Topic

Permethrin – still the go to?


Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Gear Forums Gear (General) Permethrin – still the go to?

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 40 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #3743756
    Andy B
    BPL Member

    @andybee

    I tend to wild camp in areas where tics frequent as well as lots of Mosquitoes. I’ve been reading up on how to minimise contact and avoid getting bitten where possible and permethrin keeps popping up.

    I wondered if this is still the go-to and if this still works well with modern materials such as DCF, SilNylon etc?

    It looks like permethrin is a synthetic molecule based on Chrysanthemum flower pollen? I wondered if there was something as effective that might be better for the environment?

     

     

    #3743758
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I use it on my socks and clothing. Never had a tick on me.. except the one time I did not use it!!! Also, many years ago my daughter went camping with the girl scouts and all of the girls, about 8 of them had ticks.. my daughter did not have any. I asked in the email that went out if anyone of them had used permitherin and no one had any idea what I was talking about.. so From that alone I was a believer. I have never used it on my gear though.. possibly on my pack and sneakers.. but if that…

    #3743764
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    “pyrethrins are a class of organic compounds normally derived from Chrysanthemum”

    pyrethrin is derived from Chrysanthemums, an insecticide that qualifies as organic.  You can apply just before harvesting.

    permethrin is a synthetic version.  They say not to let the liquid touch your skin, but there are some versions that can be.  Toxic to cats but not dogs.

    I don’t go to heavy tick areas but I get one occasionally.  I put it on my gaiters.  Spray on Sawyer’s and let it dry.  Examine my skin occasionally for ticks.

    If I went to heavy tick area I would spray it outside my boots, pants, shirt.

    For mosquitoes, I wear long pants and shirt.  Occasionally I’ll put DEET on the back of my hands and neck.

    #3743766
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I also have a headnet for mosquitoes

    There are these biting flies (midges?) that are worse than mosquitoes.  They don’t seem to be deterred by DEET.  Then it’s just long sleeves and headnet.

    #3743767
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    I did some research on this stuff and found that human skin contact is no big deal even when it is wet, as human meat-stuffs neutralize the chemical incredibly fast, thus why it is so safe for us. It’s mentioned to not spay it on your skin, mostly because it just stops working to kill bugs right away from our meat-stuffs (I’m a science person, trust me on this terminology).

    I avoided using it on my gear because I walk through waters with sensitive fish populations. I’m not 100% certain that the chemicals would not leach from my clothing into the water. It’s insanely toxic stuff for aquatic life in liquid form, but not sure what happens after being dried onto clothes. Never did get a solid answer on this.

    It’s not as weight or cost effective, but I use Picaridin spray on my legs if I know I am going to be walking through tick grass. Doesn’t smell at all after drying and has at least some tick prevention, if not quite as solid as permitherin.

    This is a topic I would like to keep an eye on over the coming years. We’re seeing a lot of new areas with Lyme-capable species of ticks here in Puget Sound, WA. Never got a tick in my life here and last several years have gotten several Pacific Black-legged ticks.

    #3743771
    Andy B
    BPL Member

    @andybee

    Very interesting. I will have to do some research on pyrethrin. Wonder if that’s readily available as alternative to the synthetic form.

    I’ve read that permethrin is okay to put on tents and left to dry and will work very well.

    #3743774
    CS
    BPL Member

    @covecs

    I’ve gotten pretty good at recognizing where ticks live and how they get on you, and just look for them when I’m in ideal spots for them. They’re mainly hanging out where they have a good chance of attaching to an animal. I see them hanging on to grass that protrudes over a trail for example, esp deer trails and just avoid brushing up against anything that protrude over trails and glance at my pants more frequently incase I missed one in those areas. If there’s no brush over the trail or you’re really off trail, I’m not sure where they’re going to get a meal. Either way it’s definitely possible to manually avoid them too. Micro bears?

    #3743777
    Todd T
    BPL Member

    @texasbb

    Locale: Pacific Northwest

    Yes, it’s still the go-to.  No, I wouldn’t use it on tents or packs or other gear.  Pants, shirts, socks/scree gaiters, maybe gloves.  Untreated headnet for head/neck.

