Permethrine - How To Use
Unlike DEET, which is used primarily on the skin, permethirn is applied to fabric, such as clothing or mosquito nets. Permethrin, however, is not a repellant. It is a powerful, rapidly acting contact insecticide that knocks down, or kills, insects that come in contact with it. Features of permethrin:
- Permethrin kills or stuns insects touching treated fabrics.
- Permethrin adheres tightly to fabric and will last through multiple washings. It will not harm or stain fabric, even silk
- Unlike DEET, permethrin will not soften plastic or synthetic materials.
- It is defensive against mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and chiggers. Permethrin is more effective against ticks then DEET.
- Permethrin is biodegradable and does not accumulate in the environment. However, it should not be disposed of in ways that will harm marine life.
Permethrin is a synthetic chemical analogue of the naturally occurring plant insecticide pyrethrum. It acts as a neurotoxin. The stunning (“excito–repellency”) effect and direct killing of permethrin are due to its blockage of sodium transport in insect nerve fibers.
Although highly toxic to insects, permethrin is not hazardous to mammals; skin absorption of the chemical is extremely low, and any absorbed permethrin is rapidly metabolized. To date, no cases of human toxicity, carcinogenicity or mutagenicity have been reported. In fact, products such as 5% ELIMATE antiscabies cream contain permethrin and are safe enough to be applied directly to scalp and skin for medical purposes.
Permethrin and DEET-The Miracle Combination?
The best way to avoid insect bites - and all diseases insects transmit - is to apply DEET repellent to your exposed skin and treat your clothing with permethrin. The effectiveness of this combination is confirmed by many studies, such as the one reported by the Medical Letter (May 1989) that demonstrated 100% protection against mosquito bites. In a similar study done by the U.S. Army in Alaska, the combination afforded 99.9% protection.
Direction for Spraying with Permethrin Aerosol
6 oz. of aerosol will treat 1-2 sets of clothing (shirt and trousers = 1 set) or 2 nets
- Place the clothing or mosquito net on a plastic sheet out of doors.
- Spray, using a slow, circular motion, holding the can 8” – 12” above the fabric. Moisten all areas. Fabric will temporarily darken when moistened.
- Shirts: Spray each side 30 – 45 seconds. Trousers: Spray each side 30 – 45 seconds. Jackets: Spray each side 30 – 45 seconds.
- Mosquito nets: Partially unroll the net onto the plastic sheet. Spray 30 – 45 seconds. Turn net, and spray another 30 – 45 seconds. Keep turning and spraying the net until you moistened all areas
- Hang up, or lay out, clothing or net to dry. Allow 2-3 hours for complete drying. Effective for 2-6 weeks. Permethrin, when applied, is odorless and non staining.