It’s the worst year for ticks I have ever seen. Treat your clothes with Permethrin

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There are three specific dosages used to impregnate fabric with permethrin.

For protection up to one year (52 weeks): 0.125-mg permethrin per square centimeter of fabric. The protection will last for the life of the garment, 50 detergent launderings, or 1 year, whichever comes first. It is accomplished by applying a dosage of 1 pint of .8% mixture to a garment using Perma-kill 13.3% permethrin Solution by way of Controlled Wicking, Spraying or Soaking (see below).

For protection up to 6 weeks: 0.026 mg per square centimeter of fabric will yield 6 weeks of protection or 6 launderings and is accomplished by applying 2-1/2 ounces of .5% (1/2%) mixture to a garment by aerosol spray or non-aerosol spray.

For protection up to 2 weeks: 0.008 mg per square centimeter of fabric will yield 2 weeks of protection or 2 launderings and is accomplished by applying 1-1/2 ounces .5% (1/2%) mixture to a garment by aerosol spray or non-aerosol spray.

TOTAL FABRIC IMPREGNATION W/ PERMAKILL 13.3% SOLUTION ( 52 weeks ) Best suited for fabrics of cotton and cotton blend. May darken light colors or pastels due to the quantity of permethrin applied with this dosage. Clothing to be treated must be washable and suitable for exposure to water. Dry Clean Only products should not be treated. Do not treat underwear. Controlled Wicking – This follows the military procedure for personal application when spray application is not possible. The process is a controlled wicking process where a specific amount (dose) of permethrin is introduced to an individual garment under controlled conditions. You will need: a – pint measuring cup b – 1 ounce measurer c – several 2 gallon sealable plastic bags (e.g. Ziplock ™) d – a bottle of 13.3% permethrin Solution e – water f – clothing (Do not treat any under garments; treat outer garments only.) g – several large rubber bands h – rubber gloves

Instructions: Wear rubber gloves when handling wet solution. Add 1 ounce of Perma-kill 13.3% permethrin to measuring cup and top off with 15 ounces of clean water to make 1 pint. Roll garment to be treated tightly to a size that will fit into bag and secure roll with rubber bands. Place garment into the bag, add the mixed (1 pint) of permethrin solution and seal the bag while removing excess air. Put bag aside for 2 hours minimum to allow thorough wicking. Remove garment, unroll the garment to ensure entire garment is damp without dry spots, air dry, mark with treatment date (month/year) and store. If wicking is not complete, roll garment and return to bag.

Note: Proper mixing of the permethrin with water by way of agitation/shaking is critical. Improperly mixed solution will leave a blotchy appearance on fabric caused by the permethrin and water not being thoroughly blended and/or separation during the wicking process. Make certain that you mix the solution completely before adding to the bag containing the garment to be treated.

This method has been tested and delivers protection within the following guideline – Properly completed, this procedure will impregnate the garment with a dosage of approximately 0.125-mg permethrin per square centimeter. The protection will last for the life of the garment, 50 detergent launderings, or 1 year, whichever comes first.

Note: Measuring cups (a) & (b) and sealable plastic bags (c), must be dedicated only to this process and not used for ANY other purpose.

Spraying – Wear rubber gloves when handling wet solution. A respirator is recommended. For treatment of a single garment add 1 ounce of Perma-kill 13.3% permethrin to measuring cup and top off with 15 ounces of clean water to make 1 pint of mixed solution in an appropriate pump up garden sprayer, or trigger spray. Lay clothing out and spray until wet using one half the mixture, flip over and spray until entire contents of container are applied, hang and let air dry.

For treatment of 8 garments mix 8 ounces of Perma-kill 13.3% permethrin with 120 ounces of water to make 1 gallon of mixed solution in an appropriate pump up garden sprayer. Lay clothing out and spray until wet, flip over and spray until wet, hang and let air dry. One gallon of mixed solution will treat eight garments (@ 1 pint per garment) with the proper dosage of permethrin. See section on garments for proper definition of garment.

