You’re enjoying a long day of fishing out on the water when – ouch! A bug bite.
No one likes getting bitten by bugs, and some mosquito and tick bites can be dangerous to your health. Some of the best fishing locations are also pretty buggy, so it can be hard to avoid insects when fishing.
Many anglers choose to use bug spray, but this can be unsafe as well; most insect repellents contain DEET, and while health concerns are not corroborated by any significant scientific study, many people choose to avoid the chemical.
Aside from health concerns, bug sprays containing DEET are often greasy, smelly, and can stain clothing. For anglers specifically, bug sprays can get on hooks and lures, making your equipment slippery and scaring off fish due to the strong smell.
Luckily, there is an alternative to bug spray: technology has brought us bug-repellent clothing, proven to keep bugs off of you without the negative effects of smelly, greasy sprays.
Bug Repellent Clothing for Anglers
Bug repellent clothing has been proven to keep the bugs away, at least from the covered areas of your skin. For anglers that are bug spray-averse, buying insect repelling clothing can save you from bites without getting yourself and your gear greasy and smelly.
There are different clothing items you may want to try out, from insect repellent shirts to pants and socks. You can also purchase clothing spray made with permethrin (the insect repellent chemical in clothing) to safely spray the fishing apparel you already own.
Insect Repellent Shirts
- White Sierra Men’s Bug Free Long-Sleeve Shirt
- Insect Xtreme Insect Repelling Shirt
- ExOfficio Women’s Bugsaway Lumen Lightweight Pullover Hoody
- Outdoor Research Men’s Wayward Sentinel Shirt
- ExOfficio Bugsaway Tarka Long Sleeve Top
White Sierra Men’s Bug Free Long-Sleeve Shirt
To keep the bugs off, you can’t go wrong with White Sierra’s Bug Free Long-Sleeve Shirt. This shirt is made with 60% cotton and 40% polyester Jersey knit, so it is extremely comfortable while also blocking bug bites. Treated with Insect Shield technology, this shirt repels mosquitoes, flies, chiggers, ticks, ants and midges.
Aside from repelling insects, the White Sierra Men’s Bug Free Long-Sleeve has UPF 30 protection, so it also functions as a UV protection shirt. It is quick drying, and the Insect Shield technology is made to last 70 washes without losing effectiveness. The White Sierra Bug Free Long-Sleeve Shirt comes in 8 colors and sizes small to XXL.
Insect Xtreme Insect Repelling Shirt
One of the best insect repelling shirts you can buy is the Insect Xtreme Insect Repelling Shirt. This long-sleeved shirt is made from 100% polyester, with Skintex MRIII embedded insect repellent. The shirt is comfortable and lightweight, so the long sleeves won’t make you overheat when fishing on hot days.
The Insect Xtreme Insect Repelling Shirt is guaranteed effective, and protects against ticks, flies, mosquitoes, ants, chiggers, and midges, so any covered skin will be safe from bites. It is odor-free and environmentally friendly, made with EPA approved microencapsulated repellent. The Insect Xtreme Insect Repelling Shirt will last for 25 washes before losing some effectiveness. It comes in 3 colors and sizes small to XXL.
ExOfficio Women’s Bugsaway Lumen Lightweight Pullover Hoody
For female anglers, the ExOfficio Women’s Bugsaway Lumen Lightweight Pullover Hoody will keep you safe from bug bites. ExOfficio makes great bug repellent clothing, and this comfortable cotton and polyester blend sweatshirt is no different. This shirt has Bugsaway Permethrin technology to safely repel bugs, and it’s great for layering but lightweight for warmer days.
The built-in permethrin treatment is odorless and lasts 70 washes without losing efficacy. The attached hood also protects the neck from bug bites, and thumb loops ensure that the sleeves stay in place so bugs can’t sneak in. It also has a zippered pocket within the kangaroo pouch to store valuables. The ExOfficio Women’s Bugsaway Lumen Lightweight Pullover comes in 8 colors and sizes XXS to extra large.
Outdoor Research Men’s Wayward Sentinel Shirt
For a classically styled fishing shirt, the Outdoor Research Men’s Wayward Sentinel shirt is a button-down with insect repellent technology. Made with 84% polyester and 14% elastane, this long-sleeve has Insect Shield protection to keep the bugs off. It’s also breathable, lightweight, and moisture wicking, so you’ll be comfortable all day.
