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  1. #1
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    Default Darn Tough Socks with Permethrin?

    In my experience ticks love to climb aboard on your lower leg and then work their way up to some moist out-of-the-way spot. Socks and/or gaiters treated with Permethrin are a good first defense. Darn Tough doesn't offer treated socks, but I notice that LL Bean does. (Of course you can treat them yourself or send them away for treatment.) I asked DT Customer Service about this and was told that they think the chemically treated wool degrades faster than untreated. I replied that I think a lot of folks would prefer to buy a new pair a little sooner if it reduced the risk of contracting one of several ugly tick-borne illnesses. What do you think? Would you be inclined to buy factory treated DT socks, even if maybe they didn't bear the lifetime guarantee?
    "It goes to show you never can tell." - Charles Edward Anderson Berry

  2. #2

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    I just treat my socks the same time as I treat my shirts, pants, and pack.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
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  3. #3

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    If I was selling socks guaranteed to not wear out, I would not treat them either, assuming the treatment in fact shortens sock life.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  4. #4
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    I asked DT Customer Service about this and was told that they think the chemically treated wool degrades faster than untreated.

    First I've heard of this. Hmm?

    I've heard stated repeatedly permethrin will not damage fabrics or fibers.

  5. #5

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    They probably do not want the liability of selling clothing treated with poison.

  6. #6

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    Not that I don't trust treated clothing from the manufacturer, I'd rather do it myself.
    "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change". Charles Darwin

  7. #7
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    Default

    treat your head gear to!! (hat, buff)

    that's key to keeping bugs away from you face, it's like a shield, I can't believe how good that stuff works.

    is it bad to spray clothing straight with the 10% stuff if you let it dry completely before wearing? (the ready to spray stuff is 0.5%)
    NoDoz
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th

    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  8. #8
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    Default

    BTW, we cannot legally buy even .5% permethrin here in Canada without an agricultural pesticide licence (or a more advanced pesticide licence).

    So short of getting permethrin sent across the border (which is possible), I have not got a ready source of permethrin. Until a recent discovery

    At a garden centre, I found .25% permethrin spray for use as a crack spray, i.e., for spraying along foundations, where it works by being a dried residual pesticide. In fact there are quite a few major brands available, both as pump sprays or as compressed sprays.

    I bought one brand of pump spray, and tried it on various surfaces, including stone, wood, and clean old shoes and socks. I did what I have done in the past using the .5% Sawyer spray. There was no residual oiliness, and no unusual odour.

    So I now use that readily available .25% permethrin spray to treat my socks and shoes and hat (in addition to the Insect-Shield-treated pants and shirts we can now legally buy here in Canada). Every 2-3 weeks, I refresh the dosage on my shoes and socks.

    Phew!

  9. #9

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    I've been using permethrin on my DT socks for at least two years with no noticeable degradation of performance.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I asked DT Customer Service about this and was told that they think the chemically treated wool degrades faster than untreated.

    First I've heard of this. Hmm?

    I've heard stated repeatedly permethrin will not damage fabrics or fibers.
    In context to you spray on permethrin or insect shield? I think insect shield has disclaimers on their website stating that their process can shrink clothes. So maybe it can damage wool?

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  11. #11
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    I always have treated my DT socks with permethrin, for obvious reasons. All I know, not being able to compare with untreated ones, is that two pair of treated DT socks will last an entire AT hike, and they are still usable after.

    I personally don't see a chemical mechanism where permethrin will shorten a wool socks life, at least not significantly enough to worry about. I also agree that self-treating is probably preferable to factory treating, which would have to be refreshed anyway, meaning you'll be self-treating later anyway. So easy to do. Trivial, in fact. Spray, let dry, wash hands, done.

  12. #12

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    Apparently there will never be an end to the tick menace. https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/longhorned-tick/index.html

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    I always have treated my DT socks with permethrin, for obvious reasons. All I know, not being able to compare with untreated ones, is that two pair of treated DT socks will last an entire AT hike, and they are still usable after.

    I personally don't see a chemical mechanism where permethrin will shorten a wool socks life, at least not significantly enough to worry about. I also agree that self-treating is probably preferable to factory treating, which would have to be refreshed anyway, meaning you'll be self-treating later anyway. So easy to do. Trivial, in fact. Spray, let dry, wash hands, done.
    I kinda agree. I've purchased insect shield treated clothes because i always thought it was superior. For a thru hike. That might be the case due to convenience. But now I'm in the habbit of hitting my stuff with spray on regularly for shorter trips. I feel good about spraying a fresh coating of the stuff before a week long trip. Are you exploring New England yet?

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    In context to you spray on permethrin or insect shield? I think insect shield has disclaimers on their website stating that their process can shrink clothes. So maybe it can damage wool?
    FWIW I had 3-4 pr of DT socks given the Insect Shield treatment by the IS folks in Greensboro NC. They never mentioned anything about their treatment possibly degrading fabrics. If anything I think the opposite representation was made.

