View topic - Effectiveness of Store-Bought Permethrin Treated Shirts

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PostPosted: May 26th, 2016, 10:01 pm 
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Consumer Reports has just released the results of a study it did on the effectiveness of LL Bean and Ex Officio shirts with included permethrin treatment that has a claimed effectiveness over several washings.

http://www.consumerreports.org/insect-r ... ito-bites/

The article has lots of useful information about the insecticide and its effectiveness. As for the pretreated shirts, The LL Bean shirt's test results were pretty good while the Ex Officio shirt's effectiveness was nowhere near as impressive.

Rather than buying the shirt already treated with permethrin, you can treat your favourite paddling shirt and pants yourself. It was concern about ticks and Lyme disease that initially got me to consider permethrin.

For the past five years my canoe tripping clothing - the two pairs of long pants and the two long-sleeved shirts and my Tilley hat - has been getting a permethrin treatment applied before each trip. I initially used the garden grade permethrin (.25%) but for the past couple of years have used the Sawyer spray (.5%) meant specifically for clothing -

https://sawyer.com/products/permethrin- ... repellent/

Along with a bit of 30% strength Deet on exposed skin and one edges of the shirt - the collar, the sleeves - and on my hat and ankles and most trips pass by without a single bite.

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PostPosted: May 27th, 2016, 7:55 am 
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I ordered the Coleman version of this product last week off amazon.
https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B003AM ... UTF8&psc=1

do you wash your clothing after you apply the permethrin?

edit: what are your thoughts Picaridin?


Last edited by Rawcardo on May 27th, 2016, 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: May 27th, 2016, 8:16 am 
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I have a pair of Rail Riders pants with Permethrin. They're effective. I'll take them as my spare pants on spring/fall trips and won't wash them afterward. Summer they're my primary pair.

I wonder what the effectiveness of the spray would be on many of my shirts. So many outdoor shirts are treated with water repellent. I have concern that it could prevent the spray from penetrating.


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PostPosted: May 27th, 2016, 8:24 am 
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Neil Fitzpatrick wrote:
I wonder what the effectiveness of the spray would be on many of my shirts. So many outdoor shirts are treated with water repellent. I have concern that it could prevent the spray from penetrating.


any chance it might damage water repellent treatments on clothing?


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PostPosted: May 27th, 2016, 9:55 am 
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I've only treated shirts and pants and bandana.. that is till I realized that I would have to treat my whole wardrobe. I have as many ticks and blackflies and skeeters at home as I do on any canoe trip. I am guessing most of you live in cities with no insect pals.

Don't put the stuff on your rain gear. It does wash off.


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PostPosted: May 27th, 2016, 10:46 am 
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I reapply the permethrin treatment before each trip in the back yard and let the clothing dry. During the canoe trip - typically 10 to 15 days - the shirt or pants may get washed once or twice. According to the Sawyer label it is supposed to be good for 6 weeks or 6 washings but I've never pushed it that far.

No reason to treat rain gear with it! In fact, rain gear (untreated!) is the ultimate defence! In the evenings if the mosquitos are out in full force and we absolutely need or want to be outside the tent we'll slip on the rain pants and the jacket and apply some deet to the exposed areas and be okay.

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PostPosted: May 27th, 2016, 1:24 pm 
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Rawcardo wrote:
any chance it might damage water repellent treatments on clothing?


One could only hope...

I have a raincoat for water repellency. I mostly buy shirts on clearance and water shedding/beading coatings are very common. They must be a good selling point. I don't like them and find water repellent shirts less breathable.


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PostPosted: May 28th, 2016, 1:04 pm 
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In Canada, I have not been able to find for sale any permethrin spray-on product. I don't think these products are "approved" in Canada for human use (although I stand to be corrected on that). However permethrin products are sold retail for pets and livestock use.

For us Canucks, it seems for now we will need to buy concentrated permethrin livestock solution and dilute it, to then pump spray onto clothing or soak in a container.

I phoned a couple of farm supply business around here. One said they don't sell it, and another said they sell products for horses with a mix of other ingredients including pyrethrin, which I do not want.

