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 Permethrin tick repellent 
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Peak Bagger
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Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:02 pm
Posts: 348
Location: New Hampshire
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 Permethrin tick repellent
OK, I know it's spring. I spray treated a few pieces of hiking clothing (pants, shirt, socks, ballcap) with Permethrin this week.

If you've seen the crazy expensive Insect Shield clothing that Ex-Officio and LLBEAN and others sell, this is clothing that has been factory washed in a permethrin solution. Once dry, this stuff is harmless to people and pets, but kills bugs that land on it. This makes it ideal for tick prevention:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_XvX9Hyrhw

You can also treat your own clothing, using a spray product with 0.5% solution of permethrin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwBeZIZFwzc

The only catch is that the cost of this stuff adds up really quickly if you treat all your stuff. The Sawyer spray bottles (24 ounces) are $17 and you can go through one of these in no time if start spraying socks, pants, backpacks, tents.

http://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Premium-Pe ... _pr_sims_t

So what I do is save the empty Sawyer bottle from the first time (so I've got a fully labelled bottle!) and then refill it with a concentrate. You can buy 13.3% concentration which would dilute 1 oz in 24 ounces of water for a 0.5% solution. Or, I just bought it in a 10% solution. I'll put 1 ounce in 20 ounces of water when I refill the spray bottle.

Here's a 16 ounce bottle from Amazon. Same price as the Sawyers and it'll refill the Sawyers bottle 14 times for the price of one bottle of Sawyers:

http://www.amazon.com/Martins-Permethri ... B001EVKCKM

Spray outdoors and let it dry before wearing! Do not let cats near the wet or liquid solution. It's safe after it dries. Unlike DEET, it won't destroy plastic or synthetic stuff on your clothing or tents. However, this stuff is NOT for application to your skin (it doesn't work). So this stuff for fabric/gear. DEET for skin.

Now, is when you start to need it most in NH. It lasts for a month of outdoor exposure (UV) and/or 6 washings before it needs to be reapplied. Hiking one or twice a week, one application is probably enough to get through a season, but it's easy enough to respray.

I'll spritz down the tent inner and doors and mesh panels the first time I set it up, making sure to allow time for it to dry before I sleep in it.

I do find that there is a slight odor the day after you first apply the stuff, but it goes away as it completely dries. I put a mark on the inside label of treated shirts, so I can figure out which are bug repellent and which aren't. I treat all hiking socks, boots, pants, and shorts as these are the most likely tick magnets.


Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:36 pm
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Sovereign Woodsman
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Location: Nashua
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I have a pair of pants, a shirt and a couple bandanas that have the permethrin insect shield from the factory. The big difference is that buying it pre-treated will last 70-75 washes while treating yourself will last 10 washes or something. Of course I never really had problems with ticks or bugs even before I started using these, but I continue to not have problems, so maybe it's working? I typically use this stuff in spring through July and then I'll go back to regular gear in August.

I have heard, however, that the permethrin toxin can be dangerous to fish. So you might want to avoid washing or wearing these clothes in streams or ponds.


Sat Apr 12, 2014 5:23 pm
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Peak Bagger
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I think the factory stuff is probably dunked in a vat of solution. You can do it that way at home, too, using a 5 gallon bucket. But.... then you are left trying to figure out what the heck to do with 5 gallons of insecticide. You could spray it around the house foundation -- it's good for termites and carpenter ants. Or, it's sold for horse barns to get rid of flies.

I think the dunking surely puts more product in the fabric, but you can hose stuff down pretty well with the spray bottle. The only time it doesn't really soak in would be fabric that is treated with a DWR finish and repels water. I'd probably treat DWR clothing more often.

I suspect that the 70 wash claim for the factory treated stuff is a wee bit optimistic.


Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:23 am
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krpayer wrote:

I have heard, however, that the permethrin toxin can be dangerous to fish. So you might want to avoid washing or wearing these clothes in streams or ponds.


This is a really good point. When I go camping and hiking I tend to hand wash my clothes. I don't use permethrin. Now I am less likely to do so. I have had a few instances of ticks. The bugs generally don't bother me much. Minus the mid spring variety. I'll continue to lightly spray my lower legs and neck sparingly when needed with Deet.


Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:54 am
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I Spend All My Time on This Forum
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 Re: Permethrin tick repellent
hwc1954 wrote:
Once dry, this stuff is harmless to people and pets,


Actually it is toxic to cats (as well as fish as Kris mentioned).

Brian


Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:42 am
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thegibba wrote:
krpayer wrote:

I have heard, however, that the permethrin toxin can be dangerous to fish. So you might want to avoid washing or wearing these clothes in streams or ponds.


This is a really good point. When I go camping and hiking I tend to hand wash my clothes.

Um .... not to be too pedantic ... but ... you know ... :roll:

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Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:55 am
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I understand. However I rarely use repellent. Compare that to have clothing always being covered in insecticide. I used repellent once last year. If I go off trail I'd just as soon thrown on my zip offs and tuck my pants into my sock. Inspect for creepy crawlies and be done with it. I hate the smell and feel of repellent anyway.

Edit. Let me clarify. I don't dunk my clothes in a stream. I usually camp someplace that has facilities. I use those facilities. But I'm not sure where that water goes or how its filtered.


Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:07 am
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thegibba wrote:
I understand. However I rarely use repellent. Compare that to have clothing always being covered in insecticide. I used repellent once last year. If I go off trail I'd just as soon thrown on my zip offs and tuck my pants into my sock. Inspect for creepy crawlies and be done with it. I hate the smell and feel of repellent anyway.

Edit. Let me clarify. I don't dunk my clothes in a stream. I usually camp someplace that has facilities. I use those facilities. But I'm not sure where that water goes or how its filtered.


Beauty :)
But your point about runoff is a good one. Don't know how long the stuff persists.
I react very strongly to pretty much all the biters , I definitely use a lot of insect repellent, and sometimes a net shirt. I don't like it, but it's either that or stay indoors.

We do the check for crawlies, and usually a daily body check for ticks. Tucking the pants legs is good, but even that doesn't work well enough for us, esp with deer ticks; I've found them on my arms and waist....

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Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:38 am
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Peak Bagger
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Location: New Hampshire
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I don't wash my clothes in streams, so the fishies should be OK.

Also, the permethrin really doesn't dissolve well in water when washing. It's mechanical agitation that breaks it free from the fabric.


Last edited by hwc1954 on Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:57 pm
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I remember a while back about not flushing prescription drugs down the toilet. I guess even with large treatment plant, some still makes it back into the environment.


Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:33 pm
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