How to Mix Permethrin for Clothing Soaks

Written by chrissie reinhart
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How to Mix Permethrin for Clothing Soaks
Keep biting insects away by soaking your clothes in permethrin. (close up on a mosquito image by Stephen Gibson from

Hiking allows access to beautiful scenery, that would otherwise be hidden, and provides exercise. But slapping a swarm of mosquitoes away or worrying about ticks detracts from the enjoyment of a hike. That's especially true if you're in an area where the mosquitoes carry the parasite that causes malaria or the ticks carry Lyme disease. Soaking your clothing in the insecticide permethrin is one way to prevent getting bitten and contracting potentially life-threatening diseases.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Permethrin, 20 per cent concentration
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Measuring cup

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  1. 1

    Pour one cup of permethrin in a bucket with two gallons of water. This is roughly one part permethrin to 20 parts water.

  2. 2

    Add your clothing to the bucket and allow the treated water to soak into the material.

  3. 3

    Remove the clothes from the bucket, wring out the excess water and hang the clothes to dry.

  4. 4

    Wash the treated clothes. The permethrin will have bonded to the fabric and will be effective for about two weeks.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are soaking a lot of clothing, you can use more water and permethrin; simply keep the dilution at one part permethrin to 20 parts water.
  • Permethrin is also available in a spray.
  • Retreat after six washings or when no longer effective.
  • Permethrin is harmful to cats, so keep them away from treated clothing until it has gone through the wash once.

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