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Thread: DEET and ticks

  1. #1
    Registered User fcoulter's Avatar
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    Default DEET and ticks

    I did my good deed for the week last weekend, feeding the ticks of Central Florida.

    It's not that I wanted to, but my 25% DEET Off didn't appear to convince the ticks to bother someone else. I thought DEET repelled ticks.

    So, what's the story on ticks and DEET. Does it have to be a higher percentage? Does DEET work on ticks at all? Does DEET break down over time -- it was an old container of Off?

    (I'd recommend against the Longleaf Pine Trail's loop section in the Etoniah Creek State Forest. In addition to being seriously overgrown, I could only find one or two blazes over the entire section. Unless you, too, want to feed the local wildlife.)
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    100% Deet has no effect on ticks. It's a myth. There is a treatment for clothing that does work.

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    Registered User Storm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moldy View Post
    100% Deet has no effect on ticks. It's a myth. There is a treatment for clothing that does work.
    Think Permethrin
    "The difficult can be done immediately, the impossible takes a little longer"

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    Right, Deet does not work on ticks. Pick up some Sawyer permethrin spray and treat your clothes. Even found it at Walmart, in the camping section, in a box with a yellow bottle inside. The small bottle only treats two pants and two shirts, people say don't skimp. I'm headed out to pick up a second bottle so I can hit my pack with it too.


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    Registered User Unitic's Avatar
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    Yes - Permethrin on clothes...not skin. Insect Shield also makes clothing impregnated with permethrin that supposedly lasts up to 70 washings. Ex Officio, Railriders and Columbia are three of several clothing manufacturers that use the Insect Shield fabrics. I bought Ex Officio gaitors and Ziwa zip-offs made of this fabric and I feel much safer wearing these products in tick country (which is practically everywhere).

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    with a case of blind faith
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    DO ALWAYS follow the instructions with the permethrin. It does work very well from my limited experiences. Ticks do not like to stay attached to DEET treated areas but may stay walking long enough to reach those nether regions not so treated............

  7. #7
    with a case of blind faith
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    ...Now that I think about it, I have soaked ticks with a heavy dose of DEET and they died; however, I bet a saturation with a number of chemical concoctions would have had the same effect? Just spraying on pants legs, or legs for that matter, can be helpful but the buggers will just run past it if there isn't that much.

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    check frequently and pull them off legs before they can attach if wearing shorts.
    Treat shoes and socks and pants with permethrin

  9. #9

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    +1 on Permetherin. It lasts up to 6 washes. I treat all of my gear.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't--you're right--Henry Ford; The Journey Is The Destination

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    Registered User DeerPath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storm View Post
    Think Permethrin
    You can purchase Permethrin at farm supply stores like Tractor Supply Co., in a liquid form, for a fraction of the cost at Walmart and outdoor stores. Mix it up in a sink, soak cloths and dry. Don't make it to strong or you'll smell it. Just bought a 32 oz. bottle for $19.99, they have 8 oz. for $7.99. I use it on my dogs in lue of Frontline, K-9, etc.

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    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    The wife got me started using Skin-So-Soft for mosquitos, don't know for sure, but I believe it may repel ticks also, camping on the Etowah River last week those who used SOS had no ticks, those using repellant had ticks.

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    Wanna-be hiker trash
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    Just to throw in my standard warning, Permethrin is highly toxic to cats (though generally safe for dogs) particularly when in it's liquid form. If you have cats be very careful how you store and use the stuff, I would also recommend doing some research on it and checking with your vet prior to use.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  13. #13

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    With the warm weather arriving, I typically abandon long pants for shorts. This leaves a lot of bare skin exposed. I actually have had success with the "industrial" strength DEET, the little critters have a long climb from your ankles through the stuff, and most give up before getting to an area they would normally attach themselves.

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    Registered User Loneoak's Avatar
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    I just purchased some from TS also, says it is 10 percent. How much did you cut it before you soaked your clothes in it? thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loneoak View Post
    I just purchased some from TS also, says it is 10 percent. How much did you cut it before you soaked your clothes in it? thanks
    Starting with a 10% permethrin solution:

    - 11.5 : 1 (10% permethrin : water) yields 0.8%, the military protocol recommendation
    - 19 : 1 yields 0.5%, the more common commercial concentration for treating clothing

  17. #17
    Registered User Loneoak's Avatar
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    Thank you jeffmeh

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    Registered User Loneoak's Avatar
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    Interesting article here on mixing Permethrin to treat clothing: http://oldgobbler.com/Forum/index.php/topic,3417.0.html

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    I bought the box with the spray bottle that was noted above. The instructions say to just spray it on clothing and then let it dry. Is soaking more effective and longer lasting? Should we be worried about it being an irritant since we won't be wearing layers? None of us have particularly sensitive skin but wouldn't sweating make it bleed out of the material? I hate ticks!

  20. #20
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    If one is concerned as to whether the permethrin will irritant one's skin, I would suggest treating something like a bandana and tying it around the forearm (or ankle, or wherever one chooses to test) and wearing it for a day, or until one finds that it is irritating. Personally, I don't find it irritating.

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