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  1. #1
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Is Permethrin still working good on your hammocks and clothes?

    I don't know why I am asking, because I am pretty sure it does still work. I'm probably just looking for reassurance after a bone headed stunt I pulled that got me some bites.

    I have probably been 10+ years without a bug bite while hiking or camping or hanging. And all without the- for me - unpleasantness of DEET. Ever since I started spraying some of my clothing and gear with Permethrin, and putting 20% Picaridin on exposed skin, it's as though even in swampy areas of MS, the bugs have moved out. Not only do I never get bit, I rarely even see or hear a bug. Even when I did see mossies swarming at a high mountain lake in the Sawtooths of ID, even sleeping without a net(which I have also done sleeping beside a creek in the Sipsey wilderness of AL), never a bite. Very paranoid when sleeping without the net, but still never a bite.

    But here is where my laziness, cheapness and stupidity ganged up on me. ( don't be me! ) I have for the last year or two often put off buying some more Perm and treating my clothes and or single layer hammocks. I decide to just get by with plenty of Picaridin on my skin, and sometimes clothes. It works on clothing, and won't hurt it, just doesn't last long like Permethrin does. But it works in a pinch for a few hours at least.

    A couple of weeks ago, I go day hiking deep into the MS woods, and end up hanging a couple of different single layer hammocks. I had covered my arms and legs with Picaridin. I had both spray and lotion. Then covered my eyes, nose and mouth with my hand and sprayed it over my head and down my back as best I could. In the past when trying to get by with this approach, I have taken my shirt off and sprayed it front, back and especially at the arm holes and waist, but I stupidly did not go to all that trouble this time. I thought I made a good effort to get the Picaridin on my skin well up under my shorts and shirt sleeves. I did not do a good enough job.

    Now this is the part that really "bugs" me: I still never saw or heard any bugs, except for a few buzzing bees. It was quiet and peaceful. I felt no bites. I am used to both seeing and hearing mosquitoes. They are usually quite easy to detect if being attacked by them. I never saw a thing while hiking or hanging.

    When I got home, I had one bite in each arm pit. Really more like the far upper chest right about where it becomes the arm pit ( I was laying with hands under my head for a while), one bite on each shoulder, well up under my shirt sleeves. I had one under my shorts and underwear, front side about midway between hip and center belly. And 1 at belt level under shorts on my back. All ended up with about a dime sized red whelt, there may have been a small white area in the center. Itched like crazy for a few days, then disappeared. ALL bites were UNDER clothing. (But, the armpit bites could have been when I had my arms up with hands under head in the hammock) On my exposed legs, arms, balding head, neck, face anywhere NOT covered by clothing, places I had well covered with Picaridin, not a single bite. I wonder what got hold of me? Surely not Mossies I could not see or hear only biting me through the clothing, especially some cargo shorts AND underwear ? If not mosquitoes, then I wonder what they were?

    Anyway, I immediately got some Permethrin and did my usual clothing and gear treatments. I have been wearing them when working in the back yard and garden with no bites. And I have been more aggressive to apply that Picaridin further up under my shirt sleeves. But admittedly I feel a bit paranoid about putting it to the test back at the locale of the assault, especially since I could not see or hear the threat. I think I have PTSS. Which is why I am asking before I go: is Pernethrin still working good?
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 07-23-2020 at 11:43.

  2. #2
    Phantom Grappler's Avatar
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    I dunk clothes in bucket of permethrin, in early Spring
    After two months and many washings, it still works
    just not as good. Thatís when I retreat cloths to last
    rest of tick season.
    You can get ticks year round, but the vast majority of
    ticks have a timed hatching and life cycle that coincides
    with the burst of new spring furry critters life cycles.

  3. #3
    TrailBlaser's Avatar
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    Same here. A thorough soaking of the clothes in a Home Depot bucket and spraying the backpack. I find I don't have to treat my DL WBRR; especially with the UQ and the UQ protector in place. I haven't determined if the Permethrin treated hat makes any difference with deer flies. They seem just as persistent with or without it.

  4. #4
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    I also soak my hiking clothing from hat to shoes along with my hammock and UQP in Permethrin. I do this once per year. I then use Picaridin on my hands, face, arms & ankles...all exposed skin depending what clothing I am wearing.

    I don't deny that DEET works better and lasts longer. No doubt about that but if it will melt the face on my phone and my fishing line, I am not putting it on me as long as I have other choices.

