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  1. #1
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    Default Does Permethrin work?

    This stuff sounds good, but does it work. I'm talking about the permethrin that you apply to your own clothes. There is some on the market that is supposed to last 2 washings and 2 weeks and the same company has some (for about the same price) that is supposed to last 6 washings and 6 weeks.

    thanks.

  2. #2
    CDT Section Hiker
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    I think permathin used in BuzzOff clothing and other brand names, and sold to the public, is a bad thing: permathin kills bees instantly !

    I was on a horse, the owner had sprayed with a permathin product for horses.

    The horseflys would bite out a big bite. The horse would bleed.

    The fly might get woozy and drop over, finally.

    But a bee ..it seemed like a "whiff" of permathin knocked 'em right out of the air !

    Montana bees are used for crops all over the country.

    Practically everyone stopped using permathin here !

  3. #3
    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    It is good, in that it is effective and safe for humans. It is applied to clothing as enzymes in skin will degrade it quickly.

    Given that, how well does it serve to avoid bug bites? The US Army and others think it does, even though other skin may be exposed. I prefer DEET, but permathrine makes some sense as a weight saver - placing a resupply in a bounce box and retreating every month or two.

    Bill...

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    Don't know how well it works on bugs, but it makes me itch.
    Greg P.

  5. #5
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    I like to double down and use Permathin and Deet. Permathin is supposedly safer to use and I periodically will take my clothes and spray them down and then let them sit in a plastic bag over night. The manufacturer claims this will give you 100% coverage on all your clothes and it will last longer. Deet to me is alittle bit scarier and I only like to use it sparingly when I'm hiking in weeds or brush. So far I've experienced no real tick problems but maybe I've just been lucky.

  6. #6
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    Not familiar w/ Permethrin, very familiar w/ DEET. DEET works well for me, but as of late I have learned of it's degrading activity on waterproof/breatheable fabric and subsequently discontinued use. DEET on the skin will transfer to clothing and breakdown the waterproof coating. Some coatings, I should add, not all. This from fly fishing, Simms waders are not affected but Patagonia waders are. DEET also melts lacquer on guide wraps and vinyl on most anything. Like car seats. So I just decided to quit using it. Anything that will dissolve a car seat is not welcome as a skin care product. This season I have been using Natrapel Plus. Works OK. Not as foolproof as good old Cutters, but good enough. Seems safer for long term use because of natural ingredients. Definitely safer for my waders and rainwear. It is somewhat heavier, though and a little slow to dry. Has a citronella fragrance which reminds me of camping out as a kid. Treasure the memories, still don't much care for the smell.
    FC
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  7. #7
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    Permethrin works, but it is only made for clothing. It would work on the skin, but it won;t stick to human skin and only lasts a few minutes if applied that way. I imagine it worked on horses for the same reason that it works on cloth. DEET is not ment to poison insects, only to mask CO2. It doesn't work so well on clothing for the simple fact that clothing doesn't put out CO2 anyway, and the other fact that most clothing we use these days are synthetics and DEET breaks down the synthetics. The Army (and I think all the other services since we generally use the same supplier) are now starting to have just about all field uniforms and some field equipment come with an initial coating of Permethrin already on. General guidance for soldiers is to use DEET only on explosed skin and away from the eyes or mouth.
    SGT Rock
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  8. #8
    Registered User SargeAT's Avatar
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    Well the fact that it causes vinyl and synthetic materials to melt is no real cause for alarm. They decompose in a way in which our bodies can handle without any poisons being metabolized.
    Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep.

    -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  9. #9
    Registered User Toolshed's Avatar
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    Right on Sgt Rock.

    I spent 20+ years in the pest control industry. SOme history. Permethrin is the synthetic verison of Pyrethrin - It is in the Pyrethroids family.

