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  1. #1
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    Ticks: Permethrin-treated clothing

    In the Fat Biking & Health thread I saw someone mentioning the huge increase in ticks. Reminded me of the following, which may be of benefit for some.

    https://gizmodo.com/bug-sprayed-clot...way-1826293900

    https://academic.oup.com/jme/advance...tjy062/4999656

    If you’re not willing to go through the hassle of ordering new clothes or having your existing wardrobe specially treated, there are also permethrin sprays you can pick up online. There’s some evidence that this do-it-yourself method might be even better at keeping away certain bugs like mosquitoes. According to the CDC, these sprays should have 0.5 percent permethrin, and be used to treat clothing such as boots, pants, socks, as well as outdoor camping gear like tents.
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  2. #2
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    I have my work clothing soaking in a bucket of permethrin. I bought concentrated 10% solution at Tractor Supply and diluted it to 0.5%. Made a 4gal batch to treat all my work clothes and if there's still some left afterwards, I'm going to toss my mtb clothes in. Buying that amount of the sprays would be silly.

    https://sectionhiker.com/permethrin-soak-method-guide/

  3. #3
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    Is that safe?

    I remember when DDT was safe.....
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Is that safe?
    I remember when DDT was safe.....
    Safe at 0.5% for adults and older children. I've seen limits of six years and two years (~edit: and older than two months).
    Active ingredient in topical treatments for lice and scabies.
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I have my work clothing soaking in a bucket of permethrin. I bought concentrated 10% solution at Tractor Supply and diluted it to 0.5%. Made a 4gal batch to treat all my work clothes and if there's still some left afterwards, I'm going to toss my mtb clothes in. Buying that amount of the sprays would be silly.

    https://sectionhiker.com/permethrin-soak-method-guide/
    That's really interesting. Nice to get the practical how-to for both soaking and spraying (links at that site, along with avoiding ticks).

    In the comments they mention that permethrin is available in concentrations of 10% and 38%, but at those concentrations it's cautioned that you need ventilation and gloves (check their safe handling instructions).

    Also mentioned is that some people soaking or spraying from DIY solutions from the concentrates sometimes have a minor skin reaction. This is attributed to the higher concentrations of petroleum distillates in the concentrated solutions, as when they buy premade 0.5% spray solution they don't react, and that is said to be mixed with water, with low or no petroleum distillates.
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  6. #6
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    you can buy this at rei---sawyer brand--I backpacked last week in tick infested terrain and worked well----is it safe---come on lets be honest----a chemical that does ticks in and we think it is safe for us---make your choice---we all of a sudden trust the government or the fda ?

  7. #7
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    Just 'cause it's a synthetic modelled after a natural neurotoxin that kills ticks and mosquitoes upon contact?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permethrin
    (says older than two months)
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  8. #8
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    if you have housecats keep them 100% away from permethrin clothing. I mean it.

    one lick and it could be curtains for kitty. otherwise it's generally harmless
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    if you have housecats keep them 100% away from permethrin clothing. I mean it.

    one lick and it could be curtains for kitty. otherwise it's generally harmless
    When permethrin has dried thoroughly, it is not a problem. Permethrin by itself (dried) poorly passes through skin. The carrier ingredients are another story, which is why permethrin is a problem when wet. Once it gets into their bodies, cats cannot metabolize it in their livers the way other mammals can, which is why they are more susceptible to it.

    The VAST majority of permethrin toxicity cases in cats come from people putting the product directly on the cat for fleas. They don't read the warnings and they put a dog or farm animal product on the cat. Or, the cat licks the product off of the family dog before it has dried completely. After it has dried, not a problem. I have read for those spot on dog treatments, the window is 72hrs to keep the cat away.

    You CAN spray your yard with it and you CAN spray the interior of the house, IF the cat has nothing to do with those places unyil the permethrin application is COMPLETELY DRY. The same applies to clothing treated with it.

    I have treated my outdoor gear for years and have had no problems with my cats. And my wife is a veterinarian. She supervises me like a hawk during and after application to make sure the wet product goes nowhere near places the cats have access.

    I even diluted the stuff down to a little bit lower concentration than 0.5% today. My clothes soaked in a bucket of the stuff for hours to ensure good coverage, and everything is drying in the garage, where the cats have no access?