    #3743779
    Marcus
    BPL Member

    @mcimes

    I am a parasitic bug magnet, so I use Rail Riders EcoMesh pants (which are great hiking pants) with BugGuard treatment. BugGuard has an extra durable factory applied 0.5% permethrin treatment that is supposedly good for 70 washes. I have never seen a tick on my pants. Ever. So I assume they work as intended.

    In addition, I buy Martin’s 10% permethrin (because 1L is only like $20) then dilute it down to 0.7% and apply to my hiking shirt, gaiters, shoes, sun gloves, and the ankle of my socks every 6 washes. This seems to do a good job of preventing bug bites as well.

    The Martins concentrate does leave a little residual smell but its not bad IMO (a faint oily/chemical smell to me. I only notice it inside in a stale room or if treated clothes are bagged up for a while). Its worth it considering it costs 50x less than the sawyer spray bottle.

    Chiggers absolutely love my ankles, so I need to remember to get some picadrin as well. Good reminder.

    #3743800
    PaulW
    BPL Member

    @peweg8

    Locale: Western Colorado

    I’ve had great success using Sawyer Permethrin. For clothing, I mainly use it on shoes, socks, gaiters, and pants. I also use it on my pack and tent mesh. I’ve been doing this for a number of years now and I haven’t seen any negative effects on my gear. As Marcus stated, the Martin’s is much less expensive than the Sawyer’s, but I just can’t get used to the smell, so I’ve stopped using it.

    #3743802
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    Some people like to put it inside their tents as it will kill mosquitoes that fly in when the door is open.

    I can imagine that in tick infested areas, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure you don’t get any taking a ride along with you on your pack or other non-treated gear. Little monsters can live for months without food or water, just waiting to latch on and infect people and pets.

    #3743805
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I don’t think pyrethrin would work for ticks.  It does kill aphids and other bugs on my vegetables in the garden.

    #3743845
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    DEET never worked for me with ticks, but have found it to be by far the most effective for flying insects; so use it sparingly on exposed skin in different formulations; usually a stick, but have used liquids or creams.  But never aerosols.

    Permethrin, has always worked for me with ticks when sprayed on footware, sox, and pant legs, but never on skin, per the mfg. instructions.   Have picked up many ticks, but never after using permethrin.  It’s hard to know what areas are ticky.  Only during recent years have areas north of the White Mountains in NH been a problem, which has been a surprise to many.  While in  the Colorado mountains, have never used permethrin, and never had to.

    These substances are toxic, so use only as much as necessary, and only when insects are present.  Would never use clothing treated heavily enough with Permethrin, or DEET for that matter, to last multiple washings.  The amount of Permethrin I do use, washes right out with time, rain and/or washings; so need to reapply it the next day it is used.

    Day hiking in the southern Whites, ticks are often visible on the lower pant legs, so check often if Permethrin has not been applied.  There is no ‘tick season’ as they hatch several times a year, often in moist areas, but not always.  When I do get bitten, go the next day to a nearby walk-in clinic and receive an RX for just a few doxycycline to be used within a few days after the exposure.  These make the bumps and assemblage of white blood cells go right away.

    AFAIK, with the above precautions have never had lyme disease.  Wish I could say the same for giardia.  Had to replace a well to get rid of that.  It even fooled the doctors, who did not realize I was getting reinfected from my own drinking water as soon as the RX wore off.  My realization came on seeing squirrels using a large concrete well cover for a home.  So now have the well cap exposed, with a screened drain running underground to a lower grade.

    #3743865
    Scott H
    BPL Member

    @cbk57

    I live in Pennsylvania and we have a lot of deer ticks that Cary Limes Disease.  I treat all of our hiking gear with sawyer permethrin gear spray, shoes, socks, pants, shirts hat.  My son has had ticks on him a couple times over the years including a deer tick.  They are so small I don:t know how he spotted it but he did and spotted it early so we were able to remove it but it looked about like a poppy seed as far as size and color.  One poster above mentioned staying away from grasses and certain areas where they like to wait for a ride, here that usually does not work as inevitably there are trail sections that are semi overgrown.  When my son had a Deer tick I had to get out magnifiers to even confirm it was in fact a tick.

