Mosquito Stopper? Permethrin-Treated Shirts Tested | Consumer Reports


The emergence of
the Zika virus means avoiding mosquito bites is
more important than ever. The Centers for Disease
Control recommends using an effective
insect repellent, such as DEET or Picaridin. But another option
they recommend is wearing clothing
that has been factory treated with the
insecticide Permethrin. The process was created
for the US military where Permethrin treated
combat uniforms have helped protect soldiers from
insect borne diseases, like malaria and West Nile
virus, since the early 1990s. But in recent months,
sales of Permethrin treated civilian
clothing has jumped as concern about Zika
carrying mosquitoes grows. One manufacturer has even
launched a line of Permethrin treated maternity clothing. But is Permethrin treated
clothing effective? We tested three different
Permethrin treated shirts from two different
manufacturers, an L.L. Bean crew shirt made by
Burlington and two ExOfficio shirts, the BugsAway
Breez’r and the Talisman, both made by Insect Shield. All three shirts come
embedded with 0.52% Permethrin and claim to
last through 70 washes. We wanted to see how
these products performed new and after being
washed 25 times. As a control, we also tested
three untreated shirts, and one we sprayed
ourself with 30% DEET. Testers put their arms into two
separate cages filled with 200 disease-free mosquitoes. The untreated shirts provided
almost no protection from bites by hungry mosquitoes. All of the Permethrin
treated clothing incapacitated or
killed mosquitoes that landed on the
shirts, but in some cases that knockdown didn’t
happen quickly enough to prevent all from biting. None of the testers were bitten
when wearing the new L.L. Bean shirt, but after the
shirt had been washed Aedes mosquitoes, the kind that
carry the Zika virus, bit three out of four testers. With the ExOfficio shirts,
both new and washed, all four testers received
bites from the Aedes mosquitoes as well as the kulaks mosquitoes
that can carry West Nile virus. Consumer Reports
contacted the companies that make the Permethrin
treatment, Insect Shield and Burlington. Both cited formal
studies and field testing data to underscore
the effectiveness of their products. But there’s another way
to keep bugs from biting. According to the
CDC, any repellent that works on your skin
should work for just as long when applied to clothing. With the DEET treated
shirt we tested, neither kind of mosquito
landed on the arm, and therefore there
were no bites. Ideally, clothes should be
sprayed before you put them on and allowed to dry
for 30 minutes. The best repellents will keep
you protected from mosquitoes for at least seven hours. To see all the results
of our most recent insect repellent testing, check
out www.consumerreports.org.

22 thoughts on “Mosquito Stopper? Permethrin-Treated Shirts Tested | Consumer Reports

  1. Great. Put it on pregnant women and let's wait until it's deforming babies or making them stupid. lol humans are stupid. Ugh worthless dangerous clothes.

  2. Well one more reason to avoid mosquitoes, especially since that one time I saw one at Magic Johnson's barbecue…

  3. Not sure how I feel about this video. They undermined the fact that the light blue shirt didn't have any mosquitoes on it. Not to mention you can buy permethrin and spray it on yourself like DEET sprays. What I REALLY want to know is if spraying a DEET spray or a permethrin spray is more effective. Especially since they said "DEET spray lasts UP TO 7 HOURS!" while not emphasizing that permethrin can be effective through a few washes.
    I demand a re-study

  4. permethrin is not really "a repellent" , is a poison ,it kills bugs on contact after few
    minutes but mosquitos still can bite before they get uncomfortable to get away ,permethrin is best and mainly used to prevent ticks from hanging on you or gear and bite later because they don`t bite intermediately so they drop first from the poison that irritates them, most solutions sold is for spraying on the clothe not on skin
    because is very toxic when absorb thru the skin, any tiny % amount of
    diluted permethrin if you watch other videos or read the formula label amounts, must be handle with gloves because is a poison, so why would you spray toxic bug poison on your skin? ,DO NOT DO IT! is also use as bug control around you house to kill bugs not to repel them, is a poison! … deet based bug spray is a repellent used safely directly on
    skin so they don`t land on you and bite and as the video says you can
    spray it on clothe like anything else but it is not meant for it because
    it can stain or ruin fabric,etc many can be greasy,some are gel,some
    dry , got to test before you do spray on your dedicated camping clothe
    unless you don`t care; deet is not market as a clothing spray for a
    reason, so test!

  5. Couldn't they find a better model than the obese woman with all the tats in the beginning of the video? Gross.

  6. Please bear in mind, if anybody owns a cat, that this idea could be absolutely deadly to the cat as Permethrin is completely toxic to cats and will kill them.!

  7. Deet and picardidin are shit…………………………….Permethrin or pyrethrins are the only real way to prevent seed, deer, dog, and other ticks from getting at you. Never use permethrin on cats pyrethrins can be used on cats in low dosage shampoos but not wet high dose spray over 5% permethrin at 5% will kill a kitty cat.

  8. DEET is bullshit ……………………why is it when I used DEET on my skin and clothing the mosquitoes just kept biting and hanging around me and yes they were biting and not dying. With Permethrin or pyrethrins of any kind on my clothing in 5% or 10% dosage amounts fresh unwashed………………………..( Washing is BS it comes out) I never received a tick or bug bite at all in about 90% of the cases when i used Permethrin. Ticks it works 100% of the time i find if properly applied to stuff and dry. For flying biters it is about 75% to 90% effective.

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