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  1. #1

    Default Field Tested Permethrine this weekend.

    After hearing and reading multiple reports of high tick activity this year, I prepared for my overnight hike in central FL this past weekend by treating my pants, shirt, socks, and backpack with permethrine.

    Once we got to camp, and were sitting against a tree cooking diner, my hiking partner (who did not treat his clothes) found 6 ticks crawling on him, and one was already dining on him. After the first one was found, I tucked my pants into my socks and tucked my shirt into my pants.

    When he found the second tick crawling on him, he got an idea: Let me put this tick on your pants and see if it dies. My initial response was a rated R version of "no", but I decided on "why not? "

    It crawled around for a while, looking completely healthy. It got to my sock and had some trouble navigating the fibers, but eventually made its way back up to my pants again.

    Here it is on my sock.



    After 5 minutes, back on my pants... it was moving a lot slower now, not looking very healthy.


    It was done "crawling around" after the 5 minute point, and at about the 15 minute point, it flipped over onto its back and stayed that way, legs writhing slowly.


    So yes, treating your clothing with permethrine does work. The slight chemical smell that remains is better than Lyme disease... or even the itching that follows an un-diseased tick bite.

    photos taken with Droid Moto Z

  2. #2
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Good to know. I've been treating with permethrin since I had Lyme Disease more than ten years ago, and haven't had a tick embedded since, but it's nice to see an actual dead tick.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  3. #3
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    As someone who suffered from Lyme. It was one of the worst things I've ever been through. Ticks make me feel really uncomfortable

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  4. #4

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    Wow! This is the first good write up with pictures I've seen, I'll definitely be using some now

  5. #5
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    Can you give a newbie a little more detail on your treatment? Brand, percent, process. Thanks

  6. #6

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    I have had ZERO ticks since I started treating my clothes and gear with permitherin 2 years ago...including instances like yours where people I was hiking with were covered with them.

  7. #7
    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Quote Originally Posted by eggymane View Post
    Wow! This is the first good write up with pictures I've seen, I'll definitely be using some now
    Quote Originally Posted by Stone1984 View Post
    Can you give a newbie a little more detail on your treatment? Brand, percent, process. Thanks
    Some other folks should be able to walk you through the DIY process. Unfortunately for me the liquid form of Permethrin that is used for application is highly toxic to cats and fish which means that I can't risk using it on my property. Instead I sent my clothes out for professional treatment using the site below. The professional treatment claims to last 70 washings, whereas the DIY treatments such as sawyer spray usually claim to last between 4 and 10 washings, this actually makes the professional trestment cheaper than the Sawyer.

    https://www.insectshield.com/ISYOC.aspx
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone1984 View Post
    Can you give a newbie a little more detail on your treatment? Brand, percent, process. Thanks
    Sawyer permethrin sold at many stores....Wally world, rei etc...yellow plastic spray bottle


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  9. #9
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    yes, nice report!
    I treated a mosquito net for my cot at scout summer camp last summer. The old canvas tents on pallet platforms were infested with spiders and bugs. I would find several dead ones, as well as dead mosquitoes daily. Made me wonder about sleeping in it, but at least I didn't get eaten alive!
    I had bought the sawyer permetherin at some point, but refilled with a home mix of some bulk Martin's ordered from amazon

  10. #10
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    I've always been a little weary with chemicals... too many times has something that was deemed "safe" later been proven to slowly and brutally kill you. Something that is this potent against other living creatures does have me a little worried, especially the with the EPA declaring it a likely human carcinogen(when eaten, I believe, and based only off of mice studies).

    That said, ticks are the devil. With permethrine I have never had to pick a single one off of me. The possible but seemingly unlikely health risks of it take a backseat to the real and proven threat of Lyme disease.

    I do still try to limit my exposure to it though. I always wear a base so that the treated clothing isn't touching skin directly, except for my pants which are loose-fitting anyway. When it's hot out pores open up and will absorb more toxins, and I'm not sure how embedded it gets in the material. Maybe an unnecessary precaution, but it makes me feel better.

