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Ticks, Permethrin and Canadian hypocrisy

Ex Officio BugsAway2

Ex Officio BugsAway pants are treated with Permethrin and just one of many products produced in the U.S., UK and EU to protect against all insects, but particularly ticks. But you can’t purchase this clothing in Canada or have it shipped into the country.

Once again, tick season is upon us. For most in the Rockies wood ticks are an annual nuisance that we suffer for a couple of months. The only defence is to tuck our pants into our socks and check ourselves carefully for the beasties following every hike. But in many parts of Canada, including British Columbia, Lyme disease has long been a serious threat, and the deer ticks that transmit the grim Borrelia burgdorferi parasite are virtually invisible.

In the northeastern U.S., where Lyme disease has been rampant for over a decade, people have been defending themselves with permethrin-treated clothing.

In the past few years, there has been an explosion of factory-treated products on the market, including shirts, pants, socks, hats, gaiters, hoodies, bandanas and neck gaiters. But not in Canada.

You can also buy 0.5% permethrin spray specifically made for treating your own clothing in the U.S. But not in Canada.

The permethrin story

Permethrin is a synthetic chemical insecticide that acts like natural extracts of the chrysanthemum flower. Repellents, like DEET and picaridin, disorient and repel insects, but permethrin attacks an insect’s nervous system and kills it. Repellents are applied to the skin or clothing to provide a level of protection for a few hours, however permethrin should not be used on skin but rather on clothing, where it can provide dry, invisible and odourless protection for weeks or years.

Factory-treated clothing has been sold commercially in the U.S. since 2003. Factory treatment is considered effective for as many as 70 washings or, as is likely, for the life of the garment. Permethrin spray can be purchased and applied to any clothing, however the level of protection is usually listed as six weeks or six washings.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency paper Repellent-Treated Clothing: “The amount of permethrin allowed in clothing is very low, and scientific studies indicate that human exposure resulting from wearing permethrin factory-treated clothing also is low. Available data show that permethrin is poorly absorbed through the skin.”

Sawyer Permethrin

While outdoor clothing treated with permethrin is not sold in Canada, consumers can purchase permethrin from the U.S. to treat their own clothing. One of the most popular brands, manufactured by Sawyer, is available in a 24 oz (710 ml) spray from REI. The spray would treat as many as four items of clothing and is listed at a reasonable $16.00. However, shipping costs and currency conversion brings the price to $68 by the time it reaches its destination in Canada.

Canadian conundrum

Health Canada’s stand concerning permethrin is difficult to understand. Here are some of the facts concerning its use:

— Permethrin has been approved for use in clothing worn by Canadian military personnel since the 1980s.

—Factory-produced clothing containing permethrin cannot be manufactured in Canada or shipped into the country, though Canadians can bring these items back with other purchases from the U.S. or abroad.

—Permethrin spray designed for use on clothing (0.5% strength) is not available in Canada, but it can be purchased online and shipped into the country (at considerable expense).

—Permethrin for use on horses and livestock (10% strength) is available in Canada. (Many outdoors folk purchase the agricultural-strength version and dilute it for their personal use.)

—The Government of Canada publication on Travel Health and Safety entitled “Insect bite prevention” recommends applying a permethrin insecticide to clothing and other travel gear for greater protection. It also states: “Although permethrin is not available in Canada, travel health clinics can advise you how to purchase permethrin and pre-treated gear before or during your trip.” (Presumably by making a shopping trip south across the border before you embark.)


I have treated clothing with permethrin and used factory-treated varieties for several years. I love being able to walk through mosquito-infested landscape without continually applying DEET (a fully treated outfit plus headwear seems to create a “bubble” of protection that keeps mosquitoes from bouncing off your face). And permethrin-treated socks and pants are much better protection against ticks than other repellents.

I have also seen the ravages of Lyme disease first hand.  If it is caught in its early stages, Lyme can be treated effectively with antibiotics. But when it reaches an advance stage, it is one of the ugliest diseases imaginable. And I can attest, it is far more prevalent in Canada than health agencies will have you believe.

Currently, permethrin-treated clothing is the most effective defence against the deer ticks that host and transmit Lyme disease. And until Health Canada gets its act together and makes factory-treated clothing and permethrin spray readily available in this country, those of us who spend time in the outdoors will have to jump through a lot of ridiculous hoops and incur great expense to protect ourselves.


