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TICKS! - Permethrin options - updated

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OK, this post if for your information and is only to help you make a choice between the available options. I don't promise that my recipe will not cause skin cancer or turn you into a zombie after prolonged use. Do the research for yourself, or use a commercial mix. Always follow the manufacture's instructions and precautions.

Permethrin is a popular and well known treatment for ticks, chiggers, mites and other biting insects. It is often marketed as a mosquito repellent, but it doesn't actually repel any insect. What it does do is kill insects that come into contact with the treated fabric. IT IS NOT APPROVED TO PUT ON YOUR SKIN! This is intended to be applied to your clothes or gear prior to use and allowed to fully dry before contacting your skin.

There are several commercially available options that are directly marketed towards outdoor sportsmen. Here are the most popular options:

REPEL brand sold "Permanone Tick Repellent" aerosol for year in an orange and blue can. Now they sell it as "Mosquito Stop", but it is basically the same stuff.


Coulston's Duranon Tick Repellent is a similar aerosol spray with the same percentage of permethrin. This can often be found at your local Co-Op or hunting supply store.


Sawyer's Tick Repellent is a newer popular option. It is available at some Wal-Marts and some Dick's and other big box stores. It is supposed to be FDA approved for use on clothing for human.


The first "Homemade Permethrin" recipe I tried was using DurationTM 10% Permethrin mixed with water to make a .5% concentration which I poured into spray bottles. This was a much cheaper option than the 3 listed above. However, Duration got more expensive and harder to find so I moved to my current brand. It used to claim to be the "ONLY" FDA approved 10% concentrate approved for use on clothing for humans.


Currently, and for the past 2 years I have used Martin's 10% Permethrin to mix with water and make a spray treatment for my hunting and hiking clothes.

I buy Martin's online. Usually it is available on Amazon for a decent price. 

Martin's is not FDA approved for a clothing treatment for humans. DID YOU READ THAT STATEMENT?

With that said, I have done quite a bit of research into the various permethrin mixtures available. Most are marketed toward treatment of ticks and mites on Cattle, Dogs and other Livestock. Many of these are not suitable for clothing treatments because they contain a percentage of petroleum to aid in the sticking on cattle and other livestock. This is the same for the permethrin lawn treatment products that are available at Home Depot and Lowes. Lot's of people have used these, but from what I have read it's safer to avoid the products that list petroleum in the ingredients.

I buy the 16oz bottle of Martin's 10% Permethrin and mix it with 2.5 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket. The mix to get to .5% is 6.4 ounces per gallon of water or 1oz to 20 oz of water. Lots of folks use 1oz to 15oz of water, that gives you .625% and is stronger than needed, but fits nicely in a 16oz spray bottle. My mix makes it just less than .5%, but I can tell you from experience that it is completely effective at killing ticks. I have found many dead ticks on my treated clothing. After I mix up a bucket, I dip my clothes in, wearing gloves, I wring out the clothes back into the bucket. I dipped 5 pairs of pants, 5 shirts and a couple sets of base layers this years. I still had enough left in the bucket to fill 3 16oz spray bottles for reapplications. In the past 3 years I have had ZERO tick bites. I have found a few on me, both dead and alive. No seed tick attacks, no chigger attacks, and it does kill mosquitoes if they stay in contact with the fabric.

I also use Martin's to mix up a tick dip for my dogs. I follow the instructions provided with the bottle to make the dog dip. I used it on both my dogs and have not seen any sign of skin irritation. I left a tick on my dog and sprayed it with the dog dip and the next day the tick had fallen off. I assume it died. There are no fleas or ticks on my dogs so I am a believer that the dip works. BTW, the dog dip mix is many times weaker than the .5% that I use for clothing. Don't use the .5% mix on your dogs and don't use it in any mixture on cats.

Please remember this is a poison. Do not use the mix bucket for any other purpose. Do not use the spray bottles for any other purpose. Make sure you take care to prevent contamination to unintended areas. Do a little research and you will find that Permethrin is a very versatile insecticide and has lots of useful applications around the house and farm.

Edited by whiskey
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Thanks Whiskey. That is some great info. I have always bought the stuff and sprayed the outside of my clothes. I really like the idea of dipping the clothes into the mixture like that.