  11. #11
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    I gotta agree with Big.
    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    it's nice to see an actual dead tick.
    The more the merrier!
    When you get to those unexpected situations in life where it’s difficult to figure something out, just ask yourself, “What would MacGyver do?”
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    Rickles McPickles

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone1984 View Post
    Can you give a newbie a little more detail on your treatment? Brand, percent, process. Thanks
    Basically, follow the instructions on the bottle for how to mix the concentrate (if using concentrate), then spray it on everything you want to protect, enough to make it thoroughly damp, then let it air dry. Done.

    The RID head lice spray you can buy in any pharmacy for treating couches, beds, and pillows also will do just fine if you can't find the product in the outdoor section marketed specifically for ticks.

    I've heard some people mix the concentrate in a bucket and dunk their clothes, then allow to dry. I have not done this yet.

    I have, in the past, treated every article of clothing, including handkerchief, hat, sleeping bag, and backpack prior to a hike in the woods during the warm times of year. I started doing this because during a previous hike (trying to get conditioned for my first AT section hike), I set my backpack down on the ground to take a break, and in about a minute's time it had ticks crawling all over it!

  13. #13
    Garlic
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    I'm impressed! I wish this forum had a "like" button.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    The professional treatment claims to last 70 washings, whereas the DIY treatments such as sawyer spray usually claim to last between 4 and 10 washings, this actually makes the professional trestment cheaper than the Sawyer.
    I've heard of some have used the concentrated permethrin bought at farm supply stores diluting it. Does anyone here do that and if so what do you use and how much do you dilute it?
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

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    I have not had a tick since I started using this. It is really important to follow the directions with this stuff. I saw people spraying themselves and their gear with a bottle out of a hiker box like it was insect repellent. It's really only safe once it's completely dry. Keep your pets away while treating your clothes.

  16. #16
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    I was introduced to permethrin in the deserts of the Middle East. There, ticks we're as much of an issue as sand fleas, and camel spiders, but that's a different story.
    You could definitely see a difference between the guys who took the time to use the permethrin vs those who didn't. Sand fleas can be brutal, but I can honestly say I don't remember having a single bite while guys right next to me were bit up.
    My muscle twitching since that time has gone down significantly, but I'm not sure it was the permethrin that caused that.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    I've heard of some have used the concentrated permethrin bought at farm supply stores diluting it. Does anyone here do that and if so what do you use and how much do you dilute it?
    I purchased the 10% concentrate, alavailable online. I'm not home right now so I can't look up the supplier, but is fairly easy to attain.

    Start by dividing the concentration percentage in the bottle by your desired end level concentration. The generally desired level is 0.5%, but I like to go a little stronger with a 0.8% mixture to dunk my clothes.

    I've found that a gallon and a half is plenty to soak all my clothes at once in a large pan, so that's 128 + 64, so round to 200 ounces of water.

    Now figure the dilution needed of the 10% concentrate. Divide: 10%/0.8% = 12.5 equal parts of the 10% concentrate.

    Divide the 200 ounces of water by 12.5, which gives you 16 ounces. So pour off 16 ounces of water and replace it with 16 ounces of 10% concentrate. This will give you a gallon and a half of 0.8% mixture.

    You can change the desired end levels up or down.

  18. #18

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    I put about an ounce in a one quart spray bottle... But read the instructions on the container and do the math if necessary.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    I've heard of some have used the concentrated permethrin bought at farm supply stores diluting it. Does anyone here do that and if so what do you use and how much do you dilute it?
    That is simply permethrin and does not include the chemical(s) that make it stick to your clothing. It is intended for spraying on the ground and even your pets. When spraying on the ground I dilute the concentrate into a spray bottle. When spraying on clothing I use the yellow Sawyer bottles.

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