Tips for Making Tick-Control Clothing

From Susan Kierstead, (a recap of information offered at the March club meeting)
Permethrin is a tick control chemical that you spray or soak on clothes. It binds to the clothes and then will withstand several washings. (Read the label, to see how many times the clothes can be washed.) It is not something you want to inhale or get on your skin, but once it dries it is safe to wear. Last year I sprayed, but this year, since I am even more paranoid about ticks, I used a soak. Both years I operated outside on a windless day. For the soak I bought professional grade Permethrin (38% I think) and diluted it to 0.5%. I wore rubber gloves and made up a 2 gallon solution which was enough to soak 12 pairs of garden pants. I hung them on the line for 2 days to insure drying and now am relatively confident that the ticks will die. The tick just climbs on the fabric and it does something to their system. The only tick I saw all summer was on a bare leg. And remember I am in the garden every day, and I do my weeding sitting down. I am a perfect tick target. I got all my permethrin from, Sawyers brand, but I understand Walmart carries it. If you are thinking of doing it, I also recommend going on line and learning more about it. And one more thing, to keep track, I have a magic marker in the bedroom and just write on the inside waist band so I know when to treat again. And now you all know my dirty little secret… why my pants look so grungy. I don’t want to be spraying all summer so garden clothes get worn again.

Note from the editor:

Susan offers wonderful perennials from her own collection, as well as a very informative email newsletter.  If you are interested, see or email

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