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The dipping lasts a lot longer than spraying, unless you completely soak the fabric with spray. I still keep a couple cans of spray in the truck incase I need to do some scouting in my blue jeans.

If you are extra worried about ticks, you can carry a can or spray bottle to the woods and spray the area you plan to sit before setting up. I have one hunting buddy that has had lyme disease and he sprays a 10' area before he sits down.

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Permethrin is made from marigolds, if I not mistaken. I wonder if rubbing flowers on yourself, or maing some sort of juice from the plant would work? Just thinking outloud...Semper Fi,

Joe

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Permethrin is made from marigolds, if I not mistaken. I wonder if rubbing flowers on yourself, or maing some sort of juice from the plant would work? Just thinking outloud...Semper Fi,

Joe

I don't know what permethrin is made from, but I have heard all my life that planting marigolds would keep skeeters away. There are lots of plants that have natural bug repelling properties. There are some commercially sold "all natural" bug sprays that are based on plant oils.

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Planting marigolds in the garden will keep some bugs away. The store bought spray for the dogs is permethrin 10%. If we aren't to use this amount on us, why are we using it on our animals? Now I know why I was getting that look, "you dirty sob." The shampoo for lic is permethrin 10%. I bought a case of wipes at an auction. Brand name Outdoor Bare. They were 78% deet. My son wiped his arms with 1. He said he felt like he was glowing for the next 5 hours. He'll fold 1 out and tie it with a sting then around his ankle when we go out.

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I mixed up 2 and a half gallons of dip today. Dipping all my clothes tomorrow. Bring it on ticks! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'm going to make a slight thread jack.  I spend more time outdoors than in, I work in the woods and I'm often in nasty bug infested areas.  Because of the frequency that I have to use conventional bug spray I started trying other things last year because I was concerned about the long term effects of using Off on a daily basis, often several times per day.  With a little hesitation I tried Avon Skin so Soft, I wouldn't use it in social situations and I don't recommend it if you are hunting anything with a nose but as long as you don't mind the smell it works great against ticks, mosquitos, and biting gnats, I'm sure it works on other stuff too. 

 

I also used to coon hunt with some guys that would take garlic pills and swore that a tick wouldn't bite a person with concentrations of garlic in their systems.  I haven't verified it myself but we used to run coons in the middle of the summer and those guys swore by it.  I know permethrin works well, but I'm always looking for a natural alternative to chemicals. 

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I just found this thread and want to thank you for putting this info out there!  I had been buying the Sawyer brand but it is expensive for the amount of use you get.  Just ordered some Martin's so hopefully this will get those nasty ticks.  

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I buy the 16oz bottle of Martin's 10% Permethrin and mix it with 2.5 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket. The mix to get to .5% is 6.4 ounces per gallon of water or 1oz to 20 oz of water. Lots of folks use 1oz to 15oz of water, that gives you .625% and is stronger than needed, but fits nicely in a 16oz spray bottle. My mix makes it just less than .5%, but I can tell you from experience that it is completely effective at killing ticks. I have found many dead ticks on my treated clothing. After I mix up a bucket, I dip my clothes in, wearing gloves, I wring out the clothes back into the bucket. I dipped 5 pairs of pants, 5 shirts and a couple sets of base layers this years. I still had enough left in the bucket to fill 3 16oz spray bottles for reapplications. In the past 3 years I have had ZERO tick bites. I have found a few on me, both dead and alive. No seed tick attacks, no chigger attacks, and it does kill mosquitoes if they stay in contact with the fabric.

I also use Martin's to mix up a tick dip for my dogs. I follow the instructions provided with the bottle to make the dog dip. I used it on both my dogs and have not seen any sign of skin irritation. I left a tick on my dog and sprayed it with the dog dip and the next day the tick had fallen off. I assume it died. There are no fleas or ticks on my dogs so I am a believer that the dip works. BTW, the dog dip mix is many times weaker than the .5% that I use for clothing. Don't use the .5% mix on your dogs and don't use it in any mixture on cats.

I don't want to come across as the grammar police, but all the references to .5% and .625% should be 5.0% and 6.25% respectively. Since it's a poison, I thought it would be worth pointing this out.  I appreciate the info from whiskey and I have a bag of Permethrin dust I might use on my garden. 

