Do mosquitoes bite through clothes

Do mosquitoes bite through clothes?

Mosquitoes are generally annoying creatures compounding this by their bites. They appear from nowhere and leave you with itchy bites. They transmit parasites, worms, viruses, and other deadly diseases through their bites.

You might think wearing clothes can help prevent this but however, this is not always the case. 

Mosquitoes can bite through certain clothes even though they prefer direct access to your blood. They can bite through clothes if the fabric is thin and tight-fitting. They are able to achieve this with their needle-like mouthparts which they use to pierce through clothing or your skin. 

In this article, you will get to know what types of clothing are best to wear to prevent mosquito bites and which clothing you should definitely avoid.

Can mosquitoes bite through clothes?

Yes, mosquitoes can bite through clothes. However, not all clothes. Mosquitoes with their needle-like mouthparts can easily bite through clothes with thin fabrics or skin-tight clothing. Also, clothes with holes can expose you to mosquito bites. 

Wearing light-colored clothing and long sleeve clothing can reduce your chances of getting a mosquito bite.

What type of clothes can mosquitoes bite through?

With their sharp long needle-like mouthparts, mosquitoes can pierce or bite through certain fabrics with ease as they do with the skin. These mouthparts are known as the proboscis. Fabrics such as gauze or spandex can easily be penetrated by a mosquito’s proboscis.

This allows the mosquitoes to pull out your blood while they inject you with their saliva. Clothes like spandex, gauze, voile, polyester, silk-cotton blends can be easily penetrated by mosquitoes.

Also, clothes that are skintight can be easily pierced by a mosquito. This is because, in order for a mosquito to make contact with your skin under clothing, the fabric must be skin tight. Tights, leggings, yoga pants are some examples of skin-tight clothes that have poor protection against mosquito bites.

Dark clothes attract mosquitoes due to their ability to hold in heat and so wearing these clothes increases your chances of getting bit by a mosquito.

What type of clothes are good for preventing mosquito bites?

Clothes with tough fabric can easily prevent mosquito bites. Denim, nylon, velvet, tight-knit wool are examples of fabrics with strong protection against mosquito bites.

Also, wearing loose clothes made from a tough fabric can prevent mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours. This is because these colours can hold heat. So, wearing clothes with light colours can help prevent mosquito bites. 

Clothes treated with permethrin can also help prevent mosquito bites. Permethrin is an insecticide with the sole purpose of killing mosquitoes on contact.

Can I spray my clothes with mosquito repellent to prevent mosquito bites?

Spraying clothes with mosquito repellents such as DEET, picaridin can help prevent mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of human sweat and so spraying clothes with mosquito repellents can help mask the smell of human sweat.

However, not all mosquito repellents can be used on clothing or exposed to the skin. They can cause irritation and harm to you. Also, do not use mosquito repellents on children without first consulting qualified medical personnel. 

Repellents such as DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, IR3535 can be sprayed on the skin.

Are there other ways of preventing mosquito bites apart from clothing?

Wearing thick clothing cannot prevent mosquito bites all the time. There are other methods of preventing mosquito bites. Some of which are listed below

  • Avoid areas with stagnant water. Areas with stagnant water are excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Some of these stagnant bodies include puddles, wading pools, clogged gutters, etc.
  • Keep your environment clean. Mosquitoes are attracted to places that are unclean. Having a clean environment can lead to the absence of mosquitoes.
  • Regularly spray your rooms with mosquito spray. This is to ensure that eggs laid by female mosquitoes are killed. 
  • Stay indoors during night time. Mosquitoes are usually active during night time. Staying indoors reduces your chances of getting bit by a mosquito, thus, preventing you from getting mosquito related diseases such as malaria. 
  • Sleeping in a mosquito net can also help prevent mosquito bites. 
  • Wear closed-toe shoes and socks.
  • Tuck your pants into socks, making sure there’s no gap of exposed skin.

Symptoms of a mosquito bite

Below are some of the symptoms of a mosquito bite

When a mosquito bites you, your skin becomes red, puffy and forms a bump. The bump is mostly itchy and may look swollen and itchy. Some people with mosquito bites get large hives or blisters.

What should I do if I get bitten by a mosquito?

There are some home remedies that can help treat mosquito bites or even reduce the itch. Below are some home remedies you can try out.

  • Wash the area of the bite or bites with soapy water, and rinse.
  • Apply witch hazel to the bite on a cotton ball, or by spritzing from a spray bottle.
  • You can also apply a cold compress for 5 minutes.
  • Take an antihistamine.

What diseases can I get from a mosquito bite?

Mosquito bites can cause an itch. When this happens, it is considered a minor issue. However, mosquito bites can cause serious diseases such as West Nile virus, malaria, encephalitis, dengue fever, Zika virus, encephalitis and yellow fever. 

The takeaway from this article

Mosquitoes can bite through clothes but not through all types of clothes. Clothes with certain fabrics like spandex, gauze, voile, polyester, silk-cotton blends can be easily penetrated by mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes do have difficulty when it comes to clothes with fabrics such as denim, nylon, velvet, tight-knit wool.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for and a writer for Wapomu

Author at

Dr. Abel Daartey is a pharmacist by profession, a teacher, and a mentor by nature. He enjoys reading scientific journals and articles and publications in neuroscience and related topics. He aims at churning out content that educates the public and health care providers in meeting the healthcare needs of the populace.

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