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  1. #1
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    Default Question for the ladies about permethrin

    I hope this isn't a stupid question. I might be concerned about nothing but I wanted to ask. Let's say you treat your clothes with permethrin using the soaking method and you don't wear underwear while hiking. Will the permethrin come into contact with your lady parts, especially when you wear the same running tights (not pants) day after day, and you sweat (a lot)?

  2. #2

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    Ew....that's an unpleasant thought. It sounds abrasive somehow, or like you'd be exposing yourself to potential chemical burn in a rather sensitive area. The package says it should not be applied to skin, so I can't imagine the "soaking method" would be a good idea. On the other hand, you'd be protected from ticks in the area toward which they gravitate.

    I wouldn't soak my clothing. I'd just spray the knee to ankle areas for tic protection.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

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    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    I spray the outside of them, I don't soak, and I wear underwear.







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    Permethrin bonds to clothing fibers much like a dye, which is why it doesn't wash out immediately. Once it's dry, my understanding is that it's safe for skin contact. I do soak shirt, pants and hat each Spring, but don't soak underwear or socks. I've never had a problem, and the stuff definitely works. Last fall I sat in the middle of a small swarm of wasps and although they wanted to, none so much as landed on me. We also tested a live tick on a piece of material that had been soaked and dried. The tick tried hard to get away, but it was having trouble almost immediately and dead before it managed to. I like the deterrent factor much more than the 'kill' factor.

  5. #5

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    I totally coat/soak all my clothes, hat, socks, and sports bra with permethrin during the summers when I hiked. I never had a problem....just make sure you let everything dry really well after you first apply the permethrin. I also washed all my stuff well and used no fabric softners before I applied the permethrin to make sure it soaked in well.
    Gads...the smell....nope, it's not Bearpaw...just another skunk checking out the camp.

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    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    As a Pest Control Bed Bug Inspector, and have tested Sawyer and other products in the field; IF you use the soak method, the answer is yes... It's the itch that keeps on giving, each and every time you sweat. By capillary action You will draw some of the synthetic material into your pores. Some are far more sensitive than others... so a few here will have no reaction while others will itch for a month! Hense Sawyer is spray on one side... a single coat is all that is required on the side that doesn't touch your skin... Its worth it .. you are avoiding Lyme and West Nile and other forms of Encephalitis.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

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    WOO, do you know whether the pre-treated products are only treated on the outside?

    I did the soak at 0.08% concentration, let it fully dry, washed it, and my son did not have any issues. He tends to have relatively sensitive skin. I didn't do the boxers, but did do socks, shirts, pants, hat, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocket Jones View Post
    I like the deterrent factor much more than the 'kill' factor.
    Oh, I'm pretty happy with the kill factor, too.

    I spray the Sawyer on the outside, seems to work pretty well. No ticks in a couple of years, and no Lyme disease since 2005.
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    I came across a military manual that recommends permethrin on all clothing except underwear (and headbands if I remember right).

    The Sawyer spray permethrin directions say to spray to lightly moisten the surface of the cloth. With thin nylon, it does soak through. I think with the Insect Shield treatment the permethrin is better bonded to the fabric than with the spray.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowleopard View Post
    I think with the Insect Shield treatment the permethrin is better bonded to the fabric than with the spray.
    Do you mean the clothing line or is there a liquid product you're referring to?

  11. #11
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    THOSE WHO SOAK: Can we get instructions for soaking? I was going to spray but logic tells me soaking would be better. Can I use the Sawyer spray to soak, or get something different? Thanks!

    PS--Hiking commando does not sound fun with or without chemicals in your pants... But as I hear once the product is thoroughly dry it is not supposed to be an irritant.


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    Here's a pdf how-to for soaking, it looks like you're supposed to use their kit:

    https://www.chinookmed.com/PermethrinUse.pdf

    Once it's dry doesn't it get wet again through contact with sweat and/or mucous membranes?

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    I use this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    With gloves, I carefully make a batch in a bucket, by mixing with water to dilute to 0.08% (that's the military protocol concentration). I dump the articles of clothing into the bucket, make sure it is all saturated, let soak for a couple of hours, then one by one lift them out, gently wring them out to remove most of the excess liquid, then hang them to dry. Be careful here, so that you keep it away from children or pets. Once dry, I put through the laundry. If there is more than a small amount left, I have the option of putting a cover on the bucket and using it next time.

    Just to reiterate, if you are not comfortable using these chemicals, then go for the spray products.

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    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
    WOO, do you know whether the pre-treated products are only treated on the outside?

    I did the soak at 0.08% concentration, let it fully dry, washed it, and my son did not have any issues. He tends to have relatively sensitive skin. I didn't do the boxers, but did do socks, shirts, pants, hat, etc.
    no I have no idea... and you only do the outer layer or the bottom of the hammock where they will bite thru to your skin.


    Just saw the above post - I really recommend a face mask with a valve on the front - and gloves if you spray.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echraide View Post
    Do you mean the clothing line or is there a liquid product you're referring to?
    Insect Shield is a more permanent version of permethrin that is incorporated into some brands of clothing. The company will treat your own clothes for about $10 per item. This is not do-it-yourself. http://www.insectshield.com/PDF/IS%2....S.%20form.pdf
    More info on Insect Shield technology:
    http://www.insectshield.com/ourTechnology/
    I suppose you could contact I.S. if you need more info about the safety of their product.

    I think the military is now using some form of permanent permethrin technology on most or all of its field clothing.

    The two things I would worry about with permethrin would be the respiratory effects of breathing it when using the spray or soak version and skin effects (rash , itching). Since I have asthma, I'll be following WOOs suggestion of using a face mask/respirator, and gloves. The treated clothing I use is pretty loose fitting pants and fairly loose shirt (buttons up tight though) with an untreated T-shirt underneath. The places where I probably get the most exposure are at the belt line and under shoulder straps, but this is minimized by wearing the untreated T-shirt helps with this. Also, at the ankles if I tuck the pants into my socks or spray my socks; I only do this when going through brush/grass/weeds. I do not treat my underwear.

  16. #16

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    "As a Pest Control Bed Bug Inspector, and have tested Sawyer and other products in the field; IF you use the soak method, the answer is yes... It's the itch that keeps on giving, each and every time you sweat"

    Thanks Owl, good to know!

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    I'm hiking this summer. So do I coat my dry-fit shirt if I have no underlayer or is that a bad idea. I typically wear a bandana on my head to prevent ticks in my hair but should I not soak that?

  18. #18
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    I am sending my clothes off to have them treated. A thru hike is a trip of a life time and my main concern is Lymes Disease. I use to live in Maryland and saw Lyme specialist clinics everywhere. The symptoms are pretty much the same as hiking a hard day so I want to make sure I am in the best position possible to keep ticks off of me. This means spending a little extra money and bringing a mirror to start a tick check routine. It may be extra weight but I vote for a piece of mind and preventative steps to keep me going through the entire hike. Plus, I can burn ants with my mirror when I am on my hiking breaks. A WIN WIN.

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