US Army Bar, Insect, Field

Soldiers cot is protected by a mosquito net hung above it.  When in use, the net is dropped down on all sides and tucked under the mattress or sleeping bag.  Aersol bombs are also recommended to repel the insect pests. Corsica, circa 1944.
Soldier's cot is protected by a mosquito net hung above it. When in use, the net is dropped down on all sides and tucked under the mattress or sleeping bag. Aerosol bombs are also recommended to repel the insect pests. Corsica, circa 1944.

The insect (mosquito) bar or net is used in the field to shield soldiers from insect bites, an annoying and dangerous hazard, especially in tropical deployments to areas where malaria is common. Typically, the insect bar is used when sleeping in the open, in tents, or on cots.

Even if conditions do not allow a shelter, the bar can be hung inside the fighting position or from trees or brush. No part of the body should touch the insect net when it is hung, because mosquitoes can bite through the netting. The bar should be tucked or laid loosely, not staked down. Although this piece of equipment is very light, it can be bulky if not folded properly. It should be folded inside the poncho as tightly as possible. (Adapted from FM 90-5 Jungle Operations 1982)

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Bar, Insect, Field in World War II

Bar, Insect, Field used with standard shelter half tent
Bar, Insect, Field used with standard shelter half tent.

The "Bar, Insect, Field" appears in OQMG Circular No. 4 (Revised August 1943) with stock number 27-B-343, It is described as "... a netting canopy of relatively small mesh, designed for protection against sand flies and other small insects as well as mosquitoes. It has been basically designed for use with the shelter tent, having tie tapes that correspond in location to the pegs of the tent, but it may also be used over cots or hospital beds. Shrinkage which will occur in laundering can be removed by stretching in use."

The similar "Bar, Mosquito" was carried under QM stock number 27-B-348, originally developed for barracks use. This bar is provided with a wide skirt of sheeting around the bottom to prevent damage when tucked in on a metal wire-spring cot or bed. This net has a larger mesh than the Bar, Insect, Field, providing little protection from tiny insects but is quite effective against mosquitos.

"Bar, Insect, Field, Mildew Resistant" was the same as "Bar, Insect, Field" but is treated to make it mildew resistant. Stock number 27-B-345.

Cot frame for Bar, Insect, Field
Cot frame for Bar, Insect, Field.

The "Frame, Mosquito-bar, Wood" for use with folding cots was a separate item of issue, Stock No. 26-F-220. The 30-inch Long Poles, 3/4-inch in diameter, were tapered slightly at the bottom for insertion into holes in the cot frame or to push into the ground when no cot was used. A horizontal bar joined the tops of the poles at each end of the cot.

The insect bar has tie ribbons and reinforced button holes for attachment to a frame or improvised hanging points.

The components of the insect net system were issued individually or in sets, eg, a folding cot with insect bar, frame poles, and connecting clamps boxed together.

Modern Evolution of the Insect Bar

Following World War II, the basic style of the insect bar remained the same and continued in use. Gradually new models were introduced and materials changed to nylon and poly netting. Models fielded include:

  • Bars, Insect, Field, High Tenacity (1951) Stock No. 27-B-344, Spec: MIL-B-10901  
  • Insect Bar, Cot Type, 100% Nylon Netting (1971 to 1980s) NSN 7210-00-266-9740  
  • Insect Bar, Field Type, Nylon (1980s and later) NSN 7210-00-266-9736  
  • Insect Net Protector, Field Type (1980s and later) NSN 7210-00-266-9736  

The Pole, Folding Cot, Insect Bar, Wood was identified by FSN 7219-267-5641, later converted to NSN 7210-00-267-5641.

The World War II insect bar style of hanging mesh cloth was challenged by a pop-up bed net design (sometimes called the Skeeta-Tent) that was smaller and lighter but just as effective. This type was issued in camo and single colors including these NSNs:

  • Skeeta-Tent Insect Net Protector NSN 7210-01-520-7136  
  • Bed net, Pop-up, Self supporting, Low profile bed net (SSLPB), green camouflage, treated with permethrin repellent NSN 3740-01-516-4415  
  • Bed net, Pop-up, Self supporting, Low profile bed net (SSLPB), coyote brown camouflage, treated with permethrin repellent NSN 3740-01-518-7310  
  • Enhanced Bed Net System (EBNS), woodland green, PN 64562, NSN 3740-01-547-4426  
  • Enhanced Bed Net System (EBNS), coyote brown camouflage, PN 64561, NSN 3740-01-546-4354  

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