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I don't want to come across as the grammar police, but all the references to .5% and .625% should be 5.0% and 6.25% respectively. Since it's a poison, I thought it would be worth pointing this out. I appreciate the info from whiskey and I have a bag of Permethrin dust I might use on my garden.


I think Whiskey was right in his percentages. Since he's starting with a 10% concentration, diluting it 20:1 with water would in fact yield a 0.5% concentration, no?

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Just a quick note of approval from another satisfied customer. I used permethrin on my clothes last year after some research turned it up (didn't see the thread here) zero tick, chigger, or mosquito bites during my scouting and hunting the rest of the year. Love it, and just finished treating my clothes for this year. Also turned up a synthetic variant listed as an insecticide that's supposed to last for 45-60 days exposed outside. I'll be spraying the entire campsite at my hunting club, as well as my tree stands and blinds. We'll see how it does. Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

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I'm sure it works on other stuff too.  

 

It does. It removes caked on bugs from windshields and bumpers. Sort of like a girly-smelling Bug-N-Tar remover. I don't know why Avon doesn't remove the perfumes and market that stuff to outdoorsmen, unless it's the perfumes themselves that keep the bugs away. Maybe they can't stand the smell either :)

 

Avon makes an unscented "Skin So Soft" bug repelent, but if you check the ingredients, it's not the same stuff as the original SSS. Just a different product using the SSS name.

Edited by monkeylizard

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[quote name="jgradyc" post="1152547" timestamp="1401207554"]I don't want to come across as the grammar police, but all the references to .5% and .625% should be 5.0% and 6.25% respectively. Since it's a poison, I thought it would be worth pointing this out. I appreciate the info from whiskey and I have a bag of Permethrin dust I might use on my garden. [/quote] Nope. I had the percentages correct. Half of one percent is the correct mixture. 5% may kill you. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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A few notes about permethrins:  be careful around cats because they are very sensitive (as in, muscle tremors and seizures if ingested or possibly absorbed through the skin).  You'll see products labeled for cats that contain various types of pyrethroids, but so far, I have only seen one product that contains this type of compound that didn't cause this type of problem (Seresto collars).

 

Also while researching Parkinson's (which my dad has and my mother has Parkinsonian symptoms), I found that permethrin exposure may be a factor in developing the disease.  My parents were born in the 1940's, so much of the flea control used in their lifetime (flea sprays, dips, etc) were permethrins.  I don't know if that was significant exposure, but it was enough that I stopped using the Seresto collar on my dog who sleeps in the bed with me.  After having both parents develop neurological disease, I figured I shouldn't press my luck anymore than needed.

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A few notes about permethrins:  be careful around cats because they are very sensitive (as in, muscle tremors and seizures if ingested or possibly absorbed through the skin).  You'll see products labeled for cats that contain various types of pyrethroids, but so far, I have only seen one product that contains this type of compound that didn't cause this type of problem (Seresto collars).

 

Also while researching Parkinson's (which my dad has and my mother has Parkinsonian symptoms), I found that permethrin exposure may be a factor in developing the disease.  My parents were born in the 1940's, so much of the flea control used in their lifetime (flea sprays, dips, etc) were permethrins.  I don't know if that was significant exposure, but it was enough that I stopped using the Seresto collar on my dog who sleeps in the bed with me.  After having both parents develop neurological disease, I figured I shouldn't press my luck anymore than needed.

 

Great info! Thanks Doc! I appreciate knowing the possible risk. 

 

I hope everyone is cautious about using this. Personally, I feel better about my exposure to this than the increased risk of tick bites without it. If you are like me, in the woods all spring and all fall, then you know how bad ticks are. This past turkey season makes 4 or 5 years in a row that I have made it through a season without a tick bite. The previous years all resulted in tick bites and sometime multiple tick bites, despite the use of OFF and similar products. 

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I think Whiskey was right in his percentages. Since he's starting with a 10% concentration, diluting it 20:1 with water would in fact yield a 0.5% concentration, no?

Okay, I think you're right. The wording confused me. 

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I can testify that Avon SSS kills Mosquitos. I was wondering if anyone uses Gold Bond Medicated Powder, especially as a chigger repellent. It seems to work for me. Hard to prove the effectiveness since I don't know for sure if I'm walking thru chiggers or not. But I'll keep using it, 'cause I really hate Chiggers. 

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