Along with insect protection, this shirt also has UPF 50+ sun protection, so your skin is also protected from sun damage. The Outdoor Research Men’s Wayward Sentinel Shirt has buttoned front pockets as well as a zippered pocket for storing valuables from the water. It comes in 4 colors and sizes small to XL.
ExOfficio Bugsaway Tarka Long Sleeve Top
Another great pick from ExOfficio for men and women, the ExOfficio Bugsaway Tarka Long Sleeve Top has the same Bugsaway technology as the women’s pullover previously mentioned. The permethrin-based technology is odorless and invisible, and protects from mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and other bugs for up to 70 washes.
The ExOfficio Bugsaway Tarka Long Sleeve Top is lightweight and moisture-wicking, so you’ll be comfortable on hot days. It has a UPF 50+ sun protection rating, so you’re also safe from sunburn. With odor-resistant Silvadur technology, this shirt stays fresh so you can wear it for longer without worrying about odor.
Insect Repellent Pants
- White Sierra Bug Free Base Camp Pants
- ExOfficio Men’s Bugsaway Sol Cool Ampario Convertible Pants
- ExOfficio Women’s Bugsaway DamselFly Pants
White Sierra Bug Free Base Camp Pants
White Sierra also makes great insect resistant pants. Their Bug Free Base Camp Pants have Insect Shield protection to keep your legs free of bug bites while you’re fishing, camping, or in the outdoors in general. The pants are made from 100% nylon, so they are also extremely durable.
These pants are lightweight quick-drying, so you’ll stay dry and comfortable out on the water. An elastic side waistband ensures a cozy fit. The White Sierra Bug Free Base Camp Pants also have UPF protection so that you are safe from harmful UV rays. These pants come in two colors and sizes small to XL.
ExOfficio Men’s Bugsaway Sol Cool Ampario Convertible Pants
The ExOfficio Men’s Bugsaway Sol Cool Ampario Convertible Pants are great for fishing, and will fit women as well. Bugsaway technology keeps bug bites at bay for up to 70 washes without adding any strange odor to the pants. They are made from mesh and nylon, so they are incredibly lightweight. Sol Cool technology with jade-treated fibers keeps you dry and cool on hot days.
These pants are convertible, so they can easily turn into shorts if you prefer less coverage. The ExOfficio Men’s Bugsaway Sol Cool Ampario Convertible pants also have UPF 50+ sun protection to prevent sunburn, and odor resistant Silvadur technology keeps them fresh. These pants also have zippered leg and back pockets to keep your belongings safe. They come in 3 colors and a wide range of sizes.
ExOfficio Women’s Bugsaway DamselFly Pants
The ExOfficio Women’s Bugsaway DamselFly Pants are another great option for female anglers. These pants are made with nylon and polyester mesh, so they are lightweight but durable. Bugsaway technology prevents bug bites using permethrin technology. These pants will last up to 70 washes without losing efficacy.
A drawstring waist makes these pants comfortable and easy to fit. UPF 30 sun protection prevents sunburn. They have roll up leg snaps, so they can convert into capri pants if it’s too hot out. A security zip pocket keeps valuables safe and dry. The ExOfficio Women’s Bugsaway DamselFly Pants come in two colors and sizes ranging from 2 to 16.
Insect Shield Socks
- Outdoor Obsession Insect Shield Socks
- NoBu.gs Socks
- Farm to Feet Boulder No Fly Zone Lightweight Hiking Crew Socks
Outdoor Obsession Insect Shield Socks
To protect your feet and ankles from bug bites, try these Outdoor Obsession Insect Shield Socks. Made with 75% ultra-spun polyester, 20% nylon, and 5% spandex, these socks are extremely comfortable and form-fitting to your foot. Their over-the-calf height ensures that no skin is left uncovered, and they are cushioned for breathability and moisture-wicking benefits.
Insect Shield repellent keeps bugs from biting through these socks. They are also treated with ElimiShield odor control technology, so your feet stay fresh-smelling even on warm days. These socks won’t slide down, and they have reinforced heels and toes, as well as arch support. The Outdoor Obsession Insect Shield Socks come in a pack of three pairs, and two sizes so they fit all feet.
