 (Sept) Efficacy of Permethrin-Impregnated uniforms]. In Dadaab, Kenya, the treatment of personal clothing with Permethrin reduced the incidence of malaria by 70%. [Source: Elizabeth W. Kimani, et al. Malaria Journal 2006; 5:63. Use of Insecticide-Treated Clothes for Personal Protection Against Malaria].


Insect Shield produces permethrin-treated clothing using a proprietary formulation which binds permethrin to the fabric fibres. The repellency of Insect Shield apparel is registered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to last through 70 launderings – the expected lifetime of a garment. ExxonMobil Development Company has approved the Insect Shield product line for up to 100 washes.

Testing the effectiveness of insect repellent treatments.

Knockdown testing is a widely accepted scientific laboratory methodology for determining the efficacy of insect repellent-treated textile products. A repellent-treated textile sample is placed in an enclosed space containing insects for an hour, after which the sample is removed and the insects’ reaction is documented. Effectiveness of insect-repellent fabrics is demonstrated when 70% of the exposed insects are no longer able to fly or are unresponsive after their timed exposure to the fabric. This level of insect repellency is known as 70% kd (Knockdown).

US Army/USDA Research showing level of overall protection provided by 70% kd permethrin-treated clothing without topical repellent for both exposed skin and through clothing.

(1) Schreck, Haile & Kline, The Effectiveness of Permethrin and DEET, Alone or in Combination, for Protection Against Aedes Taeniorhynchus, pulblished in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene 33 (4)c 725-30 (1984). Field study done using zero wash clothing. Schreck Final Report to USAMRDC 8/7 showed knockdown at zero washes at 74%, 74%, 84% and 32% for four separate mosquito species averaging 66%

(2) Insect Shield technology provides 91.7% knockdown through 70 washes, average for four mosquito species.

How long does the insect repellency last?

The diagram below shows that whilst soaking or spraying your clothes with a commercial Permethrin product is effective for two or three washes (see grey coloured area of the graph below), the product is rapidly lost in subsequent washes and the garments would need to be retreated.  In comparison, Insect Shield's current chemistry and treatment process produce high levels of effectiveness which persist through at least 70 washes (the green coloured area of the graph below).

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