    My DT socks did come back smaller! This is not surprising in retrospect. They are made of wool, and the treatment is made "permanent" (which they define as 70 washings) by a very high heat drying cycle. Anyone who has ever washed a wool sweater and put it in the dryer would not be surprised by this outcome.

    The socks are still wearable and useful. However, I would buy a size up next time, if I was sending them off for this treatment.

  15. #15
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    They probably do not want the liability of selling clothing treated with poison.
    Clearly, you are unaware that insects and mammals are not the same thing. Our nerve system is based in potassium and a little sodium. When you consume a Banana and its better than a cup of coffee, it is so slow absorbing that 6 hours plus it helps drivers go further, than caffeine. Insects are sodium based and the bugs drop fairly quickly when exposed to dry Permethrin. wet not dry Permethrin will kill a cat. Here in the USA - some military clothing is soaked in Permethrin to avoid jungle fever, mosquitoes, and other nasty's I have treated not soaked my hammock. At some point feel free to wrap your head around this. DO you want to be exposed to Encephalitis, West Nile , Rocky Mountain? I have been exposed to West Nile and My dad and I have lived a month with Rocky mountain. Yes treated clothing is a good answer. Getting up in the morning without pain is priceless. There is a better answer I have over the years discussed the virtues of DWO, but it only lasts two hours today I know that COLMANS INSECT SPRAY with one morning application lasts 8+hours. Spray those socks!
    Permethrin

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    In context to you spray on permethrin or insect shield? I think insect shield has disclaimers on their website stating that their process can shrink clothes. So maybe it can damage wool?

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
    Isn't factory applied Insect Shield washed or soaked into the fabric? Or, is it sprayed on? If sprayed on I would assume that is similar to appropriate DIY permethrin applications. If factory applied I wonder if the garment proactively undergoes heat treatment? If so depending on the application method I can see how that might affect a fabric's traits. In the end I'm not going to arm chair assume why DT said that if that's being communicated clearly in it's entirety.

    I do treat socks with Permethrin and rely on Insect Shield sometimes for part of my repellency.

    If I ever get on Naked & Afraid Third Wheel I hope the other two contestants have a machete and fire starter as I'm bringing permethrin to the S American or African jungle.
    Last edited by Dogwood; 08-11-2019 at 01:18.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    They probably do not want the liability of selling clothing treated with poison.
    Possibly. But topical permethrin product application and contact is tolerated well by humans. It is used at 5% (and even greater concentrations under medical care) in the treatment of head and body lice and other parasite treatments, like scabies. It is used at even higher concentrations on animals such as horses, dogs, etc. for fly and parasite control. It is, however, toxic to cats until dry, and is toxic in pretty much all forms I believe to aquatic critters like fish and amphibians - so be careful where you spray or dispose of any liquid treatment solution to avoid contaminating water that might run off into groundwater. Does it have any negative consequences for humans? Maybe mild ones in hypersensitive people. But for most, it's better than getting the diseases the pests can transmit.

  18. #18
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    it's better than getting the diseases the pests can transmit.

    That's what western M.D's said and still say about prescribing antibiotics for every sniffle, sneeze, and scratchy throat.

  19. #19
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    For me, as with most of you, permethrin is a no-brainer. But don't assume it is risk-free. There was a study showing that people who use permethrin occupationally had a higher risk of Parkinson's. That's not a reason not to use it -- obviously, the exposure for us is much lower -- but for me it is a good reason to have my clothing treated. Treating it means still lower exposure as opposed to spraying.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    Clearly, you are unaware that insects and mammals are not the same thing. Our nerve system is based in potassium and a little sodium. When you consume a Banana and its better than a cup of coffee, it is so slow absorbing that 6 hours plus it helps drivers go further, than caffeine. Insects are sodium based and the bugs drop fairly quickly when exposed to dry Permethrin. wet not dry Permethrin will kill a cat. Here in the USA - some military clothing is soaked in Permethrin to avoid jungle fever, mosquitoes, and other nasty's I have treated not soaked my hammock. At some point feel free to wrap your head around this. DO you want to be exposed to Encephalitis, West Nile , Rocky Mountain? I have been exposed to West Nile and My dad and I have lived a month with Rocky mountain. Yes treated clothing is a good answer. Getting up in the morning without pain is priceless. There is a better answer I have over the years discussed the virtues of DWO, but it only lasts two hours today I know that COLMANS INSECT SPRAY with one morning application lasts 8+hours. Spray those socks!
    Permethrin
    For the record-I am aware of the difference.Never said I don't treat my clothing and have dipped my hammock also.Said manufacturer likely does not want to deal with the issue.We live in a litigious society.Ask McDonald's.

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