    Pyrethrin is a natural insecticides derived from chrysanthemums (I think Africa a a mina supplier of the flowers).
    The flowers are dried and the oils are extracted. We used pyrethrins specifically for cockroach and flie controls, thought there are many other target species per label.

    Natural pyrethrins are contact poisons which quickly penetrate the
    nerve system of the insect - We used Pyrethrins as a flushing agent - It offers a quick knockdown - However, there is no residaul effect. We then followed up with applications of residual pesticides.

    Permethrin on the other hand offers goos residual action on inert surfaces (AS the Sgt said, not on skin). Keep in mind that Permethrin is an insecticide that kills on contact, whereas Deet only interrupts the mechanism that allows insects to detect and target CO2.
    Cheers
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  10. #10
    Registered User sloetoe's Avatar
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    Default Permithrin works wonders.

    Did a 6 week trip this summer, starting on the Canadian border ~July 4th. The skeeters were *smeared*, not swatted, and before your hand hit your other wrist, they were already hitting your elbow again. And drilling STRAIGHT THROUGH the DEET.

    In resolving some gear issues, I bought my kids some ExOfficio BUGOFF zip-off pants with the woven-in Permithrin.

    Worked wonders. In the next 4 weeks, there was no rash (no undies, either), and not a single insect, on the kids pants. Hundreds of miles, a healthy amount of rain (some every day for 3/4s of the time), and a couple of laundry washings -- and skeeters/black files right to the last day.

    $50.00 a pop for KIDS [!] zip-off pants. Money well spent.
    Sloetoe

  11. #11
    Administrator attroll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloetoe
    Did a 6 week trip this summer, starting on the Canadian border ~July 4th. The skeeters were *smeared*, not swatted, and before your hand hit your other wrist, they were already hitting your elbow again. And drilling STRAIGHT THROUGH the DEET.

    In resolving some gear issues, I bought my kids some ExOfficio BUGOFF zip-off pants with the woven-in Permithrin.

    Worked wonders. In the next 4 weeks, there was no rash (no undies, either), and not a single insect, on the kids pants. Hundreds of miles, a healthy amount of rain (some every day for 3/4s of the time), and a couple of laundry washings -- and skeeters/black files right to the last day.

    $50.00 a pop for KIDS [!] zip-off pants. Money well spent.
    Sloetoe
    Where would one look to find this product?
    AT Troll (2010)
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  12. #12
    Registered User gravityman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by attroll
    Where would one look to find this product?
    You can find a spray-on can of permithrin at most outdoor stores. We bought a can at EMS before we hit the long trail. It doesn't cover as much material as it claims. Also no so sure how much it really helped, but we were never bothered by the bugs the whole time (July 24th-August 12th).

    Gravity Man

  13. #13
    Yellow Jacket
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    Ortho also makes a concentrate 2.5% permithrin to kill ants(?). Just add 1.5 parts water to 1 part Ortho and you'll end up with a 0.75% solution (if I did my math right). The spray on stuff is 0.8%.

    I've heard that some folks mix up a batch in a resealable bucket (old detergent?, 5 gallon bucket, etc.), dunk their clothing, tent, pack, etc. in the solution. Wring out the item and let it dry. Seal up the bucket and saving for later.

    The ExOfficio stuff is just pre-treated. I don't think the end results would be different if you treated your existing gear or bought new ExOfficio stuff.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  14. #14
    Registered User gravityman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlbj6142
    Ortho also makes a concentrate 2.5% permithrin to kill ants(?). Just add 1.5 parts water to 1 part Ortho and you'll end up with a 0.75% solution (if I did my math right). The spray on stuff is 0.8%.

    I've heard that some folks mix up a batch in a resealable bucket (old detergent?, 5 gallon bucket, etc.), dunk their clothing, tent, pack, etc. in the solution. Wring out the item and let it dry. Seal up the bucket and saving for later.