Note: Proper mixing of the permethrin with water by way of agitation/shaking is critical. Improperly mixed solution will leave a blotchy appearance on fabric caused by the permethrin and water not being thoroughly blended. Make certain that you mix the solution completely before application and occasionally during application.

Submersion – Wear rubber gloves when handling wet solution. Follow all instructions for Controlled Wicking. Limit garment or equivalent (see section on garments for proper definition of garment) to 1-pint of mixed solution. Substitute pail or other dedicated container for sealable plastic bags. Note: Proper mixing of the permethrin with water by way of agitation/shaking or stirring is critical. Improperly mixed solution will leave a blotchy appearance on fabric caused by the permethrin and water not being thoroughly blended. Make certain that you mix the solution completely before submersing garment.

Storage – The ideal storage is to pack into plastic bag after it’s completely dry (black garbage bags are perfect) and store in a dark place when not in use.

Garments – A garment consists of one pair of long pants (or an alternate of two pairs of short pants) or one long sleeve shirt (or an alternate of two T-shirts). Garments to be treated must be treated individually except when treating an alternate. When treating an alternate both items (e.g.: two pair of shorts or two T-shirts) must be treated at the same time. An alternate pair must be made of like material to ensure accurate wicking of the full dosage. Example – do not combine cotton blend with a nylon garment.

PARTIAL FABRIC IMPREGNATION W/ .5% (1/2%) permethrin ( 2 or 6 weeks ) Other permethrin Dosages – There are two other dosages that have been tested for clothing treatment. Both rely on a .5% (1/2%) solution, which is available in pre-mixed 6-ounce containers (either aerosol or non-aerosol).

0.026 mg per square centimeter of fabric will yield 6 weeks of protection or 6 launderings and is accomplished by applying by 2 1/2 ounces to a garment by aerosol spray or non-aerosol spray. Retreat garments after 6 weeks or sixth laundering.

0.008 mg per square centimeter of fabric will yield 2 weeks of protection or 2 launderings and is accomplished by applying by 1 1/2 ounces to a garment by aerosol spray or non-aerosol spray. Retreat garments after 2 weeks or second laundering.

Note: For trips of short duration (6 weeks or less) the use of Duranon Tick & Mosquito Repellent at the proper dosage is far more convenient than total fabric impregnation.

There are many recipes for use of this product while only three have been tested. Only rely on tested methods for best protection. One frequently mentioned method is WRONG, here it is – Add the concentrate to the final rinse cycle while washing your clothing. DO NOT DO THIS! First you will over dilute the product thereby reducing its strength and effectiveness significantly. Secondly, you will be flushing the excess product into the environment through sewers or septic systems. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions as the basis for use. This combination of permethrin treated clothing and a topical deet based repellent on exposed skin is known as the DOD system (Department Of Defense) and is recognized to perform at nearly 100% effectiveness. The deet repellent can be any repellent of less than 35% deet concentration. Keep in mind that no protection system will be 100% effective and that you must use other means to supplement the repellent.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Shawn,

    Thanks for this. Deer ticks and Lyme disease are no joke. We are doing a big trip this summer to deer tick/Lyme disease areas and I may use this info.

    • I never seen anything like it this year. Even the other bugs are overwhelming when I’m outside more than 5 minutes.

  2. This post is very much appreciated.
    I’m in Sonoma County CA and this has been an extremely bad drought year with mild winter temps.
    Right now winds are gusting to 45 MPH, it’s bone dry and the temperature on my shady deck is 88 degrees.
    Lyme Disease is endemic here and some poor grad student did a census of Ticks on our local deer a few years ago, the average was 1,500.
    And yes, more ticks here this year and a LOT more ticks in lovely Marin County which has one of the largest and diverse tick populations of anywhere in the World.

  3. Lyme Disease is no joke but the neighbor lady got the virus that causes allergy to red meat from tick bite. Nothing mammal, no milk, no beef, no pork. Chicken or fish only. Just shoot me now.

