Insect Shield Technology

Insect Shield® Repellent Apparel and Insect Shield® Repellent Gear are revolutionary products designed to provide long-lasting, effective and convenient personal insect protection. The durable protection provided by Insect Shield apparel and gear is the result of years of research and testing. In July 2003, Insect Shield Repellent Apparel was registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accepted an amendment extending the durability claims of Insect Shield Repellent Apparel to 70 washes. The duration of the repellency is supported by experimental data. Insect Shield apparel and gear products combine the Insect Shield process with a proprietary formulation of the insect repellent permethrin resulting in effective insect protection that lasts the expected lifetime of a garment.

Insect shield technology

Global Risk of Insect-Borne Disease

Every day, millions of people are exposed to insects that can carry malaria, dengue fever, trypanosomiasis, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and other dangerous diseases. Insect Shield’s long-lasting clothing treatment — proven to last through 70 washings on apparel and 25 washings on gear — is a vital solution for people living in harm’s way. Insect Shield’s program for workplace safety and health protects at-risk employees and saves lives, while minimizing liability and ensuring productivity.

How Insect Shield Repellent Technology Works

Insect Shield technology converts clothing and gear into long-lasting, effective and convenient insect protection. The active ingredient in Insect Shield, is so tightly bonded to the fabric fibers that it retains effective repellency through the expected life of the product.

The active ingredient is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring repellent found in certain types of chrysanthemum plants such as the African Daisy. The insecticide properties of chrysanthemums have been known for decades. Affects the nervous system in insects when they come in contact.

Permethrin is Recommended on Apparel by the following Agencies:

  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov/travel
  • The World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int
  • National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety: www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lyme
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians: www.familydoctor.org
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada:
  • www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues a consumer labeling category rating for each product registered. Insect Shield has been rated a category IV by the EPA, which is the most favorable rating.

epa category

The overall category is determined by the most severe route of exposure(i.e., oral, dermal, ocular, inhalation).

What does EPA registration mean?

The EPA registration process is designed to evaluate a proposed product to ensure it will not have adverse effects on people or the environment. Insect Shield products have been rigorously evaluated on multiple levels, the chemistry, the application process and the final consumer product.

insect shield epa

Insect Shield is Tested and Proven

Knockdown testing is a widely accepted scientific laboratory methodology for determining the efficacy of insect repellent-treated textile products. Knockdown is a precise lab test that shows effectiveness through long-term washings. A repellent-treated textile sample is placed in an enclosed space containing insects for a brief period, after which the sample is removed and the insects’ reaction is documented.

knowdown testing overview

How long will Insect Shield protection last ?

The repellency of Insect Shield apparel is EPA-registered to last through 70 launderings, the expected lifetime of a garment. This is also well beyond the life of most performance fabric finishes commonly used in the technical-apparel industry. Insect Shield gear repellency remains effective through 6 months of exposure to weathering, or through 25 launderings for washable items.

Insect Shield products also have a long shelf life. Insect Shield-treated garments stored for ten years have shown no loss of repellent effectiveness.


Insect Shield Technology FAQ

What is Insect Shield technology?

Insect Shield® Apparel is revolutionary product designed to provide long-lasting, effective and convenient personal insect protection. The durable protection provided by Insect Shield apparel is the result of years of research and testing. The Insect Shield process with a proprietary formulation of the insect repellent resulting in effective insect protection that lasts the expected lifetime of a garment.

What are the benefits of BugShield Clothing with Insect Shield vs. other forms of insect/mosquito protection?

Insect Shield technology Apparel puts insect repellency near your skin, instead of on it, and the protection is invisible. Also, the repellency is long lasting, so no re-application is needed.

Can BugShield clothing apparel and gear be worn by children, infants and pregnant women?

Yes. Use of Insect Shield products by children of all ages, and pregnant women, is consistent with the EPA registrations of both Insect Shield apparel and gear.

Which insects does Insect Shield repel?

Insect Shield® Repellent Apparel has been registered to repel mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ums). Insect Shield® Repellent Gear has been registered to repel mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and flies. The EPA requires extensive effectiveness data to prove a product’s ability to repel insects. Many species and varieties of these insects have been tested, including many that can carry dangerous diseases.

Will Insect Shield Repellency come off when I sweat?

No. Insect Shield repellency is so tightly bonded to the fabric fibers that the apparel repellency retains effectiveness through 70 washings, the expected lifetime of the garment.

How much protection is provided by Insect Shield repellent apparel ?

A small item of Insect Shield clothing provides less repellency than a larger one. You may need to adjust the amount of Insect Shield apparel you wear, depending on the number of biting insects that are present. For example, you might prefer to wear pants instead of shorts in certain situations; long sleeves instead of short; or add a hat and socks. Topical repellent can be used for exposed skin, and is especially recommended for heavily infested locations.

Does the product have an odor ?

Insect Shield Repellent Apparel feels and smells the same as other clothing.

Will Insect Shield cause skin irritations?

Extensive allergy/skin sensitivity tests have been conducted by the Hohenstein Institute, an accredited test laboratory and research institute specializing in the testing and certification of textiles. The Allergy/Skin Sensitization Test was conducted and Insect Shied was awarded the following Quality Labels:


“No Allergy Potential”

How do you care for Insect Shield products?

For items that can be washed, normal home laundering is recommended. Insect Shield repellent apparel can be bleached, starched, pressed, etc., without effect on the repellent quality; however, it should not be dry-cleaned.

Why can't the products be dry-cleaned?

Dry cleaning removes some of the active ingredient — which reduces the insect-repellent quality of the apparel.