An Amazon.ca search yielded several brands of 10% permethrin livestock products available in Canada (not approved for human use). It should be straight forward to dilute to 0.5% which seems to be the safe concentration for treating clothing. I think I will order some, because the wood tick situation around here is getting worse and worse. And we now have deer ticks and Lyme disease confirmed around here.

WARNING: For those unaware, do NOT apply permethrin to your skin! Read the MSDS sheet available online before messing around with diluting concentrated bottles of this stuff. It can hurt you if you do not follow precautions. For humans, the internet chatter suggests its only for application onto clothing at diluted concentrations, and it needs to dry to stabilize and be supposedly "safe" for your use. I put "safe" in quotes because Canada apparently does not think its safe enough for humans to use in liquid form, so buyer beware and you are responsible for you. Everything I wrote above could be dead wrong (disclaimer to the max). In the USA its approved and for sale in products like Sawyer's, and that's good enough for me to make my decision. When wet, its toxic to cats, so don't let your cat near the drying clothing.

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PostPosted: May 28th, 2016, 3:29 pm 
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HOOP, its available on amazon.ca. I'm surprised you didn't see it, first item on the list when I type in "permethrin"

https://www.amazon.ca/Coleman-Gear-Clot ... permethrin

delivery is 1-2 weeks. I'm still waiting.


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PostPosted: May 28th, 2016, 4:49 pm 
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Rawcardo wrote:
HOOP, its available on amazon.ca. I'm surprised you didn't see it, first item on the list when I type in "permethrin"

https://www.amazon.ca/Coleman-Gear-Clot ... permethrin

delivery is 1-2 weeks. I'm still waiting.



That seller ships from the USA.

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PostPosted: May 28th, 2016, 7:13 pm 
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recped wrote:
That seller ships from the USA.


This is true, but if it's being shipped to my door step. Then it's "Available" in Canada... :wink:

I think its better to order it from the US then to experiments with diluting it in your backyard.
Just making sure HOOP knows that we have other options as Canadians.


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PostPosted: May 29th, 2016, 2:41 pm 
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Rawcardo wrote:
recped wrote:
That seller ships from the USA.

This is true, but if it's being shipped to my door step. Then it's "Available" in Canada... :wink:
I think its better to order it from the US then to experiments with diluting it in your backyard.
Just making sure HOOP knows that we have other options as Canadians.


Thanks Rawcardo. I like to do experiments. I ordered from Amazon.ca too and I saw the options and did some math.

I looked at cost and permethrin package volume, and considered the surface area I would be able to treat for the dollar.

Your Coleman spray lists as 6 oz. with only 0.5% of that as permethrin. Most of that can is petroleum distillate propellant, and solvent (water?). I would be interested in how much clothing that will treat. Amazon.ca listed the price with shipping as $20.64 before tax.

Yesterday on Amazon.ca I ordered a 1 pint jug (16 oz) of the Martins 10% permethrin product, shipped from within Canada from a Canadian store. https://www.amazon.ca/Other-BC825669-Permethrin-10%25-Pint/dp/B002TMB4DE/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1464550429&sr=8-3&keywords=permethrin

Cost with shipping was $31.73 before tax, which is 1.5 times more than you paid. To dilute the 10% product to 0.5% for pump spraying on my clothing, I will add 19 parts water to 1 part solution. Therefore I get the equivalent of about 20 times the jug volume for spray, or effectively 320 oz of permethrin clothing spray. I will have plenty for touch ups and will not have to worry about washing it out.

Before tax, your 6 oz for $20.64. My 320 oz for $31.73. :wink:

Of course if it turns out I do not like like the stuff, I am stuck with alot of permethrin! Based on reviews of how effective it is on ticks, I think I will like it.
(Note: prices continually change on Amazon. The the prices listed above were from 1 day ago).

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PostPosted: May 29th, 2016, 3:11 pm 
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I bought the Martins last year and diluted. I'm still using the same pail as last year, so it should last me three years.

http://myselfreliance.com/home-applying ... revention/

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PostPosted: May 29th, 2016, 4:42 pm 
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@hoop, curious if you are planning on pump spraying your diluted solution or soaking.


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PostPosted: May 29th, 2016, 4:58 pm 
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Hoop, you've got enough permethrin to last you for the rest of your paddling days!

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