Permethrin . . . What Is It?
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Permethrin is a synthetic of a natural insecticide in flowers. Its applications include a clothing treatment to repel and kill ticks, mosquitoes and more.

If you're not using a permethrin clothing treatment as part of your insect and tick protection system, you're missing out on the most effective product available anywhere. It's been in use with a perfect safety record since the 1970's and for many different uses. Some of these uses include: . A treatment for head and body lice on humans.  Agriculture where it protects our food resouces from insect attack. . Household insect spray where it is listed as controlling 54 different species. . Flea, tick and mosquitoe spray for dogs and other animals. . Tick, mosquitoe and other arthropod clothing treatment for people.

WHY MUST I PUT THE PERMETHRIN ON MY CLOTHING? Permethrin was developed specifically for use on clothing; clothing was not an afterthought. The use of clothing as the "delivery system" for repellent is the perfect choice. The fact that the permethrin is put on clothing has more to do with excellent performance than with any toxicity. It does have to do with the fact that our skin deactivates permethrin so quickly that any protection offered is quickly lost.

CAN PERMETHRIN BE PUT ON SKIN? Permethrin is frequently put on skin with many OTC Over-The-Counter products (which contain even greater concentrations than these clothing treatments) for the purpose of killing and controlling head lice. Permethrin is not put on skin for repellent purposes, it's put on clothing.

Permethrin as a repellent is a clothing treatment and a synthetic version of the natural pyrethrum insecticide that protects flowers (such as the Chrysanthemum) from insect attack. The natural insecticide is very susceptible to breakdown when exposed to ultra-violet light and does not serve as a usable repellent because of this fast breakdown. Most credit for this product goes to the Department of Agriculture and other research institutions where some extraodinary people did some excellent work. Additional research added filtering and longevity agents to protect the Permethrin from ultra-violet light breakdown.

It repels and kills insects and ticks exposed to it. In tests ticks that crossed only 10 inches of treated fabric fell from the cloth as if repelled. Most ticks died from this limited exposure. And mosquitoes who land on it don't fly far. The water based Permethrin repellents can be applied to any colorfast material without damage.

Permethrin is virtually non-toxic to humans and no systemic effects have been reported. In EPA and FDA tests it was extremly rare to even have skin reddening, or other irritation. Permethrin is applied to clothing where it dries and bonds. Properly treated garments provide protection for a full two weeks plus and through two detergent washings. This non-staining, odorless chemical has exceptional resistance to degradation by sun light, heat and water. Permethrin as a repellent should not be applied to skin . . . it will not bond to skin (stick). When placed on skin permethrin is quickly deactivated by skin's esterase action into inactive components. It is only effective when used as a clothing treatment.

Tests on mosquitoes conducted by the Army and Air Force showed that when lightweight battle dress uniforms were treated until moist (approximately 4 1/2 ounces) Permethrin alone (0.5% solution) gave 97.7% protection from mosquitoe bites and 99.9% protection when used in combination with a deet based repellent applied to skin (20% to 35% solution). Mosquito repellent and killing action of Permethrin treated uniforms was not diminished by five detergent washings. Mosquitoes were also repelled from the general test location because of what is called the side stream effect caused by multiple personnnel wearing permethrin treated uniforms. It is humorous to some degree that the researcher noted, "This required that the test sight be moved on several occasions to locate more mosquitoes!"

Tests with permethrin on ticks conducted in Massachusetts concluded that 100% protection was provided against the Deer tick (Ixodes Scapularis) which is the primary vector of Lyme disease on the East Coast and Mid-West. The same results occurred when testing the Western Black Legged tick, Lone Star tick, American Dog tick and Brown Dog tick. Similar results have been found with other tick species throughout the United States. It was found that ticks which traveled as little as 10 inches on treated fabric were repelled. And in that limited time nearly all received a sufficent exposure to permethrin to be killed.

Some publications still show permethrin products having a 3 day, 7 day or other protection limit. Both Duranon and Permanone have a two weeks plus protection limit. Publications quoting these lower levels of protection are using outdated information!

Other products that use citronella, hand lotion and other "essential oils" are not recommended because, based on tests that we've reviewed, they (DON'T WORK WELL) have very little repellent effect. Why don't they work very well after all they are registered? We're told that because they are classified as "natural" the EPA does not hold they them to a standard. We've seen official documents stating that the duration of protection from Skin-So-Soft was so brief that protection only lasted from the time the it was applied to the subjects test arm until the arm was presented to the mosquitoes in a test box, about 6 minutes.

There are ads that show two children, one with a product using deet and the other using Skin-So-Soft. While one child continues to play without interuption the other who uses the Skin-So-Soft is constantly interupted by mosquitoe attack. These ads comparing Skidadle Repellent (deet based) to Skin So Soft are real, so are the stories published in national consumers magazines and TV shows such as CNBC's Steals & Deals.

Some products work and some don't. Some manufacturers care about the health of their customers and some only run for the almighty dollar and don't care. IF A DISEASE LIKE "DENGUE FEVER" or "MALARIA" EXISTED IN THE US, THIS KIND OF LYING TO THE PUBLIC THROUGH DECEPTIVE MARKETING PRACTICES WOULD NOT TO TOLERATED.