There must be a better way to protect my skin from mosquito bites besides covering myself in toxic sprays.

Dr. Christie Bielmeier

No Chemical Sprays. Ever.

I’ve devoted my doctoral research to answering the question: how do you prevent bug bites better? Relying on chemicals to deter mosquitos means using toxic chemicals that wash away. Using science, I want to develop a breathable fabric that physically prevents mosquito biting.

 

My research into the design of textiles shows that we can build fabrics that are strong enough to resist mosquito, tick and other biting insects. These fabrics are based on wearable materials such as cotton and nylon so that they are comfortable to wear. Furthermore, these fabrics provide increased durability and sun protection. Weave pattern construction offers breathability & moisture resistance to keep avid hikers on the move.

Innovators of Insect-Resistant Fabric (IRF) Certifications

The fabrics we wear everyday CAN help stop insect bites, but many people are unaware of a garment’s insect-bite protection. News reports of Zika and Lyme disease outbreaks in the southern US has raised awareness of the potential diseases carried by mosquitos and ticks. However, consumers are increasingly averse to spraying themselves and young children with toxic insecticides.

 

A standardized insect-resistant fabric (IRF) rating system, similar to the UPF sun exposure system, is needed to better inform customers and garment manufactures. As a Boston University professor, my research is focused on creating a this IRF rating system using state-of-the-art laboratories ideal for testing fabrics.  I want to change the way people think about insect-bite protection and remove the need for insecticides.