What is Insect Shield?


Insect Shield isn't a sticky spray, goofy bracelet or electromagnetic force field. 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 from 25 washes 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.

Tested and Proven

Insect Shield technology results from years of intensive research and field study. Numerous studies have confirmed the effectiveness of permethrin-treated clothing as an insect repellent. Insect Shield’s own testing methods follow United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, and the results conclusively show that our unique, long-lasting insect protection works.


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 finishes commonly used in the technical-apparel industry. 

Protection 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?

A test study have been conducted to determine if clothing treated with Insect Shield Repellent Technology will retain and emit any odor that could potentially alarm whitetail deer and alert them to an unnatural presence in their environment.

Insect Shield treated clothing (3-D Leafy Camo, a fleece hood and cotton cap) was put on 2 mannequins that were placed in the woods of Eastern North Carolina where whitetail deer frequent.

The clothing was washed with Scent-A-Way® detergent, dried with a Scent-A-Way Fresh Earth® dryer sheet and stored in a zip top bag. Note: No masking scent was added to the storage bag. Also, tests studies reveal that Insect Shield efficacy and longevity is not impacted by odor masking detergent washes.

2 Mannequins were outfitted and placed in the woods 15 feet apart. Trail cameras with infrared sensors were set in place to capture the activity. Shelled corn was scattered in the area as bait. This set-up was left undisturbed for four days.

Numerous pictures reveal that the deer ventured within a few feet of the mannequins.

Results of this field study show that clothing treated with Insect Shield Repellent Technology do not emit any odor that alarms deer.








Durable protection

The repellency of Insect Shield apparel is EPA-registered to last through 70 launderings$mdash; 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. 

The Benefits of Insect Shield vs. other forms of insect protection

 Insect Shield Repellent 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.

Insect Shield products care

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



Insect Shield manufacturing processes and procedures are designed to be clean, efficient and contained, and our facilities utilize programs that support and promote waste recycling and energy efficiency. The innovative thinking represented by Insect Shield products and the responsible management of our company depict a creative, problem-solving attitude—one that is necessary for dealing with the environmental challenges faced by everyone.

Both individually and globally, we must create better ways to address the problems posed by insects—and insect-borne diseases—while using pesticides sparingly and wisely. The health and well being of future generations depend on our ability to create valuable new technologies while preserving the Earth’s environment and resources.

The future of insect protection lies in more intelligent application of technology. Insect Shield is committed to offering products that have a positive impact on people’s comfort, while considering the long-term well being of our planet.

Insects that 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.



Insect Shield Application Benefits for Global Health:

  • Can be applied to items such as clothing that do not require user-education or behavior modification.
  • Technology can be applied to products that pair well with other vector-borne disease prevention tools such as topical repellents and nets.
  • Technology effective against day and night time mosquitoes with no re-application required.
  • Insect Shield products can be used for the entire family. No restrictions for use.
  • Insect Shield products have an indefinite shelf life for good stockpiling opportunity.
  • No special handling procedures or protective equipment necessary.

How did permethrin originate, and how is it used?

Permethrin has been successfully used in the United States as an EPA-registered product since 1977, with an excellent safety record. Permethrin is used in lice shampoos for children, flea dips for dogs, and various other products, some of which are regulated by the FDA.

The Insect Shield process uses a proprietary formulation of permethrin in a system, and the resulting repellency is so tightly bound to the fabric fibers of each garment that it lasts through 70 launderings.

The process designed by our researchers specifically for creating Insect Shield products and the proprietary formulation that is used are quite different from permethrin-based technologies employed in other industries.

Millions of permethrin-treated bed nets are being distributed globally via malaria control programs. Insect Shield-treated uniforms are now being utilized by international relief organizations to help protect them in areas prone to insect-borne diseases. Research is also being done on the impact of future alternative Insect Shield products.

The following international agencies recommend insect-repellent apparel:

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

Insect Shield represents a promising new approach to the longstanding problem of protection against both insects and the diseases they can carry. All of the above agencies actively encourage at-risk individuals to use permethrin-treated clothing as a protective measure against insect-borne diseases.

Source: https://www.insectshield.com