Protection From Tick Bites

A serious problem for Plein Air painters is the potential for tick bites after painting in open fields and woods. My solution to the problem is to treat my clothing with an insecticide called Permethrin. Permethrin is a synthetic form of Pyrethrum, a natural insecticide derived from the chrysanthemum flower. I soak my pants and spray my shoes with a 0.5 % solution of Permethrin and let dry on a hanger in the open air. It is toxic primarily to cold blooded creatures like insects and fish. Humans are additionally protected by the natural skin enzymes which neutralize the small amount of Permethrin transferred from contact with treated clothing.

Martin’s Permethrin 36% can be purchased from Amazon and diluted with water to 0.5% by adding half an ounce of Permethrin to 35.5 ounces of water, or can be approximated by adding 1 table spoon Permerthrin to a quart of water. After treated and dried, clothing can be washed several times without loosing its effectiveness against ticks. More information about the application of Permethrin is available on the Web, including where to buy ready to apply formulations at the 0.5% concentration. One good reference is:

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