I heard this question hundreds, if not thousands of times during my Spring show circuit. Our company manufactures tick repelling apparel for pet and people using a permethrin treated fabric and we market our products at Home and Garden shows all over New England. My booth is consistently busy with people looking for ways to protect themselves and here is my list of recommended methods of prevention:
Experts recommend Permethrin as one of the number one ways to repel ticks and biting insects. Permethrin is a synthetic compound with properties similar to the Chrysanthemum flower. Permethrin affects the nervous system in insects causing muscle spasms, paralysis and death. It is more toxic to insects than people and dogs because insects can’t break it down as quickly.
You have your choices in the Permethrin world:
· You can treat your clothing with Permethrin spray. Be sure to read the entire label on the back of the spray as this is a chemical. This type of Permethrin treatment is not permanent and you will need to retreat your garments after 4-5 washings. Also, it is not recommended to spray your socks or hat because of the tendency to perspire in these areas and result in absorption of the Permethrin. Bottles of Sawyers Permethrin can be purchased at your local Walmart or online.
· Tick repelling apparel made with Permethrin treated fabric is another option. There are many companies that make clothing with this permanently treated fabric that is effective in repelling ticks and biting insects up to 70 washings. Our Maine companies, Dog Not Gone and No Fly Designs, make tick repelling products that can be worn on over your clothing. For example, our gaiters are our biggest seller for people as they are very easy to put on. And the beauty of our tick repelling dog vests is that they can be used with your flea & tick medication as the Permethrin treatment is permanent and does not interact with them. By using this combination, you reduce the risk of the tick hitchhiking a ride on your dog into your house and then getting on you!
· You can send your clothing to Insect Shieldwho will professionally treat your clothing with Permethrin. They charge per piece and there is no minimum. I always recommend this method for children as it is super hard to get kids to remember to use bug spray and they tend to not wear “tick repelling apparel”. If they are wearing their own socks, shorts and shirts that are treated with Permethrin, you can rest easier that ticks will leave them alone.
There are many types of spray you could use to repel ticks and biting insects:
· Products that contain deet are very effective in repelling ticks and bugs. Percentage of deet varies so be sure to read the label to determine the right dosage for you.
· I found a great repellent spray for dogs & cats called Vet’s Best. It can be found at Petco, Amazon or Chewy and I not only use it for my animals but on my family! It has a nice licorice smell and I found it be very effective. And I love that I can use it for every member of my family.
We are all aware that ticks are a problem and are getting worse. There are over a dozen types of tick borne diseases. I believe on putting a heavy emphasis on Prevention rather than treatment in order to enjoy the outdoors and stay safe & tick free!