• Happy Sea Serpent Day!

Permethrin, Picaridin & Light Colored Clothes: A Winning Combo

Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
610
Location
Gaithersburg, MD
I'm just back from a week on the Allagash. Started June 23, finished June 29. According to several Allagash rangers and our guide (who's been doing this 40 years), this is the worst black fly season in 40 years and also one of the worst mosquito seasons.

A few days before I left for the trip, I soaked all my clothes and hat in 0.5% Permethrin. Note: I didn't spray. I soaked in a five gallon bucket. (To make that economical, I bought a 10% concentrate and diluted.) I also made sure all my clothes were light colored; mostly tan or light grey and including a Columbia PFG shirt that is WHITE. I also applied Picaradin behind my ears and at the hair line. I can count the bug bites I got on two hands with a few fingers to spare The rest of our group of 16 were totally DEVOURED. They used DEET on their skin and in some instances had sprayed (but not soaked) their clothes in Permethrin. But they wore dark clothes, too. The ones who made fun of my white shirt weren't laughing for long. They had clouds of black flies around them. I was barely bugged.

I am totally sold on Permethrin. I am also impressed with the Picaridin, which is SO much more pleasant than DEET. I used the Sawyer brand Picaridin cream and it neither smells, nor leaves a greasy feel (and doesn't melt plastic like DEET). If it worked for me in these horrendous conditions, I think it will work for just about anyone.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
170
Reaction score
71
Well then. I'm leaving in 7 days for points far far north. Obviously I am in that "too late to mail order" phase. Is there a brick and mortar store where I can buy picaridin?
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
610
Location
Gaithersburg, MD
Well then. I'm leaving in 7 days for points far far north. Obviously I am in that "too late to mail order" phase. Is there a brick and mortar store where I can buy picaridin?

Not sure where you live. REI and DIcks I know carry both Picaridin and Permethrin (the latter pre-mixed). I would think depending where you live you could get something via Amazon. Good luck!
 
G

Guest

Guest
I thought you weren't supposed to have permethrin on your skin? This is why I only spray the outside of my clothes. Soaking would expose your skin. it does work great though-i'm a believer.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
610
Location
Gaithersburg, MD
I thought you weren't supposed to have permethrin on your skin? This is why I only spray the outside of my clothes. Soaking would expose your skin. it does work great though-i'm a believer.

Permethrin binds to clothes when dry. Minimal impact.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2012
Messages
470
Reaction score
235
Location
Altoona, Pennsylvania
I have Sawyer brand and soaked socks with good results. Otherwise I use Insect Shield treated clothing and it has worked very well for me. My shirts are light colored as well. By the way, I recently purchased several shirts that I liked for hiking and paddling and sent them to Insect Shield and they treated them for $8 per shirt. The treatment lasts the lifetime of the garment. I have not tried it in really bad conditions yet, I live in PA and I’m more worried about ticks most of the time. So far so good, no ticks, or mosquito bites in over a decade.

Cheers,

Barry
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
1,139
Reaction score
139
Location
central NYS - 10 miles from the Baseball Hall of F
Barry - I'm really interested in your long-term results with the clothing you sent to Insect Shield. For only $8.00 (is that for pants as well?), it's a lot cheaper than purchasing the treated clothing. It also allows for items you already own to be taken care of. Sounds like a win-win to me.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

snapper

PS - As to what colors attract the mosquitoes, black flies, etc.? Based on research done I believe by the military, earth tone & light colors are the best for keeping the flying beasties at bay. What's the worst? Black, navy blue, deep royal blue, etc. Ever since I read this years ago, all my clothing colors are selected accordingly and I haven't been disappointed.
 
Joined
Dec 1, 2012
Messages
470
Reaction score
235
Location
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Snapper,

$8 per was for three shirts. The more you send the cheaper per piece. They do pants. I think they can do anything that can be washed and machine dried. They confirmed to me today that they could do a Tilley hat if it can be machine washed and dried. I have some 6 year old ex officio shirts that are over 6 years old and still going strong.