    Permethrin also photodegrades, so after your gear is exposed to sunlight for awhile, there is much less active ingredient remaining.

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  10. #10
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    Good info all. I've heard about permethrin treatment for cloths, but never really looked into it. I'm in southern NY where ticks are pervasive, and know some people who use it, but never tried it myself.

    Related question: What ever happened to the Lime disease vaccine? It was available for a while, like 15 years ago, but then quietly disappeared. I think I remember something about arthritis like symptoms as a side effect? I actually got the vaccine, and either it works or I'm really lucky, but I almost never find ticks on me after my rides, and yes, I look thoroughly!

  11. #11
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    The vaccine was highly effective, and despite the fact that less than 100 of over 1,000,000 people who were vaccinated developed any side effects, the tinfoil-hat anti-vax crowd pretty much killed demand. With the massive increase in tick-borne illness cases today, it would be reasonable for the vaccine to return.
    "Wait- I am confused" - SDMTB'er

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel View Post
    The vaccine was highly effective, and despite the fact that less than 100 of over 1,000,000 people who were vaccinated developed any side effects, the tinfoil-hat anti-vax crowd pretty much killed demand. With the massive increase in tick-borne illness cases today, it would be reasonable for the vaccine to return.
    Very true. Damn shame my dog can get one but I cannot.

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  13. #13
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    We have a greyhound, which are more sensitive to meds that most breeds, but the Simparica that we give her causes the ticks to not take ahold. The few that do die pretty quickly (we find dead ones on her bed), and the only real side effect is some loose stools for a day or two after each monthly dose. Hell, I get that weekly from too much mexican food, so I would take an oral dosage if thats all it did.
    "Wait- I am confused" - SDMTB'er

  14. #14
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    Important toxicology nugget....The dose makes the poison, there is a safe dose for EVERYTHING and a toxic dose for EVERYTHING.

    Is biking safe?
    Is caffeine safe?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KThaxton View Post
    Important toxicology nugget....The dose makes the poison, there is a safe dose for EVERYTHING and a toxic dose for EVERYTHING.

    Is biking safe?
    Is caffeine safe?
    I've lived 40 years now on biking, caffeine, weed and beer. I must have the correct doses down.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    I've lived 40 years now on biking, caffeine, weed and beer. I must have the correct doses down.
    So far anyway.

  17. #17
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    So it sounds like the stuff is safe once it's dry?
    What happens when you sweat and the treated clothing gets wet?

  18. #18
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    While I am not familiar with the do's and don'ts with this product, if you use it as directed, you should be safe.

    If you doubt the science behind that thought process, you have bigger things in life to worry about then this stuff.

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  19. #19
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    My son was bitten by a tick last year so I've bought two big spray bottles of Sawyer permethrin spray. I've done some cycling clothes but yet to know if it works.

    Soaking clothes sounds better, I'll have to look into that.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    My son was bitten by a tick last year so I've bought two big spray bottles of Sawyer permethrin spray. I've done some cycling clothes but yet to know if it works.

    Soaking clothes sounds better, I'll have to look into that.
    A single tick? I pulled 4 attached ones off of my legs on a single ride a few weeks ago.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by drwx View Post
    A single tick?
    Yip. It was high up on his thigh, survived a shower and was only pulled off over twenty-four hours later.

  22. #22
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    Just an FYI, I bought a quart of 10% permethrin at Tractor Supply for about $15. It will make gallons of the stuff for soaking.
    "Wait- I am confused" - SDMTB'er

  23. #23
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    I'm looking but as yet I'm not seeing stuff like that for sale here. It's just sprays etc.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    So it sounds like the stuff is safe once it's dry?
    What happens when you sweat and the treated clothing gets wet?
    The permethrin does not dissolve off your clothing again when you sweat. Not in appreciable amounts, anyway. When treating clothing, you use a 0.5% concentration of the stuff, which is quite low.

    It is poorly absorbed by the skin, anyway, so even if a little comes off, it is no big deal. Your liver is able to metabolize it.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I'm looking but as yet I'm not seeing stuff like that for sale here. It's just sprays etc.
    The 10% stuff in the US comes from farm stores and is sold for livestock. You can get higher concentrations here, too, intended for yard sprays. I would not be surprised if other countries have stiffer regs on it. There is a push here for it because of how many people kill their cats by putting it directly on them like they do for dogs and livestock.

