Mosquito Netting to the Rescue!

Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Alice Benny

Learn about mosquito netting and how it can be helpful in many situations. As I sat with three friends on my porch, mosquitos were feasting on two of us. Our feet, ankles, and legs were getting bit up. I went inside to grab the bug spray. I was shocked when I saw it removed the nail polish on my toes! What was I spraying on myself?

I remembered we had mosquito nets from when we went camping. The next time I ventured outside, I draped one on myself — I didn’t even rig it up. My husband thought it was funny but I got the last laugh as I was completely protected while he got eaten alive.

The purpose of a mosquito net is to stop mosquitoes from biting an individual while they are sleeping, sitting in one place for a prolonged period of time, or working outdoors.

Mosquito netting is widely used in many parts of the world to protect people from mosquitoes. They are often part of malaria prevention programs. The first effective mosquito nets were developed by William C. Gorgas who was appointed as director of US Army’s Yellow Fever Commission in 1900 following his investigation into the 1889 yellow fever outbreak in Havana.

In addition to mosquitoes being annoying and causing you to scratch until you bleed, it may be hard to believe but mosquitoes are one of the world’s most deadliest animals. They live in every part of the world and can carry diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever, Zika, and more.

This is not a sponsored post suggesting any certain mosquito netting. Keep reading so you can:

  • Learn about mosquito netting
  • Know what to consider for before buying one
  • Get ideas about ways you can use them

What Is a Mosquito Net?

A mosquito net is a lightweight mesh that covers a person so they don’t get bitten by mosquitos. The netting is typically hung over beds, hammocks, cots, chairs, and tents that attach to trees or hooks or nails on the ceiling and walls. Mosquito nets can also be draped over stools, vehicles, tents, windowsills, gazebos and other objects to keep insects away.

They are essential for out-of-the-country traveling in insect-prone areas as well as for camping in the woods. In addition, they are very helpful in our own backyards.

mosquito netting for bed
Mosquito netting for bed

Best Mosquito Net

The best mosquito net will protect you from mosquitos as well as other insects. While most won’t protect you from no-see-ums — they are very small — you can drape two nets over to add anoter barrier.

The best mosquito netting will be one you buy for your intended purpose. If you are traveling out of the country to a mosquito-infested area, buy one to protect you when you are sleeping. If you want one while backpacking, you’ll want to find a single one that is lightweight. This is different than one you will want to cover a king-sized bed or to use to cover a gazebo. There are even nets designed to cover patio swings.

Buy one designed for your needs. The more specific you can be in your needs, the better. If you want protection for a larger area, such as a porch, deck, extra large gazebo, garden or orchard, you can also buy mosquito netting material by the roll.

You can always repurpose mosquito nets for other needs. But if you are buying one for the first time, be sure it is designed for your specific purpose. 

About Mosquitos

The word “mosquito” is derived from the Spanish and Portuguese word for “little fly”. In addition to annoying, biting and leaving us with itchy welts, mosquitoes are dangerous. They spread diseases and cause deaths. They are one of the world’s deadliest creatures. Mosquitos are dangerous because they spread diseases such as malaria, West Nile, yellow fever, chikungunya, Zika, dengue, and lymphatic filariasis.

Mosquitoes are attracted to humans and use our body heat, the carbon dioxide in our breath, and respond to chemicals in our sweat.

Mosquito Net How to Protect Against Mosquitoes with mosquito netting
My tent with a mosquito net draped over it. It is the Universal Backpackers Mosquito Net for Single to King-Sized Beds. It has 6 hanging loops and 2 side openings.

Mosquito Netting Uses

You can use mosquito netting for many situations. Depending on the size and hooks, it is usually pretty versatile.

You can drape a second mosquito net over the first to better protect against no-see-ums and ticks.

There are many uses for this type of netting. You can buy mosquito netting specifically meant for:

  • For out-of-the-country traveling to insect-prone areas. You can find nets treated with long-lasting insecticide (LLIN). Insecticide-treated mosquito nets have chemicals to ward off mosquitoes but can come with some safety warnings. 
  • Tree hammock camping – Great for kids and adults; camps, scouting trips, etc.
  • Sitting outside your home
  • Garden mesh netting – To cover garden to keep pests such as insects and birds away — not necessarily mosquitos.

How to Protect Against Mosquitoes 

For backyard, deck or patio

  • Mosquito nets to cover pergola or gazebo (sold in 8 × 8, 10 × 10, or 12 × 12 sizes)
  • Patio swing mosquito netting
  • Mosquito curtains for patio, porch, etc. – You can also use mosquito netting material in a roll and make your own.
  • Surround a hot tub
  • Umbrella mosquito netting for patio

If you have a specific size you want to protect, you can make a DIY PVC frame for mosquito net.

