Usually it's hard to put up travel mosquito nets so they give you enough space to turn in bed. I wonder if mosquitoes will bite through a mosquito net if skin is pressed against it, like when a foot is touching it. Does anyone either have experience with this or research on this? And will it depend on the impregnation and/or how long ago this has been?

Btw, the wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito_net says they can bite through the net, but when going to the resource behind that quote, there is no such information, even when browsing a bit more (all the way to http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/malaria_worldwide/reduction/itn.html) on the linked site.

The consensus on random websites does seem to be they can bite through thin clothing at least, but real research on biting through nets would be very helpful.

  • I hate to have to ask this, but: how is this question travel related?
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 17:01
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    @CGCampbell: I wasn't 100% sure either but travel.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic does state "health and safety issues related to travel" and considering the number of questions on mosquitoes here and the fact that mosquito nets while traveling are usually not the big ones with the luxury of attaching them properly made me put it here. But if you have better suggestions I'm all ears. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 17:04
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    Mosquitoes can bite through jeans. Why shouldn't they be able to bite through a mosquito net? :)
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 17:05
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    @JoErNanO indeed, I speak from experience: they can bite through both. I have no experience with impregnated nets, however, nor much information about them. It's conceivable that the chemicals prevent or discourage the mosquitos from landing on the nets, which would in turn prevent them from biting. Sebastiaan: have you no experience with mosquitos in NL? Why not do some research yourself?
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 21:47
  • @phoog I actually live in Indonesia now and though I get plenty of mosquito bites, I am not always sure at what time they happened. To top that off, they actually do spread diseases here, so you can understand why I don't want to experiment unnecessarily ;) I guess my expectation is true and they can bite through. Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 12:44

3 Answers 3


Mosquitoes can bite through any loosely woven fabric, which includes mosquito nets. They can also find their way through tiny tears in said mosquito nets.

When traveling the best course of prevention is to tuck the mosquito net under the edges of the mattress. This helps keep the netting a bit taught and not sagging. Granted if you toss & turn a lot, you could still end up against the net and feed the next generation of mosquitoes. (the only cure for that is duct taping yourself to middle of the mattress ;-)

  • Tucking it is a good tip, I am already doing it but still upvoting for other people. I am curious to know if you're speaking from personal experience about the mosquitoes biting through or from some other source? Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 12:48
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    I have lived much of my life in areas of abundant mosquitoes, so my answer is based on experience.
    – user13044
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 14:04

I have been bitten when sleeping in a netted bed that was not roomy enough around the feet. I believe it was because my feet were touching the net. The net was tucked in, but the slope at the foot of the bed was too shallow so the net touched my feet.

My solution: since I had mosquito repellent with me for the daytime, spray some on my feet for extra protection. I did not get any bites up by my head where the netting was held open by a large ring above the bed.

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    Also, some mosquito nets are treated (sometimes called "impregnated") with insect repellent. I believe there are studies showing they reduce disease transmission by something like 20%. They're not just good at reducing bites through the net, but also mozzies sneaking through small or temporary gaps. You can also buy bottles of specially formulated insecticide for treating nets Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 18:53
  • We considered bringing our own treated nets, but all the places we slept that did not have screens had nets, so we saved the luggage space. We didn't ask if the nets were treated or not. Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 19:10
  • @user568458 - If the studies show the impregnated nets reduce disease transmission by 20%, then they must reduce bite through by 20% as well, since the two statistics are locked together.
    – user13044
    Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 1:06
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    @Tom no, because reducing bites through the net aren't the only ways that ITNs reduce bites. They also discourage mosquitoes from entering rooms, reduce mosquito populations when used widely, reduce mosquitoes taking opportunities to fly inside a net, etc etc. I don't think bite through is common enough that even a 100% elimination would lead to as much as a 20% drop in infection (also. I'm not sure it is 20%, I just remember hearing something like that) Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 8:54
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    @Tom most of the studies are in the context of aid programs delivering ITNs to entire communities - if everyone in a village has one, the mosquito population goes down. I think the CDC have a page summarising it. And I think it's based on small dwellings where the net takes up much of the available space - we're talking "20 mosquitoes in each hut in this village instead of 200 after X months", not "0 mosquitoes in this one hotel room instead of 2 after one night". So it proves they can help in many different ways - but no-one is suggesting they're a perfect ticket to a mosquito-free life Commented Oct 30, 2015 at 11:06


Source : I live in Delhi (plenty of mosquitoes here) and have seen this happening my self.

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