Store sees spike in insect repellent clothing

BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Your bug spray can now be a fashion statement. Nationwide, there’s been a spike in insect repellent clothing.

“That doesn’t surprise me with all the publicity on the Zika virus,” said Guilford’s Ruth Heckman.

Branford’s Trailblazer says they’ve seen an uptick in sales for this type of clothing. They not only attribute it to the time of year when bugs are busy in Connecticut but estimate 25 percent of their shoppers who are looking to keep bugs away do have the Zika virus on their minds.

“Who are going overseas and they read about the Zika virus. So they may buy clothing or insect repellent that prevents that,” said Chuck Butler.

The clothing has a chemical called permethrin. It can protect against everything from ticks to mosquitoes and it’s supposed to be effective for up to 70 washes. Consumer Reports just tested clothing like this and it did work, but none were found foolproof in preventing mosquito bites.

“It masks your smells so they’re not attracted to it and that chemical is weaved into the clothing and that’s what keeps mosquitoes away from you,” said Butler.

“I would seriously consider it if I were going to a place where there were jungles and dampness, humidity, you know where you might find a lot of the mosquitoes,” said Heckman.

There are sprays you can put on clothes you already own, too.

Right now, Zika-infected mosquitoes are not in the United States, but Connecticut is monitoring the mosquito population.

Here’s a look at the Zika-infected areas and CT Mosquito Monitoring.

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