It’s been a very hot topic lately, and I for one am willing to try darn near anything once. So In preparation for my upcoming trips out to the Manitou Islands I decided this past Saturday; with the sun shining the way it was that I would do a big Permethrin clothing soak. As some of you are probably aware, I have been using Permethrin pre-treated clothing for a couple of years, and I have nothing but good things to say about these products.
If you are not already aware of it, Permethrin is the number one recommended repellent for ticks by many experts, but it’s also very effective for other insects as well. Not to mention that some experts are saying that Permethrin is much safer than using any repellant formulation with any percentage of DEET.
I’ve recently decided to try some of the DIY Permethrin clothing soak products that are on the market to supplement the number of treated garments that I have. So I’m strictly using these products on my outdoors clothing that is not pre-treated. It’s a pretty simple process to do this Permethrin soak. My mix called for 5 gallons of water, so I used a good size plastic tote for my soak container. I also laid out some black plastic sheeting in the direct sunlight in my back yard. My instructions called for fully saturating the clothing in the solution then removing them briefly allowing them to drip excess solution back into the container. I then immediately laid the garment out onto this black plastic sheeting to dry. The majority of my clothing is nylon based material so when I came back to check things in 20 minutes or so they were nearly dry. I flipped everything over once and everything was completely dry within an hour.
Ok, so now for the good stuff … my test of the product today. I have a large swamp about 500 yards behind my house that I’m most certain contains state record mosquitoes that are so thick you have to be careful when taking a deep breath. Seriously though, I rarely run into mosquitoes as bad as they are here any of the other places that I go. I suited up in treated shirt, pants, and hat, and then headed right out into the swamp. I used absolutely no mosquitoes repellent on at all, and my exposed skin was only around my face, neck, and hands. I walked right into the thickest part swamp and just stood there with my arms wide-spread. There where mosquitoes everywhere, they were literally swarming around me yet not landing on me at all. After several minutes of standing like this I finally did end up swatting one off my ear. I had my camera along and some mushrooms caught my eye so I lost my interest in the mosquitoes for a moment and took a few pictures. As I was heading out of the swamp I felt a mosquito biting me on the back of the hand so I gave that one a quick swat as well, but to my knowledge nothing landed on the clothing. The formulation that I used is suppose to last 8 to 10 washes which should get me through the better part of the summer.
I suppose the conclusion of my very non-scientific test is that Permethrin treated clothing really is a very effective repellent for mosquitoes as well as ticks. I was wearing nylon shirt and pants that mosquitoes hand bitten right through in the past, and with the Permethrin treatment they didn’t appear to have an interest in even landing on the garment. My current stance is to use Permethrin based products, and only use DEET on exposed skin if absolutely necessary. And once again, I’m going to call this great stuff! ~Mark~