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Summer is fast approaching and as we start to venture outside to enjoy the longer, warmer days, we’re reminded of the two things that rain on our parade every Aussie summer: bindiis and mozzies.
While we don’t have a solution to the bindii problem, apart from the obvious one of wearing shoes, there’s a new product that rethinks mozzie protection.
The Bug Shield Blanket from Outer is a lightweight throw designed to protect your legs from bites so you don’t have to cover them in insect repellent.
The blanket has been infused with Insect Shield technology, which uses an odourless permethrin insect repellent that’s been tightly bonded to the fabric’s fibres and tested to offer protection from mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, flies, ants and sand flies.
It’s a good alternative for people who find topical, DEET insect repellents irritating for their skin and the blanket has been certified as hypoallergenic by the Hohenstein Institute and is approved for use by pregnant women, children and even pets.
It basically looks, feels and smells just like a regular throw, only with a little mozzie repelling power.
Perfect for those summer afternoon picnics and backyard BBQs, the product is made of a breathable fabric that’s designed to be comfortable without being too warm, and easily folds up into your picnic basket.
We love that it’s lightweight enough to be able to be used on summer afternoons and evenings, but soft enough that you still get that cosy, wrapped in a blanket feeling. It can also be machine washed up to 25 times without losing its insect protection.
This brand caught our eye because the three styles it comes in - a striped plaid, houndstooth and pinstripe design - are very chic and it uses 100 percent recycled fibres, however, as with all insect repelling wearable products, it only offers protection to the parts of your body covered by the blanket.
Mozzie repelling blankets and clothing
In recent years, a number of alternatives to insect repellent sprays have popped onto the market including insect repellent clothing and clothing sprays.
The buzzGUARD range of shirts and hats available at Kathmandu uses a very similar technology to the Bug Shield Blanket and is particularly great when hiking through areas where mosquitoes are known to carry dangerous diseases.
Anaconda also has a limited Anti Insect clothing range that functions in the same way and is priced at $140 for a shirt and $160 for pants.
For the flexibility of transforming any item of clothing into a mozzie barrier, Aerogard has a fabric spray that you can apply to your clothes before you put them on.
It’s designed to be used on cotton and polyester fabrics without staining them, but do not use it on silk, leather or satin and never apply it directly onto your skin.
As with most insect repelling chemicals, you have to be careful not to spray it around bees or waterways and to follow the use instructions carefully.
In terms of blankets, Insect Shield makes a product that’s similar to Outer’s Bug Blanket and uses the same technology, however it’s more of a picnic blanket as opposed to a throw.
The Insect Shield Protection Blanket is made of polyester, comes in four bright colours, and has mixed reviews on Amazon with one shopper saying it worked well, but that the bug protection only lasted three months.
Bear in mind that for the best protection against mosquito bites, a combination of insect repellent clothing or a blanket, and an application of a topical insect repellent spray on the parts of your body that are left exposed, will give you the best results.
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