  1. Lisa

    I have just written to Health Canada to complain about this. I haven’t even been able to find a US supplier able to ship permethrin clothing spray to me. I have a two-year-old daughter who loves being outdoors and in the woods. If we were in the States, at least I could treat her shoes and socks and feel fairly confident about protecting her. I’m angry that I don’t have that option here in Canada. It’s irresponsible on the part of Health Canada to be denying us proper tick protection. I’ll take whatever miniscule risk using permethrin brings (though as far as I can see, there is no risk) versus Lyme disease any day. Things need to change. Fast.

    • Douglas House

      Health Canada is extremely negligent in restricting the use of permethrin sprays and the sale of permethrin treated clothing and the importing of permethrin products from the United States.

    • Pamela Parker

      A Canadian company makes Doktor Doom Long Lasting Residual Surface Spray .50% permethrin.
      This can be bought at http://www.doktordoom.com
      I applied it to my cloths on the ground outside in the shade on a calm day.
      I sprayed my clothing so it was slightly damp and let it dry.
      Keep it out of direct sunlight during application and while drying.
      After wearing my outdoor clothing for fishing, camping and hiking i put the clothes in a dark garbage bag and stored them away intil I needed them again- I get out every 2nd weekend during the spring/summer and fall and the treatment lasted for close to 90 days. I washed my clothes- cold water and hung to dry outdoors in the shade.
      Great value – spent $ 40.00 on the big Can 605 G. It was good for 2 applications to my hiking pants, socks, hat and outer jacket.
      I used it to treat the outside of my tent and treated the ground around my campsite.
      Wow , mosquito free area is wonderful.

  2. Dan Shire

    We live in the Toronto area, hike there frequently as well as the 1000 Islands and around Pt. Pelee National Park near Windsor – all 3 areas have significant risk from ticks that can transmit Lyme Disease. When we visit American relatives or take a trip down to the US in the car (Minneapolis, Buffalo, Watertown NY) we always stop in at a sporting goods store to pick up a couple large spray bottles of the Sawyer product, which has gotten good reviews on Amazon. I understand that the stronger solution available in agriculture stores in Canada (for horses and cattle, around barns) is the same chemical product, but it is diluted with a petroleum solvent which you would not want to get on your skin or clothes (due to odour, and potential concern about the petroleum contact). So, we stick to the more diluted Sawyer product from the US stores. We’ve crossed the border multiple times with it in the car, no issues. I’ve also ordered the permethrin treated hiking pants and shirts from REI and Sierra Trading Post and picked them up at a US relative’s home. We have found these pre-treated clothes, and the spray treatment on our other hiking clothes, to be effective. We are going on a birding trip to Jamaica in the fall and will definitely pre-treat all our clothes – socks, shoes, pants, shirts, hats, and a mosquito net.

    • Brian

      Your approach is the one that most Canadians will have to follow until Permethrin, spray and treated clothing, is available in Canada. I do note that Ben’s Clothing & Gear Insect Spray (0.50% Permethrin) is available at amazon.ca, which claims it can be shipped to Canada ($10 CDN + $13.99 CDN shipping for a 6 oz can). But it’s still better to purchase Sawyers if you’re travelling in the States. While I always keep Permethrin spray on hand to treat hats, socks and pants cuffs, I prefer pre-treated clothing (you don’t have to re-treat clothing every six weeks). I recently discovered that European outlets have no qualms about shipping Permethrin-treated clothing into Canada. I’ve purchased an Insect Guard Buff neck gaiter and Outdoor Research ankle gaiters from TrekkInn.com (Spain) and Craghoppers Nosilife clothing from Purple Turtle (UK). Craghoppers says its Nosilife-treated clothing (a full line of head-to-toe garments) is guaranteed for the life of the garment. Nosilife can also be ordered from Cotswold Outdoor (UK). And even with shipping, I find prices quite competitive. But be patient with shipping—it usually takes at least 3 weeks.

  3. K Goligher

    funny, since the Canadian Forces treats it soldiers uniforms with this Banned item.

    • Brian

      Yes, quite ironic.

  4. Steve aka Hiker_Steve

    Good info Brian. I to have done some research lately and found that Health Canada has instead of improving things made it worse. Starting April 18, 2018, you can no longer bring unregistered pesticides into Canada if they are not equivalent to those already registered in Canada for personal use in or around your home. Very Painful, I am still trying to find some in Canada for use on Horses, but so far the concentration is 0.1% not the 0.5% we need to spray clothing. My blog on his an be found on my website (www.hiker-steve.com).