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The 10% stuff in the US comes from farm stores and is sold for livestock.
    I've googled it but I'm not finding much. I can find the spray, cream and small 10% bottles on amazon but they're still expensive. I see if I can find a local farm supplies shop and ask them.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    I've googled it but I'm not finding much. I can find the spray, cream and small 10% bottles on amazon but they're still expensive. I see if I can find a local farm supplies shop and ask them.
    I can walk into any farm store like tractor supply and find it in the livestock section. The bottles are fairly small, but at 6.4oz of the stuff per gallon, that small bottle will get a lot of clothes treated.

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  28. #28
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    I do quite a bit of trail work and always have my clothes treated. A few days ago when I changed out of my trail work clothes, I must have had about a dozen dead ticks on each of my socks (ankle area). With how prevalent Lyme's is now, I never head out without treated clothing.

    Even with treated clothes, I consider it inevitable that I'll contract Lyme's eventually with the amount of time I spend in the woods. I don't really talk much about my thoughts on that as I don't want to scare away folks that might be interested in volunteering and helping with the trails. Even the contractor we had out last year to build a section of trail contracted it, he was being careful. My "right hand guy" is currently on the antibiotics.

    If that vaccine was still available, I'd definitely take it.

  29. #29
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    Sort of an sidebar, but I don't use permethrin for ticks ( I live in Alaska), but it works great for keeping mosquitos away.

    permethrin is way less scary that some of the other repellants available, like DEET.
    Last edited by spruceboy; 05-31-2018 at 04:53 PM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The bottles are fairly small, but at 6.4oz of the stuff per gallon, that small bottle will get a lot of clothes treated.
    The bottle I see on Amazon is 10% and 8oz. So how far would that go and how do you dilute it? That bottle costs £53 (about $70)

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    The bottle I see on Amazon is 10% and 8oz. So how far would that go and how do you dilute it? That bottle costs £53 (about $70)
    Holy shit that's expensive. I think I paid $15 for 32oz or so.

    8oz will get you a bit over 1gal US to work with.

    To figure out how much exactly, use the equation (C1)(V1)=(C2)(V2). The units you use doesn't matter since the concentration units cancel out.

    So you know your starting concentration is 10% and volume is 8oz. You also know you need a final concentration is 0.5%.

    So

    (0.10)(8oz)=(0.005)(V2)

    V2=((0.10)(8oz))/(0.005)
    V2= 160oz

    To reach that concentration, you would need to add 160oz-8oz=152oz of water to 1 bottle of 10% permethrin.

    At that price, though, you are probably better off putting it in a spray bottle instead of soaking your clothes in a bucket of it like I did because you don't want to waste a drop of it. I mixed up 4gal of this solution, and I am going to soak a LOT of clothes. It is hard to control every drip.

    And fyi, do wear nitrile gloves for this.

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  32. #32
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    I called a couple of farm supply places and neither of them had it. My guess is that it's not licensed for use in the EU. It's all about money. They only licence products they have copyright on and can make money on. I know for a fact they do that with weedkiller.

  33. #33
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    Ticks: Permethrin-treated clothing-20170410-capc-forecast-maps-display-v4-lyme-1024x581-660x440.jpg
    So if you soak your clothing in the stuff and you get caught in a rainstorm... you should immediately strip naked? Just kidding, this is scary stuff.

    From sectionhiker.com
    " Sweating and exposure to water do not significantly deteriorate the application. It is primarily the agitation of a washing machine, which deteriorates the Permethrin application as it knocks the molecules loose from the fabric. "

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormwalker View Post
    If that vaccine was still available, I'd definitely take it.
    Hang in there... It's coming!

    https://www.zmescience.com/medicine/...cine-28052018/

  35. #35
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    I buy concentrate, dilute then spray it onto my clothing. I don't know if it's working, but I've never had a tick bite even after a hike where I flicked off over 100 ticks from my clothing.