Barry
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,934
Reaction score
914
Location
Raymond, ME
oh well too late. Our blackflies are still going. But we are going to Grand Manan Island in a few days and with the cooler weather there I believe the Black Fly squadrons will still be in full attack mode. Expected high will be 70 F. all week or less. Aack the light colored clothing works. My fleece is black..... We do have picardin and DEET

I have just gotten used to our BF and the skeeters.. With no chemicals.. I wonder if they bite non natives more than natives?
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
1,550
Reaction score
278
I have learned to swear in Cree...it doesnt keep them away but I feel better. We use permethrin also, mainly for ticks. The soak and dry method. Works like a charm. Light pants, denim shirt, tan hat also sprayed with deet .seems ok for sagamesuk but you sweat or wash it off.
Bugs are part of the back country.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,517
Reaction score
816
Location
Ontario Canada
Once upon a time I was intending to purchase permethrin but balked at the idea of using a pet unfriendly product. (I still might do that strictly for tripping clothes.) We have cats and dogs in our midst most days. I do have both DEET and picaridin squirt bottles around in garden shed, back door and vehicle, wherever and whenever bug protection is needed. Despite the steady supply of rain, sun and temperatures the bugs don't seem so bad around our yard this year. Having mown down the extensive waist high patches of wild raspberries (oh the horror!) and goldenrod (oh more horror!) might have contributed to consequentially cutting down on bugs. The 3 family dogs now appreciate having a clear unobstructed run and play fetch the tennis balls; well actually only 1 dog does, the other 2 stand, watch and wonder why I'm throwing away a perfectly good tennis ball. But there are other tall and tangled parts of the yard where bugs and butterflies rule; I don't as a rule throw the tennis balls there. Tick checks are mandatory as we do now live in tick territory these days. None found so far.
As far as tripping goes I wear whatever clothing gets packed and worn, not always the ideal kind and colour. I'm more concerned with quick dry and warmth. My base layer is black. 1 set for sleeping in, another for day use. Spray is used liberally, and I don't often have much in the way of exposed skin (unless I'm skinny dipping. That's another horror.)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 7, 2016
Messages
588
Reaction score
276
A old Athabaskan man I worked with years ago told me that humming back at the mosquitoes keeps them away. Seems to work better than nothing, maybe one of those mind over matter things. When in tick country, I use the permethrin on everything I wear including the bandana around my neck. Just heard from my niece today, her father in Arkansas just came down with his second bout with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. He is one sick puppy, I'm sending this thread to them.
 
G

Guest

Guest
OK-Thanks-I stand corrected. Maybe I'll stars soaking my clothes. that sounds like it would do a better job than spraying.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
1,239
Reaction score
458
Location
Penacook, NH on a back road
This is a great thread with a lot of good info. Ticks are very thick this year here in NH. I'm pulling a few off the dog daily and find at least one on me daily. Also the deerflies, the ones with a chainsaw for a mouth, are making a good but unwelcome showing. If you drove by and watched me walking to my shed you'd see me repeatedly smacking myself in the head like I enjoyed! I'm going to look for the stuff mentioned.

dougd
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
1,191
Reaction score
610
Location
Gaithersburg, MD
Once upon a time I was intending to purchase permethrin but balked at the idea of using a pet unfriendly product. (I still might do that strictly for tripping clothes.) We have cats and dogs in our midst most days.

Before it dries, permethrin is bad for cats (but not dogs). No effect on cats (or dogs) when dry. You can actually spray your dog with permethrin and Sawyer has instructions for doing so. https://sawyer.com/dogs-and-permethr...ect-repellent/
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
6,934
Reaction score
914
Location
Raymond, ME
I take back my comments. The ticks were bad early and now have let up a bit. The blackflies are abating. The skeeters are out of control. Fans are a big help.. Wish there was a portable campsite fan.. Fireworks watching was a ooh ahh swat swat swat.. Even from a boat.
We are lucky here. Nary a stable fly to be seen. Doug can keep them all on his side of the state line.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2017
Messages
170
Reaction score
71
This is a great thread with a lot of good info. Ticks are very thick this year here in NH. I'm pulling a few off the dog daily and find at least one on me daily. Also the deerflies, the ones with a chainsaw for a mouth, are making a good but unwelcome showing. If you drove by and watched me walking to my shed you'd see me repeatedly smacking myself in the head like I enjoyed! I'm going to look for the stuff mentioned.

dougd

Just to verify, I can go for a walk with Doug and he will collect 100 ticks to my Zero. And I have plucked several off me this year. Looked for Picaridin at Dick's - they never heard of it.
 
Top