    Permethrin spray seems to have worked well for us though as a whole and finding ticks on ourselves or our clothes has been rare.  I have treated tents and packs as well at times, not sure if these helps or not.  I typically spray everything in the spring.  I sprayed a bunch of our stuff last weekend and need to get a new bottle to do the rest of our stuff.

    To supplement our tick and mosquito protection we use skin safe bug repellants as well, sawyer makes a lotion that I really like and I apply that on my legs torso and exposed skin areas.

    #3743881
    Daryl and Daryl
    BPL Member

    @lyrad1

    Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth

    Friend of mine put perithrin on her skin.  Had a bad reaction. Rash and trip to the Dr. if I recall correctly.  Not good.

    #3743890
    CS
    BPL Member

    @covecs

    Oh I didn’t mean to come across as suggesting that you don’t take every precaution, I just realized I could actually see them, if even a spec of discoloration on a blade of grass and avoid them — yep they can be small.  Defiantly don’t want to get Lymes disease, the wife of a guy I worked with got it, and it was a full blown medical disaster, turned everything upside down in their lives for years.

    #3743892
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I’ve gotten maybe a dozen tick bites over the years

    It seems like I’ve gotten more reactive.  If the tick is embedded for more than a day, the area will swell up.  I took antihistamine.

    I’ve tried to be more careful in avoiding them, and checking to see if I have any on me to avoid this.

    Thankfully, where I go there isn’t a lot of lyme disease.  I sympathize with you northeastern U.S. people.

    #3743894
    Kevin Babione
    BPL Member

    @kbabione

    Locale: Pennsylvania

    I had an April trip a couple of years ago on the Allegheny Front Trail in central Pennsylvania.  We started our trip with freezing rain and temperatures in the mid-30’s.  The next day was clear, sunny, and warm with temps in the 70’s.  After a 2-mile uphill slog I took my soaked shirt off to dry it off a bit and noticed four large ticks on my chest and side.  I was heading to my pack to get my tick removal tool when my buddy Bob (of Moulder Strip fame) came up to me and announced that I didn’t need a tool.  He pinched each of the buggers between his nails and ripped them out.  I had bumps/welts marking each spot for almost 18 months before they finally went away.

    Moral of the story?  I now treat my shoes, socks, and pants with Pemethrin each spring and haven’t had a tick on me since.  It’s just not worth it!

    #3743946
    obx hiker
    BPL Member

    @obxer

    As Jerry noted above: “It seems like I’ve gotten more reactive.  If the tick is embedded for more than a day, the area will swell up.  I took antihistamine.”

    From personal experience it is a reaction to the bite which becomes more intense depending (evidently) on the amount of time the tick spent at that location as well as the number of times your immune system has experienced this type of “invasion” and how rapidly and strongly it has learned to respond. Ticks can bite (drilling for blood!) in several places as they look (again evidently) for a juicy vein or artery. There’s probably more fluid exchange involved with more thorough and lasting attachment. (strike/gusher!)

    I evidently have a very well trained immune response to this type of invasion.

    The problem occurs when you begin to exchange blood as I understand it and this takes @ a day.

    In my case the itchy welt from a firm attachment can last nearly a month. Lots of cortaid! Though can’t remember the last time I had a tick that was apparently beginning to extract blood. Thorough checks!

    Ken’s summary bears repeating:  “Moral of the story?  I now treat my shoes, socks, and pants with Pemethrin each spring and haven’t had a tick on me since.  It’s just not worth it!

    Speaking of “worth it”: The variety and hazard of disease spread by ticks goes well beyond Lymes and several can be potentially spread by the same tick/bite/exchange. Also more are apparently being discovered. There is also pretty strong evidence that lymes can be, well; complicated and in some cases for some reasons evidently not well understood extremely difficult to cure along the complicated lines of long covid, malaria, syphillus or other complicated or evasive disease that can remain dormant, hide somehow at the cellular level and evade treatment for long time periods; like years and years or maybe the rest of your life. Also the disease is being spread among populations of hosts like deer mice and rabbits and warming climate is resulting in the spread of  the range and prevalence of certain ticks as well as the extent of seasonal activity. BOTH!