For camping and backpacking

  • To cover outside of tent; to cover sleeping area inside of tent. In larger tents, there is often a hook in the center for a lantern that you can use to rig the mosquito net.
  • Sleeping bag
  • Hammock camping in trees 
  • Cover cots – Ideal for kids at summer camp, scouts, etc.
  • Double-wide to accommodate hammock and chair

To cover bed when staying in larger tents or open air shelters

  • Canopy mosquito netting to cover a bed – Single-bed canopy mosquito nets, twin, bunk beds, king-sized
  • Pop-up mosquito net for bed
  • To cover a bed – usually attaches at four corners; single, twin, bunk bed, king-sized

For car camping and truck camping

  • Truck bed camping – Drape mosquito net over the open shell and just put some clips on it to secure at night. 
  • Car or van camping – Drape over windows for air ventilation at night while keeping mosquitos out.
  • Throw over the back of hatchback for open-air car camping – Secure the net over the hatch door to keep out the bugs while letting the night air in.

For hiking, fishing, working in yard, camping, walking for exercise

  • Mosquito head net – Can drape over your head while you work outside; works best when you have a hat with a brim on so it doesn’t touch your face and the back of your neck.

To protect plants, bushes, gardens

  • Garden mesh netting – To cover garden to keep pests such as insects and birds away — not necessarily mosquitos. Use to protect orchards, blackberry and blueberry bushes, etc.

If you want a mosquito net to cover your garden or fruiting trees and bushes, you can repurpose one for camping or buy a mosquito netting roll. Bulk mosquito netting is a cost effective way to cover and protect backyard orchards and larger garden areas you want to cover. 

Insect netting row cover is an easy way to protect orchards. My neighbors used it to protect their  apple trees from the ravages of the coddling moth.

To protect food table from flies

  • Use mosquito netting as a canopy over food to keep flies away

To protect dogs from flies

  • Use mosquito netting to protect your pooch from flies and other annoying insects

Mosquito net for stroller

  • Covers stroller, car seat or pack ‘n play to protect babies and toddlers

Mosquito Head Net

Companies make very inexpensive mosquito head nets that you drape over your head while you work outside. Many of them work best when you have a hat with a brim on so it doesn’t touch your face. Use a hat with a brim all the way around (a sun hat versus a baseball cap) so it doesn’t touch the back of your neck. 

These are ideal to use when working around the yard, in the garden, to protect you from flies and other insects as well as mosquitos.  or even sitting outside at dusk when mosquitos are out.

Insect Netting Row Cover

Instead of buying custom mosquito netting, you can purchase mosquito netting material and cut it to your specifications. Mosquito netting fabric is usually sold by the yard or you can buy a roll of mosquito netting.

Mosquito Netting

Especially when you are traveling, it’s important to be vigilant about protecting yourself from mosquitoes. A mosquito net for travel is a great way to protect yourself while sleeping. Mosquito nets should be versatile. It should work in many different situations. Whichever mosquito net you buy, be sure it is a good mosquito net for camping as well as for sleeping when you have a bed. When vacationing in a tropical climate, many lodging options include open air sleeping arrangements where you have a roof but some of the sides are open. We tried a Universal Backpackers king size mosquito net.

Why Use Mosquito Netting

Using a mosquito net is a great way to protect against mosquitoes. Mosquito net fabrics are tightly woven. They allow for airflow while keeping mosquitoes and other insects away.

Malaria

To protect against malaria, the best mosquito net will be a long-lasting insecticidal net (LLIN). These treated nets are are one of the main vector control strategies recommended by the World Health Organization for the control and elimination of malaria.

Mosquito Netting Bed

The mosquito netting we used has an attachment to use when you want it to cover your bed. You will need to be able to secure it to something on the ceiling or the inside of a tent. Just know it might not work everywhere, and you may have to improvise.

Backpacking and Camping Mosquito Net

We tried the mosquito net for camping. We weren’t in a mosquito-laden area but we wanted to see how it would work with a tent before mosquito season. Our tent had an interior center hook which would have made it easy to attach the net and arrange it around our sleeping bags. 

However, instead we draped the net on the outside of the tent, by the door. It worked well. It stayed in place while we went in and out of our tent. We will have my son take this net on his scouting backpacking trips when he needs to travel light. We will bring this on all our camping trips. You can even cover yourself with it (remove the ring for hanging) in a cot or on the ground in a sleeping bag. It is designed to hang from the ceiling to cover a king-sized bed, but we found it to be very versatile.