    • Brian

      Bad news about permethrin spray. But good news for availability of permethrin-treated clothing in Canada. Marks is marketing hats utilizing “No Fly Zone by Burlington” technology (0.52% permethrin). If you go online with amazon.ca, you’ll find a wide variety of outdoor clothing with permethrin insect treatment at prices competitive with U.S. listings (Ex Officio, Solstice, White Sierra). And amazon.com is now shipping permethrin-treated attire to Canada as well. I’m researching the issue and hopefully will be posting a blog about Health Canada’s revised regulations.

    • Doug

      Do you know there has been a bed bug epidemic in many parts of Canada. Particularly in apartment buildings. Guess what works against for bedbugs. You got it permethrin.

  5. Wylaine

    So if I got Nix shampoo could I dilute it and put in a spray bottle to spray clothing?

    • Peter

      Hi Wylaine.

      I purchased head lice shampoo, though it wasn’t Nix. It had 2% permethrin content. I diluted it to 0.5%.

      The product was kind of thick, as a shampoo would be, and wasn’t ‘watery’ like the Sawyer product when I diluted it. It came out of the squirt gun I was applying it with not as a fine spray, but as a messy, thick squirt. This worked fine. It is more expensive to purchase head lice shampoo than to find a Sawyer like product.

      I’m currently waiting to hear from the manufacturer of ‘Superior Control Products’, ‘Protector House and Garden’ spray. The label shows ‘12.5 gms/liter’. I’m waiting to hear from the manufacturer what percentage that translates into. I bought it from ‘The Outdoor Store, Canada’s Birding Store’. The price was about $15 for half a liter. This compares to the Sawyer product, when you could order the Sawyer product in from the U.S..

    • Martha

      Permethrin – 12.5 grams per litre

      Converted to a percentage this bottle contains 1.25% and must be diluted down to 0.5%

      Here are the instructions for anyone that may still be interested:

      Dilute 1 (500ml) bottle of this concentrate into 750ml of water to create 1.25L of spray at 0.5% permethrin (formula for diluting concentrates): use this 0.5% mixture for spraying or soaking clothing, tents, sleeping bags, and other outdoor gear. Reduce concentrate to 0.2% for spraying trees and plants. Permethrin is more than just an insect repellent — it actually kills ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers and more than 55 other kinds of insects. Permethrin is also effective against the Yellow Fever Mosquito, which can transmit the Zika Virus.

      IMPORTANT: Wear PPE when mixing, after spraying your garden wait for an hour or two before you let your dogs go anywhere near, they say after it has dried it is then safe to do so. Do NOT use around toddlers. Do NOT spray near aquatic life, ponds, etc. Permethrin is ALSO harmful to BEES. I’ve watched people smell this stuff on YouTube….Do NOT inhale this stuff!

  6. John

    You mentioned, “Many outdoors folk purchase the agricultural-strength version and dilute it for their personal use.” Do you know where in Toronto, Canada one can get this agriculture-strength version?

    • Brian

      As someone who has used Permethrin spray designed for clothing, I wouldn’t recommend diluting agricultural permethrin. And with the exception of treating hats and socks, I find spraying clothing frustrating and expensive, especially since the treatment only lasts around six weeks. I much prefer clothing that has been commercially treated (lasts for 70 washings). A wide variety of product is now available online in Canada, and Marks is scheduled to release a full line of Permethrin-treated attire under its Wind River label in June (No Fly Zone by Burlington). I will be testing this out in my favourite mosquito hollows and on local wood tick-infested slopes. I hope to file a full report in the next month or two.

  7. Ron S

    You can get the concentrated stuff at most horse tack stores. Some has citronella mixed in with it, which some people find objectionable. Just dilute with water to get the 0.05% concentration. Rather than spray, pour some solution into a large ziploc bag and put the item of clothing in it. Seal the bag and slosh the contents around until the item is well soaked. Then hang it up to air dry. Be aware that liquid permethrin is toxic to cats. It is OK once dry.

    • C.M. Stephens

      I requested further information about this re-evaluation from the Government of Canada using their online portal. I also sent a message to the Minister of Health and to the CBC. I’ll update if I hear anything back. We need to be able to protect our families, our dogs, and ourselves from these evil little blood suckers and the diseases they carry.