NoBu.gs socks are another great option to keep your feet and ankles safe from bug bites. They have full insect repellent coverage, with odorless and invisible technology. These socks come to calf height, so there won’t be gaps of vulnerable skin between the socks and your pants. The insect repelling technology protects from mosquitoes, ticks, and many other bugs.
The NoBu.gs socks can be machine washed 70 times without losing effectiveness against bugs. They are a medium weight socks, so they will work well in warm or cold temperatures. They’re also very durable. NoBu.gs insect repelling products are recommended by the World Health Organization and CDC, so your safety is guaranteed. They come in large and medium sizes to accommodate most feet.
Farm to Feet Boulder No Fly Zone Lightweight Hiking Crew Socks
The Farm to Feet Boulder No Fly Zone Lightweight Hiking Crew Socks are a great choice for all outdoor activities, including fishing. Made with durable 72% merino wool, 27% nylon, and 1% spandex, these socks are made to last. Merino wool is soft, itch-free, odor and bacteria-resistant, and will keep your feet warm in the winter but cool in the summer.
Treated with permethrin, these socks will prevent bug bites. Farm to Feet Boulder No Fly Zone Socks are cushioned and reinforced, for shock-absorption, durability, and comfort. Compression fabric gives the foot extra support. These socks come to mid-calf. They are available in three colors and a medium, large, and extra large size. There is also a women’s version of the sock, which differs only in colors and sizing.
Insect Repellent Spray for Clothing
- Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent
- Ben’s Clothing and Gear Insect Repellent
- Repel Permethrin Clothing & Gear Insect Repellent
Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent
If you’d prefer to treat your normal clothing with insect repellent, Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent is the most popular and proven option. This spray is made of active permethrin, the same active chemical that is in the insect repellent clothing. It’s effective against ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes, mites, and the Yellow Fever Mosquito that can transmit Zika virus.
Once applied, the Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent lasts six weeks or six washings without staining or damaging clothing, fabrics, plastics, or outdoors gear. It is odorless after drying, and safe on clothing but should not be applied directly to skin. This spray is as effective as 100% DEET when it comes to repelling insects.
Ben’s Clothing and Gear Insect Repellent
Ben’s Clothing and Gear Insect Repellent will also work wonders when it comes to repelling insects. It is made with the same 0.5% permethrin formula that repels insects and kills bugs on contact. Just like the Sawyer product, this formula sticks to clothing and can last up to six weeks or six washings.
Ben’s Clothing and Gear Insect Repellent is safe on clothes, and won’t stain or damage clothing or other gear. It is easy to use, in a spray bottle with an ergonomically designed grip. Ben’s products come in an aerosol spray or a standard spray bottle to fit your needs.
Repel Permethrin Clothing & Gear Insect Repellent
Repel, a well-known bug spray brand, also makes a permethrin clothing spray to repel insects. Repele Permethrin Clothing & Gear Insect Repellent can repel and kill mosquitoes, ticks, mites, and other bugs, keeping you safe from bug bites. It should not be applied to skin, but is safe on clothing and gear and won’t leave stains or odors.
One treatment of Repel Permethrin Clothing & Gear Insect Repellent lasts two weeks. This product comes in a two pack of aerosol spray.
How Does Permethrin Insect Repellent Work?
Permethrin has been registered with the CDC as a safe and effective insect repellent since 1979, so this is not new technology. What’s new is the ability to bind permethrin to clothing effectively, and now permethrin can be tightly bonded to fabric fibers to prevent bug bites through clothes. While permethrin should not be applied directly on skin, it is safe on clothing and other materials like plastic.
Permethrin is a synthetic chemical that functions like an insecticide, as it kills bugs if they land on your permethrin-treated clothing. Studies have shown that it is safe in clothing, and won’t leak into your skin to cause any damage.
Can Mosquitoes Bite Through Clothes?
In short, yes. Many bugs can bite through clothing, which is why simply wearing long sleeves and pants won’t keep you safe. Wearing permethrin-treated clothing or normal bug spray is the best way to prevent bug bites.
Add Bug Repelling Clothing to Your Fishing Apparel
Don’t get eaten alive while you fish – try these bug repelling clothing options. Check out Fishmasters for more fishing apparel to protect you from the elements, like fishing hats, sunglasses, and more.