Advantages of Mosquito Net

  • You can find one to fit all sizes or buy a roll to cut as you need
  • You can completely cover your sleeping area to be fully protected when you sleep.
  • Secure fit. This mosquito net will reach all the way around your mattress.
  • Not only will this eliminate mosquitoes from entering but it eliminates creepy crawlies too.
  • Easy to get out of bed when it’s hanging around you.
  • While it’s easy to securely fasten your net around your bed, it’s also easy to loosen to get out of bed during the night and in the morning.
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to carry, pack and store
  • Free from chemicals unless you buy one specially-treated with LLIN.
  • Versatile to use in different scenarios

Mosquito Netting Cons

Most mosquito nets will not protect from no-see-ums. You can use two nets — one on top of the other — for extra protection.

Another drawback of mosquito netting, and it may or not be relevant to your situation, is that you may be somewhere without the ability to hang this mosquito net over your cot, bed, etc. If that happens, you can easily drape it over yourself. While a pop up mosquito net tent or a mosquito net cot is a great idea, we like mosquito nets that are versatile enough to use in many situations.

But a mosquito net will be invaluable when camping despite any negatives. The pros outweigh the cons. It’s worth bringing one for any overnight outdoor pursuit, no matter where you are going.

Mosquito Net FAQ’s

What is mosquito netting?

Mosquito netting is a type of material that is designed to keep mosquitoes away from people. It is often used in places where mosquitoes are at a high risk of transmitting diseases such as malaria.

Who invented mosquito netting?

Mosquito netting was invented by William C. Gorgas, who was the chief sanitary officer for the Panama Canal Zone. He came up with the idea while he was stationed in Havana, Cuba, which had a high rate of malaria because it had a lot of stagnant water and marshland.

Who can benefit from mosquito netting?

Anyone can benefit from mosquito netting. It’s not just for use when camping or when traveling to areas with viruses. There are some especially designed for you to enjoy being right outside your home.

What are the different types of mosquito netting?

There are a few different types of mosquito netting that can be used. The most popular type is the “mosquito net” which is a loose-fitting mesh that hangs down over the bed, cot, sleeping bag or hammock and has a hole in the middle for your head to go through. This type of netting is usually made of cotton or polyester, and it’s lightweight and breathable so it won’t overheat you while you sleep.

Another popular type of mosquito netting is the “bed canopy.” This type of netting hangs down from the ceiling above your bed, so it will cover you while you’re sleeping on top of your bedding. You can also drape it over your entire tent, or your vehicle for car camping. 

In addition to insect protection while you are sleeping, you can use it anytime your are outdoors to protect yourself. There are mosquito nets designed to cover gazebos, porch swings, and more. There are mosquito face covering and mosquito jackets as well. One such product is Insect Shield Bug Jacket and Mittens.

You can also use bulk mosquito netting to cover blueberry bushes, fruit trees such as apple trees, and more to protect them from birds, insects, and other pests so they don’t eat the fruit. (Or, as in the case of my kumquat trees, to protect from packrats taking the leaves for their nests.) 

Where do you buy mosquito nets?

There are many types of mosquito nets at Walmart, Target, REI, sporting retailers, and online retailers such as Amazon. Before buying mosquito netting, have an sense of the area and size of the area you will need it to cover and the reason you want to get it. 

Why do I need a mosquito net in my backyard?

Having a mosquito net in your backyard will allow you to enjoy being outside without getting attacked by mosquitos. In the United States, spring, summer and fall are when mosquitos are a nuisance. When cold weather hits, mosquitos become inactive or die.

Mosquito netting can get you through mosquito season. After the monsoons or rainy season, you can also use the net as a garden cover. It will protect your cherry tomatoes from the birds and your apple trees from moths.

Mosquitoes are a huge problem for people all over the world, but especially in the tropics and subtropics. In many places, diseases from mosquitos are common. The reason for this is that mosquitoes can transmit malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and other diseases. These diseases are very serious and can be fatal if not treated. Having a mosquito net in your yard enables you to enjoy the outdoors safely.

How do I know if I need mosquito netting?

If it is is rainy season, you may benefit from mosquito netting. You will also need mosquito netting if you are getting bitten by mosquitos. If you are traveling to certain countries, you will want to invest in a mosquito net to protect you while you sleep.

Land of the Mosquitos

Whether you are backpacking, camping in the woods, car camping, traveling out of the country, or just trying to enjoy your own backyard, mosquitos, ticks and flies are a nuisance. If you are sleeping outdoors, mosquito netting is essential. Don’t be feasted on! Protecting yourself from mosquitoes is essential for camping or camp counselors and everyone.