    • Rebecca

      I am greatful for your link. I understand more now and appreciate what is going on. Thank you

  8. Wasyl B

    The veterinary permethrin is formulated to stick to skin, not clothing. So it will wash out right away.

  9. Pascal

    I am in the Canadian Forces and can attest that the stuff has been used for a while.

    We do not spray the garments however. We use the soaking method using a 40% Permethrin dilution (diluted to which ratio, that I do not know). The smell is pretty intense so I would assume that it is mixed with a petroleum solvent. I once participated in batch-treating of combats for our platoon and taking a look at the small bottles used, I suspect it was P-40, which is only avalaible to govt. agencies or the military.

    From what I read, using 10% Permethrin diluted to 0.5% to make a soaking solution is supposed to provide a longer-lasting protection, although there are no scientific proof. However, with the clothing being soaked in and out, you can be sure that there would be no missed spots. And should any of those buggers make their way inside your clothing, it will be a non-issue as the entire fabric will be infused with Permethrin.

  10. Rhonda

    A couple years ago I contacted Health Canada about permethrin to find out why it was available in products for treating head lice and scabies in humans and for military clothing, but not other human uses. The response was that NO PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANY HAD SUBMITTED AN APPLICATION to register the product in Canada! So, the fault lies with Sawyer and other manufacturers who (mistakenly) think there’s no market for their product in Canada and have not bothered to apply for registration here. We need to be pushing the manufacturers to make these products available in Canada. Health Canada can’t approve them for use if companies don’t submit an application!

    • Brian

      Insect Shield was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2003. Soon after, this American company based in North Carolina applied to Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) for a license in Canada. After a decade, two separate applications, and spending nearly $500,000, the company gave up. Meanwhile, Insect Shield was approved in every major country in the world and currently has more than 75 corporate partners worldwide.

      Canadian-based Marks suffered similar frustrations with the PMRA. After a decade of trying, and astronomical development costs similar to Insect Shield’s, the company compromised with the PMRA and agreed to line all its permethrin-treated attire.

      Little wonder that companies aren’t chomping at the bit to submit applications to the PMRA.

  11. Lisa

    Marks’ Work Wearhouse now has their no fly zone products in stores. Thanks for the tips here- I bought some pants!

  12. Michael Leibson

    I live in a heavily tick-infested rural part of eastern Ontario, and I’m very grateful to Brian Patton for writing this article. I’ve since bought Mark’s No Fly Zone pants and brimmed hat (both by Burlington), which are well-made, of relatively light-weight material. However, since all these registered permethrin-treated clothing items are required (by Health Canada’s PMRA) to have a lining, they aren’t quite as comfortable for hot summer days as I’d wish.

    I have also been in contact with Burlington (who license the No Fly Zone apparel to Marks and Canadian Tire), who tell me that they are still waiting for Health Canada to approve further items and gear. Sadly, they have also told me that it took eight long and expensive years to get this approval from Health Canada. At that rate, the ticks will definitely have the upper hand : – (

    • Kim Laframboise

      I find that with the marks clothing its helps to just cut away the liner.. I don’t do this on the pants (I like the extra protection from thistles and brambles) but have done this with the long sleeves and this makes a huge difference!

  13. Cliff Dweller

    Just to let you know; Sawyer has applications in with Health Canada for all forms of there products, I understand the low dose versions of Permethrin is about to be released by Sawyer in Canada under the label Icaridin, my understanding is that it will be just like Icaridin products available from; Care Plus, MOSQUITO SHIELD PIACTIVE INSECT REPELLENT, and Woods, all have a 20% Icaridin (Permethrin) level that will only last 6-8 hours per treatment, this is well below the level available from Sawyer Permethrin sprays. Sawyer sees Canada as a low sales market and are dragging there heals when it comes to finding a Distributer or setting up a Sawyer Canada division, mainy do to Canadain approval and bilingual packaging issues. If you want to call them and voice your opinion the number is 800-356-7811 (M-F, 9-5, EST) and if the 800 number doesn’t work from Canada call 727-725-1177, or you could email there sales manager Patrick at pat@sawyer.com and let him know the urgent needs of the Canadian consumers for Sawyer products. The approval issue is currently in the hands of Health Canada and not a Sawyer issue.