    This article will get your attention! I think you can avoid the paywall or it doesn’t block your reading one article.  LYME DISEASE IS BAFFLING, EVEN TO EXPERTS

    Hmmm just occurred to me. Wonder if you can buy stock in Sawyers?

    Edited to add: Now that I think about it and especially relative to BPL the growing range and extended seasonal problem has an added dimension which is elevation. 4500′ used to be safe in the Southern Appalachians? Make that 5000′. That sort of calculation.

    And one more thing. Whoever upthread mentioned that ticks attach to vegetation had it right but wait there’s more! They are a member of the spider family and have 8 legs. Arachnophobia! They will hang on grasses or brush along game routes with the back pair or pairs and when they feel the vibration of something treading forward wave the front pairs to catch the passing creature. They are very good at it. Some have postulated they might also ‘parachute’. I’ve had cases that would seem to support this but it would be an interesting trial to try and scientifically verify. Also they detect and move towards carbon dioxide from exhalation. Co2 is often used by field researchers to attract ticks.  And speaking of Arachnophobia some of us also have to deal with their little cousins who evidently do not spread disease but only misery; the red-bug or chigger. Another topic but permethrin also works!

    Lastly: The Life Cycle of Ticks

    #3743949
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    Yeah, it takes months for the wound to heal.  More so recently.

    One thing good about “long” lyme disease is that doctors now acknowledge this.  They used to dismiss and just say that it’s in someone’s mind or whatever.  And then lots of scamster doctors claiming to be able to treat it.

    and yeah, many more diseases than just lyme disease

    #3743958
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    I believe that the permethrin sold for treating clothing (why would you treat a tent or backpack?!) is the same chemical used in lice preparations, that you put directly on hair. Probably a different concentration though. I just follow the directions on the package, and treat all my clothes, when in tick country. It works a little bit for mosquitoes too. Where I live mosquitoes don’t spread diseases to humans, so I don’t worry about treating for skeeters. But I use all the same hiking clothes wherever I go, so they tend to still have permethrin in them. I set up a clothesline in the garage and spray them in there, so that no bees or cats or anything come in direct contact with the spray. Easy peasy.

    When people say it’s “toxic” I wonder if they even know what that means. Regardless, follow the directions on the package, as with everything.

    #3743964
    Johan
    BPL Member

    @johan-river

    Locale: Cascadia

    When people say it’s “toxic” I wonder if they even know what that means. Regardless, follow the directions on the package, as with everything.

    The best way to explain it is like chocolate for people and dogs. People can enjoy it and not die, dogs… not so much.

    Likewise, my dog can eat a half rotten maggoted putrid rodent out of an old water bucket and suffer no consequences. Me, on the other hand, well… not quite. LOL

    #3743967
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    But do you really know?

    Have you ever eaten a half rotten maggoted putrid rodent out of an old water bucket? :)

    #3743972
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    I have filtered water from a bucket that had a dead rodent in it. It was the only water available. I used my Steripen too, in that instance. It was a pretty putrid rodent. Non-toxic, apparently, but it did require some mental effort to drink it. Later, after drinking about half of what we filtered, when we found scummy tundra pond water, we dumped our rodent water and went for the pond water instead.

    Let’s go with Merriam Webster, because it’s easy: toxic:=”containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation”

    People like to say things are toxic that aren’t unsafe for people. Some of it is just fear. People are terrified of Deet; I’ve been using it since I could walk, and both of my parents used it for many years. It stinks, and tastes awful, and in high concentrations can damage gear, but it isn’t toxic.

    I’m not sure permethrin is toxic to people either. But I wouldn’t eat it, and I follow the directions.

    #3743976
    JCH
    BPL Member

    @pastyj-2-2

    I’m curious why one would choose to self-treat clothing with permethrin over sending it to Insect Shield?

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 40 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Loading...