Black flies, mosquitoes and ticks are upon us here in New Hampshire. Although we only have these pests seasonally, they exist year round in many places you may travel to.
So what’s the best way to protect yourself from bites? Covering up with clothing and tucking pants in to shoes will help. But ticks still manage to find you. Using products with 25% DEET or higher also work but have limitations. They need to be reapplied and product duration varies so you have to check the label and make sure you comply with the directions. If you are swimming or sweating, you will need to reapply even more often. They smell and you will want to wash it off when you are no longer worried about the bugs.
You can treat your clothing to make them insect repellent by spraying on or soaking them with permetherin. Permetherin is a man made version of a natural insect repellant found in chrysanthemums. It is inexpensive and after treatment they are insecticidal for 6 weeks or 6 launderings, whichever comes first.
Recently a new line of clothing has been developed with permetherin impregnated into the fibers that lasts for 70 washing which equals the life of the garment. Insect shield clothing is available at outdoor clothing companies, travel clothing companies and on amazon. The clothing is odorless and repels mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and flies. They are a bit more expensive and you will still need to use some insect repellent on your exposed skin but together they provide the most protection. Remember to also perform a tick check every day and if you find any, remove them properly.