    • Brian

      Sawyer manufactures both Permethrin and Icaridin in the U.S. Icaridin is a repellent that is primarily applied to exposed skin or clothing like DEET. I prefer it to DEET because it seems just as effective without most of the negatives. Icaridin 20% has been available in Canada for sometime under the label Piactive and manufactured by Kuus Inc., a Canadian company. As far as I know, Sawyer has not received permission to market their Permethrin spray product into Canada. Up until recently, Permethrin sprays for treatment of clothing could be purchased abroad and brought back to Canada (Permethrin spray can be purchased in the U.S. and nearly every other western country), but not purchased here. I hope to have a more detailed report on this issue soon.

  14. Suzanne

    Has anyone tried Superior Product and Garden concentrate, made in Quebec to use for clothing ? It is a permethrin product. I am not sure if it as safe as the Sawyer product and was wondering if any of your expertise can help.

    • Brian

      This is the first time I’ve seen a commercial advertisement for diluting garden-home insect permethrin and using it on clothing. I can’t recommend this sort of improvisation, even though it might work. This is the sort of thing that Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) is trying to control, but the agency’s ridiculous restrictions for permethrin are only encouraging “creativity.” The CPMA needs to accept the use of permethrin sprays designed for clothing, like every other country in the world.

  15. Steve

    Can someone please clarify for me, as of today (June 2018) is it possible / permitted to purchase Sawyer Spray (Permethrin) in the USA, and bring it back into Canada in small amounts?

    I’m on vacation in the US in a few weeks and would love to throw a couple of bottles into my checked luggage for the trip home

    • Brian

      A friend on a road trip in the U.S. just brought me two bottles of Sawyers this week, and I have done so on past road trips. I can’t say how a baggage checker might react if they find it. But you can always say that it has been permissible to bring it into Canada with personal purchases, even though you can’t purchase it online for shipment.

  16. Caroline

    What do you think about the product Bug Tek with 0.25% permethrin? I just purchased a bottle, would it be effective on clothing anyway with half the permethrin? I think it was most likely designed to treat bed bugs and other mites.

    • Caroline

      Forgot to mention this product (Bug-Tek) is sold in Canada. I purchased mine in Québec.

    • Brian

      Bug-Tek is a permethrin product designed for insect pests around the house and garden. I use AntOut (Canadian Tire) to keep my home ant-free, which lists an identical permethrin mix of 0.25% to Bug-Tek. Then there is Absorbine UltraShield EX, a fly spray for horses that uses 0.50% permethrin, which is the same percentage as permethrin treatments for clothing and available at agricultural-livestock outlets in Canada. I’ve seen comments that permethrin products designed for gardening and animals do not adhere to clothing and will disappear with the first washing. Plus, I’m reluctant to use any permethrin product that hasn’t been specifically produced for clothing (i.e. skin contact).

    • Brian

      Unfortunately, this link is to cabelas.com, the U.S. website. Cabelas U.S. doesn’t ship permethrin spray to Canada, and Cabelas in Canada doesn’t carry Sawyers or any other permethrin spray at this time.

  17. Kim Ambrose

    After moving here from the uk only 3 months ago I went to a race track and camped there in Manitoba. I come home to find 4 ticks on my dog. Completely freaked me out! None the less she wasnt that bothered and I removed them fine. I then stumbled across this when reading up about them. I’ve since been and got some horse grade fly spray called Bronco. Active ingredients are pyrethrins 0.05%, piperonyl Butoxide 0.50% and permethrin 0.10%. Would this be ok to use on clothes? I’m not bothered if it only lasts one wash as it will just be on our clothes that we wear racing for one weekend each month. Would it also be safe to put on the dogs harness? Obviously I’d spray everything and just let it dry before we pack. Thanks guys!

    • Brian

      I have read some online promotions for horse spray (permethrin) who claim it is safe to use on dogs (as with horses, be careful not to spray in the dog’s eyes but wipe carefully on the head below the eyes). And Bugspray.com publishes a note “Horse fly repellent for clothing” and claims that you can “spray your clothing the morning of the day you’ll be outside and treatments will usually last 4 to 6 hours.” I’m currently researching this issue and any new information will be added to my post “Permethrin-treated clothing arrives in Canada” (June 14, 2018).

