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I'll Just Go Out To The Wood Pile....

Not many people know this way to tick-proof clothing

Not so fast! I was reminded Sunday when I sprayed my running shoes, to pass along something that I learned only recently that every suburban homeowner needs to know.

Most of us know or have heard anecdotally how bad Lyme disease can be when left untreated – which can easily happen because it’s not always possible to know when you’ve been bitten. What is not generally known is that there is a class of products that when sprayed on shoes and clothing actually kill ticks pretty much on contact. It’s available.

I believe it’s safe, and if you venture outside almost any time of year except the dead of winter you would be well advised to use it. It’s called permethrin. That’s the active ingredient, not a brand name (there are several brands).

You can buy it in spray or pump form at outdoor stores like REI or on amazon, and one treatment survives several washes. Unless you plan to roll in the grass you only need to treat shoes, socks and trousers below the knee (trousers of course tucked into socks) to get incredibly effective protection.

I have read studies that described ticks just rolling over dead as soon as they hit the treated fabric. With the warming weather, now is probably a good time to add one of these canisters to your outdoor arsenal.

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Nancy Russell March 15, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Since this has been such a mild winter, this product is probably best used as soon as possible...
Foofaraw March 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM
except on small children and pets---thought I'd add, as it's classified as “Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans” Also, Permethrin toxicity data show that the compound is highly toxic to honeybees, as well as other beneficial insects.
Marge Anderson March 18, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Dr. Kirby Stafford III, Vice-Director and Chief of Entomology at the CT Agricultural Experiment Station is speaking on "What You Should Know to Prevent Tick Bites and Lyme Disease" April 4 at 7:00pm at the Gales Ferry Community Center. See "Events" for flyer.
Thomas Cornick March 19, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Anytime a pesticide is considered as your first choice of defense you are missing the other aspects of integrated pest management. Tuck them trousers ( light in color ,smooth in finish) into your socks or be a real swamp yankee and duct tape them together. Buy only fresh stock, permethrin degrades in sunlight. And be mindful of where you apply permethrin it won't hurt a dog but it kills cats and most aquatic life so stay clear of your aquarium.
Peter Wild March 20, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Thank you Thomas; I am in complete agreement.

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