Should You Spray a Tent with Permethrin?
If you spray your tent with Permethrin to protect yourself from Lyme-disease-carrying ticks and blood-sucking mosquitos, you should spray the inner tent or insect netting and not the rain fly, which is waterproof and will prevent the Permethrin from soaking in. Permethrin is also quickly broken down by ultra-violet light, so it will break down quickly with sun exposure.
If you decide to treat the inner non-waterproof part of your tent, by spraying or soaking, you want to avoid using Permethrin or Permethrin Concentrate containing petroleum distillates and use water-based Permethrin instead. The petroleum distillates may degrade or ruin any synthetic waterproof coatings on your tent. If in doubt, call the tent manufacturer and ask for their advice. You should also avoid using Permethrin with petroleum distillates on clothing since it can cause skin reactions and can leave an unpleasant odor that lasts a long time. Unfortunately, repeated washing to get rid of the odor will also get rid of the Permethrin.
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