Working in the woods exposes me to lots of ticks, and I do a thorough tick check at the end of each day. I’ve avoided lyme disease so far.
You may have heard of permethrin. It’s an insecticide that’s used by farmers, the military and people who spend time outdoors. It doesn’t just repel the insects, it will kill them too. Permethrin binds tightly with natural fibers, and it is effective for up to a year or 50 washes. My wife looked at the materials safety data sheet because she was skeptical of the safety of the product, and she gave me the go ahead.
I experimented with the military’s method of permethrin soaking for my work clothes this spring. It’s worked great! I haven’t found a single tick on me since I soaked my clothes! I picked up a container of permethrin at the Nelson Agri Center and diluted it 12:1 water to permethrin to get a 0.83% permethrin solution. Be warned, it smells terrible. I soaked my clothes for 3 hours and hung them outside until they were dry. I gave them a wash and dry, and the odor was mostly gone. After the first wearing there was no odor left. I treated about 15 pieces of clothing for $15. A great bargain to reduce my chances of tick borne illness. I whole heartedly recommend you treat the clothes you use in the woods. Don’t mix up the whole container if you aren’t going to treat a lot of clothes. Save it for future applications.