    I tried the bucket method, but didn't like how the crotch and pocket areas would take longer to dry, especially since I think those areas are the least important to have treated. With a spray I can focus on the legs and arms.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by leaftye View Post
    ...didn't like how the crotch and pocket areas would take longer to dry, especially since I think those areas are the least important to have treated. With a spray I can focus on the legs and arms.
    I thought it was "Groin, navel, armpits, waist, head and behind knees and ears are especially vulnerable."
    https://sectionhiker.com/backpacking...se-prevention/
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  37. #37
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    True, but that's if they ever get up there. Iirc, ticks only have to walk on permethrin treated clothing for a few inches to get a lethal dose. I don't focus solely on legs and arms. I meant arms and legs areas get treated first, and usually repeatedly to give it a higher concentration. Also, in my area most plants aren't that tall, which is why I give extra attention to areas that contact plants. I do usually spray the entire exterior of treated clothing if time allows, including tops of shoes and sock, and if I have enough permethrin. Whatever I'm doing has been working.

  38. #38
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    I have been doing the diy concentrate dilution for 5-6yrs with good success.
    I usually allow 24hrs of dry time without incident, Yesterday I sprayed a shirt and only allowed 2-3hrs dry time and experienced some minor burning skin irritation.
    I knew the possible consequence but did so knowingly as I was headed out to do some trail work and wanted the protection. In the future I will allow 24hr dry time whenever possible.
    Blaine, Mn

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    The bottle I see on Amazon is 10% and 8oz. So how far would that go and how do you dilute it? That bottle costs £53 (about $70)
    Makes one wonder what the shipping restrictions are from the US.
    Blaine, Mn

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The 10% stuff in the US comes from farm stores and is sold for livestock. You can get higher concentrations here, too, intended for yard sprays. I would not be surprised if other countries have stiffer regs on it. There is a push here for it because of how many people kill their cats by putting it directly on them like they do for dogs and livestock.

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    Hi Harold
    Is this what you got from Tractor Supply?
    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...z?cm_vc=-10005

    Thanks

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by dba4life View Post
    Hi Harold
    Is this what you got from Tractor Supply?
    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...z?cm_vc=-10005

    Thanks
    Yup. And fwiw, I did get some tingling after my 4th day in a row of wearing newly treated clothing. But nothing since. And also no ticks, even though I have been deep in brush pretty much daily. Some days in thick meadows grown 6-7ft high. While my coworkers who do not wear treated clothing HAVE been finding ticks.

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  42. #42
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    Would spraying shoes and soaking socks, shorts, shirt, and undies be enough to prevent ticks if one didn't want to wear pants?
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Would spraying shoes and soaking socks, shorts, shirt, and undies be enough to prevent ticks if one didn't want to wear pants?
    it would help, certainly, but it won't keep them from grabbing your hairy legs and latching on in the nooks behind your knees, thereby never crossing treated clothing.

    Preferred high level protection will always involve long pants/long sleeves and tucking everything in where possible. But of course we all make concessions.

    I certainly don't wear long pants when riding unless it's COLD. But more often than not, I do wear long pants when hiking, even in the heat of summertime. Ticks are only part of the reason for that.

  44. #44
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    I imagine geographic location has a lot to do with worring about ticks. I have had 3 so far this year and average 12 a season. never worried about it. but lyme disease is not prevalent in Idaho.

  45. #45
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    My daughter had a tick latched on to her scalp yesterday. Got it removed. Watching the spot. So far no signs of anything. Grabbed a bottle of 10% permethrin from TSC the other day. Now to dilute it to make a soak and maybe put some in a spray bottle too...especially since we have a camping trip coming up in a couple weeks.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    I imagine geographic location has a lot to do with worring about ticks. I have had 3 so far this year and average 12 a season. never worried about it. but lyme disease is not prevalent in Idaho.
    Tick-vectored/-borne diseases in the United States includes: Anaphasmosis, Babesiosis, Borrelia miyamotoi Disease, Colorado Tick Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Heartland and Bourbon Virus Diseases, Lyme Disease, Powassan Virus Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Rickettsia parkeri Rickettsiosis, Tickborne Relapsing Fever and Tularemia.

    https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/tickbornediseases/index.html

    Selected disease distribution maps.

    Ticks: Permethrin-treated clothing-selected-tick-vector-overview-maps.jpg
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  47. #47
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    ^^
    More good reasons not to live out east
    So far no ticks this year for me.

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