Written by Dane Cramer
Here in Pennsylvania, as well as many other Appalachian states, ticks are a major concern for the outdoorsman. Ticks are tiny, parasitic arachnids that attach themselves to a host and then gorge themselves on the host’s blood. They are especially troublesome because they can spread a number of diseases. Lyme Disease is probably the most well-known and well-feared of the threats that the tick carries. If not treated immediately, Lyme Disease can cause very serious and long-term health concerns. Therefore, appropriate measures should be taken to prevent contact with ticks that carry the disease.
One preventative method that I employ is the treatment of my hiking clothes and gear with Permethrin. Permethrin is a synthetic chemical that has been used as both an insecticide and insect repellent. Because it is known to kill ticks on contact, it can be very effective in reducing the chances of contact with these parasites.
In this short video, I demonstrate how I treat my hiking clothes with Permethrin using Sawyer brand.
Because Permethrin is so toxic to ticks, the most obvious question is: is it safe for humans?
I did research before I first used Permethrin. As with any toxic chemical, there are risks involved, and not every study yielded the same result. However, most studies seemed to consistently suggest that low-dose exposure of Permethrin to humans does not pose a significant threat. Therefore, since I do not spend an exorbitant amount of time in the woods wearing Permethrin-treated clothing, I have concluded that its benefits outweigh its risks for me.
I’m a backpacker, runner, cyclist, amature filmmaker, a dedicated follower of Jesus, a student of the Bible, and one involved in jail ministry. I’m also an indie-author who recently published my second book. I live with my wife in Somerset, Pennsylvania.