Formidable fabrics fight insects—and disease

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The gifts of the great outdoors often come at a cost, as people seeking fresh air and sunshine get swamped by mosquitoes, pinched by deer flies, blinded by gnats or just plain ticked. Instead of slathering bug dope over every exposed inch of skin, Insect Shield LLC, Greensboro, N.C., recommends a more comfortable, comprehensive and long-lasting solution for outdoor enthusiasts: Insect Shield apparel and recreational gear. The company’s patent-pending process binds a proprietary formula of the insect repellent permethrin to fibers—so firmly that fabric products retain effectiveness through up to 70 washings.

Insect Shield® products repel mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, fleas, chiggers and midges (no-see-ums), the main misery-makers that crash picnics, camping trips, hikes and backyard gardening. These pests also can carry dangerous microbes that cause Lyme disease, malaria, Western equine encephalitis and other serious health threats. The Insect Shield technology, registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, puts repellent in the fabric rather than on the skin. The protection is invisible, odorless and recommended as effective by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, among others. Products include adult and kid’s apparel, hammocks, tents, camping and deck chairs, mosquito nets, hats, gloves, work wear and (for our four-footed friends) pet apparel and horse sheets.

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