    The ExOfficio stuff is just pre-treated. I don't think the end results would be different if you treated your existing gear or bought new ExOfficio stuff.
    I've always wondered about this. I assume that the spray on stuff is chemically altered to bind with the clothing, and the ortho stuff isn't. But I might be giving the manufacturer too much credit. It only there was a good way to test it...

    Gravity Man

  15. #15
    Registered User Toolshed's Avatar
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    TLBJ
    You are speaking of a water soluble product, that, if it does not include an emulsifier is probably a wettable powder which will not be absorbed by clothing, but sit on the fibers and end up falling (or being brushed off) or else wash off with sweat or rain.

    If it includes an emulsifier, (a surfactant which reduces surface tension of water and allows the oil based concentrate to dilute in water) then you will be OK. The way to tell is to look at the label - It will likely say Permithrin WP (wettable powder) or Permithrin EC (emulsifiable concentrate)

    I think if anything, the EC would work much better once it is absorbed into the fibers and dries.
    .....Someday, like many others who joined WB in the early years, I may dry up and dissapear....

  16. #16
    Yellow Jacket
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    Well there you go. The bug guy set us straight. Looks like the ortho trick might not work so well. YMMV.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

  17. #17
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    Default bees are important

    I was going thru old threads and I ran across this one.

    I hope people realize bees are important, by now.

    Why use Permethin, affecting the nervous system, when Permethin kills bees? I believe there are other environmental factors, but Permethin is "instant". Montana bees are shipped all over the united states, and elsewhere, to pollinate crops.

    There is something else, repelling mosquitos, even more effective.

    I was at a solar store in Ukiah, California. I saw a "keyshain" mosquito repellant device. I was told the device emits the sound made by a dragonfly. I wore this device at a "retreat" at North Lake Tahoe, on a ridge above Carnelian Bay. There were hords of mosquitos.

    Everyone was bit, except me and people standing near me. Everyone noticed. I was asked, "Why do the mosquitos not bite you? Why do the mosquitos stay away from you"?

    I said, "I was told this device emits the sound made by a dragonfly".

    I guess, dragonflys eat mosquitos. But so do bats.

    Anyway, so have a "keychain" device that emits the sound.

  18. #18
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    I’m sold on it

    I have been using it for a few years, it’s great stuff and will give you protection that is 100% on your clothes. Add some DEET for exposed skin and bugs won’t bite you at all.

    Fly’s still zoomed around me when I was up in Bug-central (Michigan’s UP in July) but no bites from them or mosquitoes.

    Who cares if Permethrin kills bees? I don’t plan on spraying any bees with it so it’s a non issue as bees don’t try to suck my blood or bite me. They leave me alone, and I leave them alone.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob S View Post
    Iím sold on it

    I have been using it for a few years, itís great stuff and will give you protection that is 100% on your clothes. Add some DEET for exposed skin and bugs wonít bite you at all.

    Flyís still zoomed around me when I was up in Bug-central (Michiganís UP in July) but no bites from them or mosquitoes.

    Who cares if Permethrin kills bees? I donít plan on spraying any bees with it so itís a non issue as bees donít try to suck my blood or bite me. They leave me alone, and I leave them alone.
    Well, you should care about the bees Bob, cause they serve to keep us all alive and fed basically(remember pollination?). Don't use permethrin indiscriminantly around the house, and mainly don't spray it near anything that blooms to protect the bees. But by all means use it on your outdoor clothing because it works as advertised.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by take-a-knee View Post
    Well, you should care about the bees Bob, cause they serve to keep us all alive and fed basically(remember pollination?). Don't use permethrin indiscriminantly around the house, and mainly don't spray it near anything that blooms to protect the bees. But by all means use it on your outdoor clothing because it works as advertised.
    My point was not about it killing bees, it was about having it on your clothes and that bees donít attack me when Iím out camping like mosquitoes & flyís do, so again itís a non-issue as it relates to how you apply it to your clothing.

    How does my spraying it on my clothes have an effect on bees? It doesnít

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