In the Gambia, bed nets are often used for protection from mosquitoes although some of the nets are often in poor condition. In a village where the most abundant man-biting mosquito was Anopheles gambiae Giles s.s., nets in different condition were compared by assessing the success of mosquitoes in feeding. All the nets tested reduced mosquito feeding, and this reduction correlated with the number and size of holes in the nets. The experiments were conducted in purpose-built huts with verandah traps to sample the mosquito population leaving the hut. Although the majority of males and fed females of A. gambiae remained in the huts each morning, unfed females usually left the huts the same night, probably in search of alternative food sources.