On ticks, chiggers and preps — something to consider

Having just been eaten nearly alive by chiggers on a recent excursion (I could send pictures, if I could stop scratching long enough to take them), I went searching for a way to NOT be eaten alive in future.

Bugging-out, Bugging In, hiking, gardening, whatever…..


I went on the hunt for something effective, because I don’t know what they eat when I am not around, but clearly if I AM around it is me.

There are many snake oil and commercial concoctions that require multiple applications and no particular promise of success.

If bugging out it will be off-road if not vehicular (Because roads are for people who like to be ambushed).

It will be less than clean by definition. Now get eaten up by bugs and scratch all over in your sleep.

Break the skin and you get infected, or with ticks you can get really sick, and at the very least your attention is not where it should be.


Here is what I came across as a combination of readings, and will be doing.

It is similar to what is referenced in a few books,  just not the OD Green Military Kit.

I can only remember one book recently that even talked about it, but with nothing you could do to make it happen for yourself.


Online purchases:

Permethrin Soak Treatment Kit

(Really expensive for not much )



of course if 10% permethrin is the same everywhere ..

you can buy 32 oz. for cattle for 10$ less than 8 oz above..


(Martin’s 10% Permethrin)




Lots of reviews where people used this to mix in a lotion ..

I’m not sure how much I believe the lotion claims ..

I’m sure it works.. just not that they knew anything about what they were doing making it….

If you decide to .. really think about the concentration you use..

People and dogs shed this stuff pretty well, but more is not always better..


So here are some instructions that seem reasonable.

Use at your Own Risk (Common sense should be used in all things)

If you buy the 32 oz. Martins 10% Permethrin, you just use half of it to duplicate the concentrations listed below.


DO NOT Deliberately Allow concentrated Permethrin to directly contact skin

DO NOT  Deliberately Inhale mist or vapor

DO NOT  Dispose in water or areas that supply animals food (Very toxic to fish)


DO NOT brush, gargle, get in eyes, bathe in it etc

Sounds silly I know but they put labels about not using blow dryers in the shower because someone did it.

If you have any doubt about over exposure, see a doctor right then.


Now that I have scared you.

Do yourself a favor and read this doc from Oregon State :


It’s not really all that scary.


Using Martin’s 10% Permethrin to mix with water and make a soak/spray treatment for hunting and hiking clothes.


Usually it is available on Amazon for a decent price.  (AMAZON above)


Martin’s is not FDA approved for a clothing treatment for humans. DID YOU READ THAT STATEMENT? (not listed doesn’t mean it is a serious risk if diluted properly. Don’t use it at concentrated levels.. dilute to .5% or less)


With that said, with quite a bit of research into the various permethrin mixtures available. Most are marketed toward treatment of ticks and mites on Cattle, Dogs and other Livestock. Many of these are not suitable for clothing treatments because they contain a percentage of petroleum to aid in the sticking on cattle and other livestock. This is the same for the permethrin lawn treatment products that are available at Home Depot and Lowes. Many people have used these, but from what was researched, it’s safer to avoid the products that list petroleum in the ingredients.



  1. 16 oz. 10% Permethrin
  2. 5 Gal Bucket or other suitable container of similar volume
  3. Rubber cloves
  4. An Isolated drying area


Soak Directions:

Use 16oz. of Martin’s 10% Permethrin and mix it with 2.5 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket, or suitable container. Do not reuse the bucket as a food grade container if plastic.

If a metal container is used thoroughly clean the container prior to any other use..

  1. Mix up a bucket
  2. Dip clothes in
  3. Wearing gloves,
  4. Wring out the clothes back into the bucket.
  5. Hang clothes away from pets, children and small animals until completely dry


The mix makes it just less than .5%, and  is completely effective at killing ticks. Many dead ticks found on treated clothing.


Soak Coverage:

Approximate Coverage:

  1. 5 pairs of pants,
  2. 5 shirts
  3. A couple sets of base layers.
  4. Some left in the bucket to fill 2-3 16oz spray bottles for reapplication to clothing. (remember to let dry thoroughly before use)

(If you are as big as Andre the Giant.. results will vary)



ZERO tick bites. Some were found,  a few, both dead and alive. No seed tick attacks, no chiggers, and it kills mosquitoes if they stay in contact with the fabric.


Other mix ratios are possible for smaller or alternate uses:

  1. Mix to get to .5% is 6.4 ounces per gallon of water or 1oz to 20 oz. of water. (this might be used to treat two sets of clothing using 1 gallon plastic bags in the wild)
  2. 1oz to 15oz of water, that gives you .625% and is stronger than needed, but fits nicely in a 16oz spray bottle. (for spraying clothes when a soak isn’t desired or practical)


Martin’s can be used to mix up a tick dip for dogs.

Follow the instructions provided with the bottle to make the dog dip. Testing on a tick on a dog, when sprayed it with the dog dip and the next day the tick had fallen off. Assume it dead since they don’t leave usually, without assistance. The dog dip mix is many times weaker than the .5% used for clothing.

The .5% Mixture binds to the fabrics and when dry has an effective duration around 6 washings, with no risk to humans.

Don’t use the .5% mix on your dogs and don’t use it in any mixture on cats.


Hope this will help someone this summer BEFORE they are eaten alive.



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Rourke’s favorite insect repellant:



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