    The only difference this year compared to early years for me is I have yet to get out for anything over night. By the time it was available to me my state (VA), it is too hot for me to want to be outside. Hopefully I get out for a couple of overnight trips in the fall and/or winter.
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  5. #5
    ricktreks's Avatar
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    I spray permethrin on socks and pants against ticks and chiggers. I also spray it on my hammock bugnet, since thereís a species of katydid that loves the taste of the mesh. I turn the hammock inside out and lay it on a table outside, with the bugnet facing up. This way the permethrin will drip through the mesh and on to the bottom of the hammock. I use under quilts or UQ socks, so I donít worry too much about mosquitoes biting me from the outside.

    I wash the hammock every three or four outings because of the smell of sweat and grime, and reapply the permethrin before the next trip.

    I normally donít use permethrin on my shirts or hats because I find that mosquitoes still bite through them. Maybe theyíll die after doing so but by then theyíve already done their thing. On my shirts I use a non-deet repellent, if an area is particularly bad, which seems to work just fine.

    Typically the places where I go are not really infested with biting insects. There might be a few here and there. For really problematic areas Iím considering buying a Thermacell device.


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  6. #6
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    I spray everything I wear, including hat. I spray bugnet and hammock. i'm thrilled with Permethrin. I have forgotten to do socks and shoes in the past and it was a mistake. I don't go nuts with the product but do give clothes a good amount.
    ~ Rerun

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Rolloff's Avatar
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    Used it for years. Didn't retreat for an April run. No skeeter bites, but picked up 2 ticks.

    Treatments worked so well in the past I was still somewhat surprised it didn't work w/o a recharge.

    Sawyers products in the mail as we speak.
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  8. #8
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Is for me. Just got back from a hike in the BWCA. Trail was overgrown and weedy. I never got or saw a tick. Clothes treated pre-trip.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Wow, lot's of responses! Thanks, all! Sounds like nothing has changed, all is working well with Permethrin, just as I expected. Guess I am just a bit paranoid after getting those bites. I feel reassured again, and am planning on a return to the scene of the crime with my treated clothes. Those bites helped me over come my laziness regarding the effort to treat my clothing and gear!

    Any guesses on what might have bitten me through my clothes? I suppose on my shoulders and arm pits, they could have got in under my short sleeves. But the bite on the front of my hip(far top of my thigh) was under some shorts and underwear. I know mosquitoes bite thru thin clothing and single layer hammocks. But, in the past I have always seen and/or heard those, and I was watching for them and I never saw any. Not ticks either, I saw none and pulled none off of me. Never knew a bug was near me until I got home and started itching. What got me? Thoughts?

    I've got to admit, the Picaridin still worked just fine on all areas where I made sure to cover exposed skin with it. Ate up under my (untreated)clothing, but not a single bite on my exposed(and Picaridin covered) skin. Next time: BOTH!

  10. #10
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktreks View Post
    I spray permethrin on socks and pants against ticks and chiggers. I also spray it on my hammock bugnet, since thereís a species of katydid that loves the taste of the mesh. I turn the hammock inside out and lay it on a table outside, with the bugnet facing up. This way the permethrin will drip through the mesh and on to the bottom of the hammock. I use under quilts or UQ socks, so I donít worry too much about mosquitoes biting me from the outside.

    I wash the hammock every three or four outings because of the smell of sweat and grime, and reapply the permethrin before the next trip.

    I normally donít use permethrin on my shirts or hats because I find that mosquitoes still bite through them. Maybe theyíll die after doing so but by then theyíve already done their thing. On my shirts I use a non-deet repellent, if an area is particularly bad, which seems to work just fine.

    Typically the places where I go are not really infested with biting insects. There might be a few here and there. For really problematic areas Iím considering buying a Thermacell device.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Wow, they bite through your treated shirts? I've never had that happen, although, one Sept up in the Sawtooth Mountains beside a lake, a buddy informed me that the back of my thin, light weight merino wool long john top was covered with mossies. Or, possibly, they were hovering very close to my back. And I saw none close to my front. But I never got a bite. I had him spray some of my 20% Picaridin on my back, and they took off.

    But thanks for reminding me to take my thermacell with me. Or maybe I'll get that little clip on device Shug uses?
    Last edited by BillyBob58; 07-24-2020 at 23:35.

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