As summer approaches and the weather warms up, people across Japan will be stocking up on sprays, incense and special clothing in the hope of repelling mosquitoes.
The buzzy, bitey flying insects aren’t just a source of irritation – they are also the carriers of rare but serious diseases such as yellow fever and dengue fever. Japan had its first outbreak of dengue fever in 70 years last year, after an outbreak connected to Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park. Dengue fever has no vaccine, and the best prevention is to avoid mosquito bites altogether.
Japanese clothing company Foxfire hopes to capture a corner of this insect-repellent clothing market with their new fabric which they claim stops mosquitoes getting anywhere near your skin.
SCORON is a new mosquito-repelling material being used in Foxfire clothing out now. When a mosquito lands on it and tries to bite the wearer, the specially treated fabric first stuns the insect, then repels it.
▼ We’re not sure what exactly is in that special fabric, but we agree that this cartoon mosquito looks pretty confused by the end.
Material containing insect repellent tends to lose its effect over time, with the repellent being weakened every time the item is washed. Teijin, the pharmaceutical company behind SCORON, claim that it remains 80 percent of its efficacy after 20 washes. To be honest, 80 percent doesn’t sound all that amazing to us, but if it’s better than what else is available, that’s progress, eh?
Foxfire’s website includes plenty of snazzy scientific-looking videos, including tests where they give people one SCORON glove and one non-SCORON glove. They then have the participants put each hand in a box full of mosquitoes(!) while experts stand around discussing how effective SCORON is.
▼ “So, we need volunteers to get stung by mosquitoes…”
▼ This is followed up with some gory investigation of the squashed mosquitoes.
Foxfire’s SCORON clothing also includes accessories such as hats and arm covers, as well as shirts, trousers and jackets.
You can watch the whole video of the experiment below (no English subs, though, sorry!)
▼ Mmm…mosquito bites.
What do you do to keep summer insects at bay? Let us know in the comments section below!