As a naturist, when I am free hiking the only textile clothing I wear is socks (except when I am wearing only sandals). The only real insect problem I have where I hike is ticks. Virtually all the ticks, I encounter along the trails that I use, get on my shoes and climb up my ankles and legs or occasionally go down into my shoes. A few of the tiny seed ticks will work their way through the sock fabric to get to my feet.
Deet on the socks will kill about half of the tiny seed ticks and an occasional medium size tick but the rest manage to reach my leg above the sock top and continue on in spite of deet on my legs. I frequently have problems with reacting to deet and am looking for a different approach.
If I treat my socks with the permethrin solution that you sell, can I expect that ticks climbing from the shoe to the sock top will pick up enough permethrin to kill them or to repel them.
Since shoes can become damp inside; and wet permathrin clothing has been indicated as a potential problem for sensitive individuals; I could wear sandals when using the permethrin treated socks. Would you regard this as something that I would likely need to do.
First, the answers to your questions..
Treating your socks with CLOTHING PERMETHRIN or mixing up your own from a PERMETHRIN 10 CONCENTRATE will no doubt repel most that land on the lower 2/3’s of the socks. But ticks run fast and when hungry, they’ll endure harsh conditions to get to the pot of gold. In this case it would be the open and completely vulnerable skin above the top of your socks. No doubt most would be repelled but I’m afraid some will still end up reaching your exposed legs. Now would there be enough Permethrin present to kill them from this brief stroll over the treated fabric? Maybe. It’s really hard to say. This is due to the fact that the exposed socks will be taking direct sunlight which breaks down Permethrin rapidly. Additionally, just how much Permethrin will be up high on the fabric is hard to say. Different fabric absorbs actives differently so the net result could be most will be gone. However, it doesn’t take much for a lethal dose to be received but even this will take day to work so you’d still be subject to abuse by the tick for at least a day or two before they’d die. In other words, it’s not an acute or fast working active which is one of the reasons why it can be used on clothing.
I would. Additionally, I’d treat the sandal with the Permethrin.
Some other ideas…
Treat the socks and the sandals with either of the two Permethrins listed. Second, instead of using Deet on your skin, have you tried SUNBLOCK WITH NON DEET REPELLENT? This formulation uses another active besides deet. You could wear it over both legs going up your leg much higher since it’s not Deet (therefore no irritation) and if you’re able to apply some from the ankle up to say mid thigh, I don’t think you’ll have any ticks sticking around long even if they make it over the treated sandals and socks.
Direct links to the products mentioned above can be seen here:
Clothing Permethrin: http://www.bugspray.com/item/745243.html
Permethrin Concentrate: http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page2250.html
Sunblock w/Non Deet Active: http://www.bugspray.com/item/745252.html