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How Permethrin Can Help Protect You From Ticks

As reported in The New York Times (Wirecutter's parent company), the CDC recently announced that insect-borne illnesses have more than tripled in the US in the past 14 years. Those numbers are for mosquitos, fleas, and ticks combined, but if you’re going to get an insect-borne illness in this country, you’re statistically most likely to get Lyme disease, carried by black-legged ticks, aka deer ticks, and most prevalent on the East Coast and in the Midwest. As we say in our bug repellent guide, a 25 percent picaridin repellent works pretty well—against mosquitos. It’s not as effective against ticks. Plus, ticks that simply walk to a part of your body without bug spray can avoid DEET-treated areas, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (PDF).

The best thing to keep ticks from biting you is permethrin. As an insecticide, permethrin will actually kill ticks, not just keep them away, and it’s different from DEET in that you put it on your clothes rather than spraying it on your skin. If you need to get serious about tick protection this summer, we’ve done the research on where to find permethrin, how to use it, and what safety concerns may arise.

Read the full article by Leigh Krietsch Boerner on Wirecutter's website here.

LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

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Wirecutter

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Of all the creepy crawlers, ticks keep me on high alert. They can be very tiny in the nymph stage and difficult to see. They love to hang out in tall grasses along the trail and hitch a ride on hikers passing by. I plan on treating most of my clothes and gear with Sawyer Permethrin.

Joanne Gigliotti

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Ultra-compact and lightweight

House Grail
Media Mentions from House Grail

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I would often just drink directly from the sawyer squeeze if I was feeling lazy- which by the way works wonderfully.

Rachel McVittie