  18. Brian

    In an effort to update the discussion about permethrin and its availability in Canada, I have published a new posting on this site “Permethrin-treated clothing arrives in Canada” (June 14, 2018). https://canadianrockiestrailguide.com/permethrin-treated-clothing-arrives-in-canada/ This post highlights a new line of treated clothing in Canada produced by Marks under its Wind River label. It also discusses the lack of permethrin spray designed for self-treatment of clothing. Hopefully, the steady stream of comments and questions can move to that posting.

  19. Shiva Markandaier

    Hi Brian,
    Thanks for the useful information. Wondering about bug jackets. How effective are they at preventing mosquito and tick bites?
    Shiva Markandaier

    • Brian

      If you are talking about bug jackets that use a physical barrier (hooded jackets with mesh face screen), they are very effective. However, I hate them because they are hot and claustrophobic. I have a hooded jacket made with lightweight mesh that is treated with permethrin. It provides good ventilation, mosquitoes usually stay away from my face when I flip up the hood, and I don’t have to peer out through mosquito netting. Marks WindRiver No Fly Zone hooded jacket should provide excellent protection from mosquitoes without needing a face net, but it may be warm when working or hiking during hot weather. But if you’re worried about ticks, I would concentrate on attire below the waist (pants, socks, gaiters).

  20. Peter

    I don’t know where some people got their information but it certainly wasn’t from reliable sources when it comes to Sawyer sales in Canada and also concerning the CDN government not having any applicants, etc, etc… Permethrin is NOT permited in Canada at the moment. FINAL! This is for now tho because Health Canada is currently reviewing many of their restricitons and Permethrin is among them. Their final decision is expected for June 2019. here’s the link and proof: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/consumer-product-safety/reports-publications/pesticides-pest-management/decisions-updates/reevaluation-note/2019/special-review-work-plan.html

  21. Quinella

    The very first and foremost problem with health canada is that they refuse to acknowledge that ticks are a problem. It doesn’t matter that lyme is a known, proven and indisputable disease caused by tick bite, according to them lyme is a figment of a person’s imagination due to mental instability. So, when they refuse to acknowledge lyme then why should they approve an agent that can be used to combat this pesky little bug.

    • Brian

      I’m not a fan of using permethrin products designed for animals and insects on clothing. These products aren’t designed to withstand washing, so they’re not likely effective after clothing has been laundered. But if you do try it, make sure you let it dry on the clothing for several hours before you wear.

  22. Jason

    Any updates on this? I was bit by a tick in Frontenac a couple weeks back (still waiting on public health to get back to me with the testing results) and I followed every rule while out – clothing ticked in, deet on skin and clothes etc – only thing missing was the lack of PERMETHRIN which I am pissed off I could not get.

    Has anyone found any studies that show how to take agriculture grade Permethrin and properly apply it to clothing so that it doesn’t wash off?

    What is the best solution at the moment for us then? Just marks line? Other than that, what is there? Cross the border and buy clothing there pre treated?

    • Brian

      Mark’s Wind River No Fly Zone clothing with permethrin treatment appears to be effective (I like the bungee-cord pant cuff closure). Using agricultural permethrin doesn’t appear to survive the laundry. And permethrin treatment (spray) for clothing is simply not making it into Canada these days unless you go down and purchase in the U.S.

      Some permethrin-created clothing is making it into the country via amazon.ca. Search bug-free clothing on that site, particularly Insect Shield. ExOfficio, White Sierra and Solstice. A limited selection, but these amazon.ca orders are getting through (I’ve purchased a number of items for testing).

  23. Toni Bacchitta

    So I notice that I’m not seeing alot of responses regarding the Absorbine line for horses that several people have asked about. I’d like to figure out how to use it as a spray for clothing before heading out biking or hiking. Quite frankly, I don’t really care if it won’t survive a wash…..I’ll just put more on. I’d just like to know how to do it…..would you just spray it straight onto your clothes, let it dry, then off you go, or dilute it then soak and hang the clothes and let them dry? I’m super pissed that we can’t get this here either….and a little more pissed that more people don’t know about this. Can we get a thread going about how one would make a solution for clothing out of the Absorbine? Personally, I like to wear workout gear-leggings and tees or tanks-because the most time I spend right now in risky areas is on my bike riding bike trails and I’m not wearing lined clothing for something like that. I’d die of heat stroke, I’m sure. Has anyone tried the Absorbine route yet? Much appreciated for any conversations we can get going on more on this topic.

