View Full Version : Permethrin

11-30-2014, 07:24
In the past i have treated my clothing with an aresol based permethrin brand and have had good results with frequent/monthly reaplication. While shopping for the holidays i came accross quart/gallon sized bottles of permethrin on amazon. I was wondering if anyone has used this concetrated form to soak their clothes or pack. I would be interested in soaking my pack but hesitant on my clothing as it is a poison and would frequently rub against skin. Does anyone soak their clothing or pack in this manner?

11-30-2014, 07:35
The military soaks gear with it. Many folks do the same. it last a lot longer. Poison is a relatively term. No issues I am aware of with human contact as it break down when in contact with skin.

11-30-2014, 07:50
Bonide chemical makes much smaller 8 ounce bottles, their website can tell you where to find it in your area. Usually a lawn and garden center.

It is 100% I believe. So I dilute it to the percentage of the product usually sold commercially, .5% .

Figure it must be safe at that percentage.

Are the 99.5 percent inert ingredients some type of binder? Can't tell you.

From reading the warning labels on a Sawyer's container, I would not recommend 100% concentrations, there is an odor to the product.

Recommend you go to a poison control website and do further reseach.

11-30-2014, 08:32
We buy the Hi-Yield (brand name) Lawn, Garden, Pet & Livestock Insect Control 16 fluid ounces bottle from Ace Hardware. It has 10% permethrin. We then mix 1 part of it with 3-4 parts water and spray (NOT SOAK) on the OUTSIDE of our pants and shirts. We also spray our packs. We've been happy with the results.

Odd Man Out
11-30-2014, 11:12
I have used the spray product but have seen the concentrate available in the farm stores. May try it next time. Our local farmer's co-op grain elevator has it in the section for horse care. It is used to spray on horses (and other livestock) and their stalls.

11-30-2014, 13:08
I used the Sawyer yellow bottle kind this summer on my gear for our Boundary Waters canoe trip. Either it worked or we were just lucky. I remember swarms of mosquitos buzzing on the outside of my hammock bug net when I went to bed, but they would not land on it. After 10 minutes of buzzing around they would leave. When I woke up later to use the bathroom, there weren't any around.

11-30-2014, 13:44
I'm thinking of diluting to the standard dilution. Soaking my clothes in a 5 gal bucket. Soak 1-2 items at a time to save volume of solution needed, How long soaking? hang them outside to dry. Save the solution in a spray bottle for the tent, ground sheet, rain gear, pack. Not the food bag. I've heard that permitherin is harmless to people once it has dried.
Is permithrin affected by UV waves?

11-30-2014, 15:14
You need to avoid the type with petroleum distillates or you'll ruin synthetic clothing. It's often not listed.

I've used the Martin's brand that they sell on Amazon. it's a 10% solution. I know there are higher concentrations but I don't have experience with them so I can't comment on their appropriateness.

11-30-2014, 16:34
Well, of course it's OK. If a little at .5% is good a greater concentration is better, right? :-?:rolleyes:

Same thing happens with DEET applications. Landscape chemicals - fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides,....................................... ...........

12-01-2014, 02:42
Look, when it comes to chemicals like this, there's little sense in purchasing extra water, or paying extra for a 10 cent spray bottle.

We all have taps at our homes that we can use to dilute down whatever we purchase to whatever concentration we'd like for application As long as it doesn't have petroleum distillates (ever feel like the most important parts of a forum posts are ignored for the most insipid parts?)

12-01-2014, 07:15
Mixing my own has never affected me. Mixing my own has never affected me. Mixing my own has never affected me. Mixing my own has never affected me. Mixing my own has never affected me.
I'll be here all week folks. Mixed drinks available from the bar and don't forget to tip your waitresses.

Seriously, Tractor Supply Store sells the concentrated stuff (for horses I believe). They were out of stock when I went there so I ordered it from Amazon.com. I make a 1 percent solution to spray my gear and hiking clothes. Works for me. Much less expensive too.

12-01-2014, 08:06

I left a bottle of Permethrin in the garage last week and the temps hit as low as 19 degrees...think it's still good?

12-01-2014, 09:26
I found a couple of articles that infdicate it is temperature stable over a pretty wide range.



12-01-2014, 12:01
One major warning, Pemetherin is toxic to cats


I have seen many articles that exposure to products like clothing that have been treated with it is not toxic to the cat but spraying the cat with it or allowing the cat to be in the area while it is being applied is definitely bad for the cat.

12-01-2014, 12:40
Permetherin is the standard agent used to treat head lice in children. It comes in two strengths, 1% and 5%. The 5% (prescription only) solution is left in contact with a child's scalp for 8 to 14 hours.

Permetherin is poorly absorbed through the skin. To treat scabies, permetherin cream (5%) is applied from head to toe including the bottoms of the feet and then removed 14 hours later. Treatment is restricted to persons over 2 months of age.

Soaking clothing in .5% permetherin solution for a couple of hours provides much better lasting protection than does a spray application. Either application provides good protection against ticks and mosquitoes.

If application of 5% cream from heat to toe on a 3 month child for 14 hours is considered safe, application of .5% solution to clothing for 3 hours followed by a rinse and hand wash with soap has to be safe for adults.

Gallon size Zip Lock bags work well to treat single items of clothing.

12-01-2014, 17:22
I found a couple of articles that infdicate it is temperature stable over a pretty wide range.


http://www.wefco-africa.co.za/userfiles/All%20Labels/Permethrin.pdf Mucho goostow, thanks Perry, I've lost more than one can of paint, and tube of chaulk to not bringing it in sooner before old man winter kicks our butts.

12-02-2014, 06:47
Paints and caulks are a little different than permethrin. Permethrin that one buys is basically permethrin and water. Some brands may contain aromatic hydrocarbons; check the label. If it freezes the permethrin may crystalize out but upon thawing it should go back into solution. Paints and caulks have pigments, binders, oils, etc that can come out of solution. Sometimes they can be adequately re-mixed, sometimes not.

Here is the MSDS of the stuff I am using: http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/msds/Permethrin%2010-MSDS.pdf

12-02-2014, 07:19
Great information and ideas here. I need to go to tractor supply anyhow and will see what the got. Thanks for the heads up on petrolium distillates.

Rain Man
12-02-2014, 11:15
Where I buy mine-- http://www.bugspray.com/ I dilute to one-half of one percent and soak in a 5-gallon bucket for at least two hours. I definitely use long, thick rubber gloves to keep the stuff off my skin. I use the excess to spray my pack.

Video from the horse's mouth -- http://vimeo.com/39012753

I avoid the stuff with petroleum smell and use the stuff sold for in-home use. It will kill cats and fish while in liquid form!

Rain Man


12-02-2014, 13:33
I use the Sawyer yellow spray bottle and have not had bug issues hiking the past 2 years. Not one tick, and I don't wear long pants when it's hot. It seems to work great, or like another poster, I am just that lucky. It's cheaper at Wamart and they have a bigger bottle than other places. I would like to start soaking though and plan to research that for 2015 so I don't have to retreat during the year.

Also, I did learn recently that permethrin can be used to treat DOG beds (I would not use it for cat stuff). My dogs brought fleas home from the kennel recently and I treated their new beds which will hopefully help prevent an ongoing issue. The article I got this from was a University extension office so I am confident it is accurate info (safe for the dogs, people do this...).

I am often surprised by finding how my backpacking stuff has many uses in my "real" life, too!