A Fort Pierce mother of two says she has a way of getting mosquitoes to buzz off. Literally. She came up with the idea of mosquito-proof clothing after her son developed large welts from mosquito bites.
In a Fort Pierce apartment, Mary Baltes looks through hundreds of tops and pants she created with the same netting used to make camping tents.
“I get a lot of calls [from] people that are actually going to the Amazon, going to Canada,” explained Baltes. “It's always been my passion. It's a niche market.”
Clothing, she says, that blocks mosquitoes.
“I guess i'm pretty emotionally attached to it,” Baltes added.
She created the line called Buzzoff Outdoor Wear in 1992. That’s when Baltes discovered her then 8-year-old son was allergic to the pests.
“It seems like if there were 100 people and one in a crowd, they always seemed to find him,” recalled Baltes. “The mosquito bite would welt up the size of a radish.”
Since then she’s made thousands of lightweight suits meant to be worn over your clothes. After Hurricane Andrew federal officials wore them for cleanup in the Everglades.
“The officers were so pleased with them they opted to take payroll deductions and take them back to whatever base they were from,” said Baltes.
We showed the clothing to dermatologist, Dr. Kenneth Beer.
“It looks like it would keep most of the mosquitoes away from your skin, which is a great thing,” said Dr. Beer.
Dr. Beer also points out that dense clothing is an effective way to ward off mosquitoes.
“You want a material that's very thick, so a mosquito can't physically get through,” explained Dr. Beer. “The problem with those is they tend to be very hot, so in south Florida it's a bit of an issue.”