There’s good news for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy the Sierra Nevada.
Permethrin-treated clothing to prevent tick bites really works, according to research announced last week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Especially Effective Against Black-Legged Tick
Moreover, the treated clothing is especially effective against the black-legged tick, which is found in the Sierra and causes Lyme disease.
“Effects varied somewhat between species. Permethrin-treated clothing showed the strongest effect on black-legged tick nymphs (after a one-minute exposure, 100 percent lacked normal movement one hour later), followed by lone star tick nymphs (86 percent), black-legged tick adult females (62 percent), American dog tick adult females (18 percent), and lone star tick adult females (2 percent),” states a report in Entomology Today. “A five-minute exposure to permethrin-treated clothing led to loss of normal movement for all ticks of all three species and life stages for at least one hour.”
The report further states: “Permethrin treatment is available in various forms to consumers. Certain manufacturers produce clothing pre-treated with permethrin. Other companies offer mail-and-return treatment through which consumers send clothing they already own to be treated with permethrin and returned. Alternatively, permethrin sprays are available for consumers to apply to their clothing on their own at home. The CDC recommends treatment for clothing and gear such as boots, pants, socks, and tents with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin and notes that it remains protective through multiple washings.”
Safeguards Against Lyme Disease
Here is advice from the California State Parks on the best ways to prevent Lyme disease:
“To prevent Lyme disease, wear a longsleeved shirt, and tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into boots or socks. Apply a tick repellent to clothing. Stay on trails and avoid contact with bushes or rasses along trails where ticks are common. Regularly examine yourself, your children and pets for ticks and remove them promptly. Check the hairline, behind the earlobe, under the arms and breasts, at the beltline, groin and behind the knees.”