    • Brian

      I’ve been reluctant to advocate the use of agricultural permethrin spray for use on clothing. But since Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency continues to block permethrin designed for clothing, what the heck! Absorbine contains 0.50% permethrin as its primary ingredient, the exact same percentage as Sawyer, the leading spray for clothing in the U.S. It is important to follow directions when spraying clothing, allowing it to dry completely over several hours. Absorbine does advertise that the product is effective for up to 17 days on animals. However, Absorbine contains aloe and lanolin, which may be fine for horse hair and fur, but may affect its ability to dry completely on clothing. Go to the Sawyer website: https://sawyer.com/products/permethrin-insect-repellent-treatment/ for instructions on how to apply the product to clothing and follow these directions when applying Absorbine. (Ironically, the video on the Sawyer website detailing the use of their clothing spray was filmed in Banff National Park.)

  24. Lynne Jeffreys

    After reading some of this is there anyway to make your own permethrin spray from the actual plant source- chrysanthemum flowers?

    • Brian

      Marks has been selling No Fly Zone permethrin-treated clothing since 2018. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), a division of Health Canada, requires that Marks line all permethrin-treated clothing, which makes it warmer than similar wear sold elsewhere in the world. The PMRA has also banned permethrin sprays for treating clothing. Again, the only country in the world with such restrictions.

  25. David carmichael

    You suck health Canada!

  26. KA Jaques

    If you are using permethrin spray or treated clothing and you have a cat please keep away from your pet. It could kill or cause them to have severe health problems. It is also toxic to fish and other ‘good’ wildlife, and should not be allowed in the water supply or streams / rivers. There are reasons this pesticide is banned in the EU and unavailable in Canada. It is suspected that it has effects on the human nervous system. Considering the chemicals the military has been allowed to interact with over the last hundred years it is not surprising the Canadian Forces is allowed to wear permethrin treated clothing.

    • Brian

      Good points on the use of liquid permethrin around pets or allowing it into water supplies. But liquid permethrin to control insect pests and for treating domestic animals is available across the counter everywhere in Canada. I’m concerned about people who use this form of permethrin on their clothing. But the EPA and EU agencies have deemed clothing pretreated with permethrin safe. Canada is the only country that requires a lining for such clothing.

  27. Waiyee

    So it is 2021 May now, still no decision on Permethrin?

    I have problem understanding this page https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/consumer-product-safety/reports-publications/pesticides-pest-management/decisions-updates/reevaluation-note/2019/special-review-work-plan.html

    Try to order something from InsectShield site, the ONLY Country they won’t ship is Canada! With the border closed for over a year, no sight for reopen, more and more people doing local outdoor activities… guess for those didn’t killed by Covid, will be killed by ticks, mosquito related diseases.

    • Brian

      The PMRA sidestepped the issue in its latest ruling. The agency still requires Marks to line its permethrin-treated clothing, which makes it uncomfortable during warm, humid conditions. This is the only permethrin-treated clothing “legally” available in Canada. Major U.S. manufacturers and outdoor suppliers abide by these rules and won’t ship into the country. However, a variety of Insect Shield, Bugsaway (Insect Shield technology) clothing is available through amazon.ca at competitive prices (undoubtedly through third-party distributers). Nosilife clothing by Craghoppers (an unlined Insect Shield spin-off) is available from UK outlets, who will ship to Canada. None of this off-shore clothing is lined and therefore more comfortable to wear. I will be reporting on permethrin-treated clothing and repellents in a future posting.

  28. Thomas

    Having recovered from contracting Lyme disease last year, the extra cost of getting Permethrin is minuscule.
    When contracted, Lyme can hide by showing a false negative on tests as it did in my case. The negative result combined with months passing untreated and a maxed out medical system due to covid led to much misery before someone actually acknowledged the advanced symptoms and I was finally treated. Do not take Lyme disease lightly. Use the permethrin.

    • Dean R Smith

      You are not the only one misdiagnosed Thomas. I work in the medical field. I discovered an article in the ‘Hospital News’, a small newspaper that is distributed throughout the hospital networks in Ontario. This doctor from Montreal had the symptoms of Lyme disease, couldn’t get the proper tests.Eventually moved her practice to new york as she was disgusted with the testing here and got treated. Bottom line is, ontario has a cheap test and and a very expensive test. The cheap test is less than 50% effective and practitioners accept a negative at face value. She also stated that a lot of people go on and are eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia. A blanket diagnosis when practitioners can’t figure out why people have muscle pain and weakness. Look it up if you want.

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