    • So Shawn, your’re in Kentucky if I recall right, and Tom’s over in California. Does this mean there’s ticks blanketing the country from east to west, or is it related to regional deer populations, or something else? I’ve spent a lot time in the Texas Panhandle, Arizona down near Sierra Vista, and also around San Diego, and nobody ever mentioned ticks to me

      We have regional areas with ticks here in Australia…my partner got one a few months ago on a trip to the beach, but nobody is drenching their clothes with bug juice yet.

      • I really don’t know what is going on. I can say everyone in the south is complaining about it and I can’t be outside 5 minutes without a cloud of gnats and mosquitos buzzing around my face and that is not common until August and even then only under the timber on a humid day when sweating heavily. I think I have already went through two bottles of 98 percent DEET I have never in my life seen such a huge amount of insect pests

      • I grew up in the 80s and 90s in New England, and wood ticks were endemic. They are about big enough to fit on a pencil eraser, so not too hard to find on your body. They also didn’t spread any disease to speak of. Aside from being bloodsucking parasites they were harmless.

        By about Y2K the deer ticks had completely displaced the wood ticks. The deer ticks are much, much smaller (and therefore hard to find on your body) and carry Lyme disease pretty seriously. There is a lot of controversy about the actual impact of Lyme disease. It seems pretty clear that if you catch it early and hit it with an antibiotic, there’s minimal harm or trouble. But there are many reports that if the Lyme festers for a while, even an antibiotic isn’t going to cure you all the way, though I think the medical establishment pooh-poohs that.

        Anecdata abounds, including a distant relative of mine who at about age 50 has retrained from his lucrative career as a highly technical consultant to a profession requiring a much lower level of cognition. He reports that he Lyme has caused him to lose a step mentally.

        Anyway, from more-or-less Lyme Connecticut, the deer ticks and the city’s eponymous disease have been spreading throughout the US slowly, spreading the fun around. The desert southwest is still considered to be Lyme-free, but I’m unclear how much longer that can go on. There are plenty of deer in the southwest.

        I have read rumors that Lyme disease was a biowarfare agent that got loose from a lab. I haven’t looked into it at all, but with the Senate on the brink of confirming Crispy Kids Chipman to ATF überkommandant, it gets harder and harder to dismiss theories like that out of hand.

      • I think it’s related to moisture or grass/flora amounts. I’m in socal and ticks exist here but are pretty rare. Rare enough most people wouldn’t know what they are. Even up in the mountains they’re not too bad. I think due to how dry it is out here and the lack of undergrowth in most places.

  4. How have I never heard of this meat allergy disease?! I looked this thing up. It’s most prevalent in the Southeast…crap. It’s called Alpha-gal syndrome. With a name like that you’d think it transmitted lesbianism.

  5. As a data point, I’ll just say that this year has been (knocking on wood…) very much a low-tick year. Last year, I think I pulled fifteen-twenty ticks off the dogs before June. This year? One.

    I suspect that there’s something akin to a cicada-like life cycle to the damn things, or the weirdly cool spring has discouraged the little bastards.

    Also, do take caution with the Permethrin–It does work, but there is also a hell of a lot of anecdotal connection between the guys I know who came down with the various symptoms of Gulf War syndrome and whether or not their units were able to get and use the Permethrin-treated uniforms. Those that did, and lived in them 24/7 for weeks on end? They were the ones reporting a lot of the symptoms. The guys who “lost out”, and never got those uniforms? Very few of them remembered ever having even seen the treated uniforms.

    Anything that kills bugs is something to treat with caution, including what you dose your pets with. One of the women I know who used those flea and tick killing injections and tablets on her dogs started coming down with some of the same symptoms that killed her dogs, and just from having had contact with them and having picked up their feces from the yard. Exercise caution and educate yourself about the crap these idiots market–With some of those “medications”, what you’re basically doing is low-dosing your dogs and cats with nerve agent in order to kill the bugs, and then hoping that they’re able to cope with that and survive. It’s kinda like burning down the house to get rid of a spider…

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