As a treatment for clothing, Sawyer Permethrin clothing insect repellent does not harm fabrics and is odorless after dried. Use Permethrin on clothing by itself or with skin-applied repellents to create the ultimate protective, armor-like insect barrier. Permethrin-treatments on clothing are non-toxic to humans and are registered for use by the U.S. EPA.
The active ingredient, Permethrin, is a synthetic molecule similar to those found in natural pyrethrum, which is taken from the chrysanthemum flower. Not only does this product repel insects, but will actually kill ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, mites and more than 55 other kinds of insects.
Sawyer Permethrin insect repellents are for use with clothing, tents, and other gear. During the drying process, it tightly bonds with the fibers of the treated garment. It will not stain or damage clothing, fabrics, plastics, finished surfaces, or any of your outdoor gear.
Permethrin is a contact insecticide. It kills ticks or other insects when it comes in contact with them. It uses the same active ingredient used in hair shampoos for head lice. When applied to clothing, the Permethrin binds to the fabric eliminating the risk of over-exposure to the skin. As a clothing, tent, chairs, or sleeping bag application, Permethrin is very effective at keeping ticks from attaching to you and at reducing the mosquito population in your camping area. While ticks usually find you at the ankle level (be sure to treat the socks and pants) they can also climb bushes and find you at a higher level so be sure to treat your shirt as well if you are around bushes and concerned about ticks.
Permethrin is also an effective repellent against mosquitoes and flies and can be used in conjunction with a skin based repellent. Permethrin can be used as the primary repellent if the exposed skin area (gaps in the treated clothing) is not too large. By storing the treated clothing in black plastic bags between uses the protection can be extended considerably.
Sweating and exposure to water do not significantly deteriorate the application. It is primarily the agitation of a washing machine, which deteriorates the Permethrin application as it knocks the molecules loose from the fabric. For best results, Sawyer recommends hand washing and air-drying. When using a conventional washer and dryer, use the gentle wash and dry cycles. Loss due to the dryer is limited compared to the detergent and washer agitation. Dry cleaning removes the Permethrin from the fabric.
Permethrin can last up to six weeks including through six weekly washings. All treatments are non-staining and not greasy. Always follow the directions for use on the package label.
When treating clothing, Sawyer recommends 3 ounces of formula per garment. It does not matter whether the garment is a size small or extra large; you are seeking the molecules in 3 ounces of the formula to protect you.
If you are treating your socks, they count in the overall application as well and the formula used is part of the 6 ounces needed to treat an outfit.
Applying less than 3 ounces per garment will lead to unsatisfactory results.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I use Permethrin safely?
Permethrin is to be applied to clothing and material. It works by bonding to the fibers. When a tick or other insect comes into contact with the Permethrin it absorbs a dose that will either repel or kill the insect. You apply Permethrin until the fabric is damp and then allow it to dry. Permethrin is easy to use and the resulting layer of protection is very important to your safety from insect-borne diseases.
Is Permethrin dangerous to my skin?
The warning labels on the cans or bottles are often misunderstood. Your skin metabolizes, or breaks down Permethrin within fifteen minutes of contact with skin. Therefore, it is of no value to you as a personal protection insect repellent when applied to the skin. In addition, the EPA precautionary statement, "Do Not Apply to Skin" indicates that Permethrin is ineffective when applied to skin; therefore, do not apply to skin.
Can I use Permethrin on my cat or dog?
Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Treatments are registered with the US EPA for use on outer clothing and personal gear items, such as sleeping bags, tents and netting. There are other Permethrin formulations registered for use on cats and dogs. Be sure to read the product label to ensure the product can be used on pets. Do not expose cats to wet Permethrin as it affects their central nervous system. This is not true with dogs, horses, or cows. Cats can be around Permethrin treated fabrics once the application has dried.
How long does Permethrin last?
At the concentration level delivered in the aerosol, non-aerosol pump sprays and soak systems (all at 0.5 percent Permethrin), an application lasts for six weeks and through six washings. Permethrin breaks down through exposure to air (oxygen) and sunlight (ultraviolet light). If you store the clothes in black plastic bags between uses, you can extend the time of effectiveness; however, always retreat after the sixth laundering. Permethrin may also be used on sleeping bags, tents and nettings.
Does Permethrin work against mosquitoes?
Yes. Permethrin clothing treatments, when applied following Directions for Use, have been determined to have "spatial repellency" against mosquitoes. This means that mosquitoes will swarm around you, but not light on your treated clothing and bite.
Also use an EPA registered repellent, such as the Sawyer microencapsulated Controlled Release 20 percent DEET, on all exposed skin for further protection from biting and blood sucking mosquitoes. The combination of Permethrin on clothing and DEET repellent on skin forms an "Insect Repellent System." When used as directed on the EPA registered labels, the Insect Repellent System will provide the best protection from biting, blood sucking and disease carrying insects. A well known study conducted by Tom Lillie, Carl Schreck and A. J. Rahe in Alaska in 1987, showed 99.9 percent effectiveness against mosquitoes biting at a rate of more than 1,100/hr. This protection is far greater than either a DEET-based insect repellent or Permethrin can achieve alone.
Will Permethrin ruin my clothes or equipment?
No. Permethrin will not damage clothes or equipment. Unlike DEET, which may harm some fabrics and materials, Permethrin is compatible for use even on fragile fabrics such as silk, plus all synthetics and waterproof membrane fabrics. Permethrin will not affect plastics or finishes.
If in doubt, try a sample on an obscure surface area, especially on delicates and check it after 24 hours of exposure. Sawyer Permethrin Insect Repellent is odorless, non-greasy and non-staining after it dries. Permethrin can be harmful to aquatic creatures such as fish, so do not spray Permethrin around fish aquariums.