A new study led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that clothes doused in the insecticide named permethrin were found to be effective in helping people keep away ticks.
Shirts, pants, and other forms of clothing treated with permethrin have been touted as a way on how to protect against ticks. However, the benefits of permethrin clothing have not been proven by research, until now.
Keep Ticks Away With Permethrin Clothing
According to a study published on the Journal of Medical Entomology, just a minute or two of contact with clothes treated with permethrin incapacitates ticks, causing them to fall of the fabric.
CDC researchers, which took a look at various permethrin clothing and fabrics, found that the items may be toxic to several tick species at different stages of their life cycles. The clothes prevent the ticks from reaching the wearer's skin, protecting the person from tick bites. Permethrin, meanwhile, is harmless to people.
The researchers used permethrin-soaked clothes sold by the brand Insect Shield in their tests. After exposure to the clothes, the ticks experienced irritation, and were physically impaired and unable to bite. The findings are the strongest proof so far on the effectiveness of clothes laced with permethrin against ticks.
Consumer Reports, meanwhile, remains skeptical about the effectiveness of permethrin clothing, pointing out that the tests were not carried out while the clothes were worn by a person. The clothes may have stopped the ticks, but it was unclear if they will be enough to protect against tick bites.
The Importance Of Tick Bite Prevention
Infections from ticks, alongside flea and mosquitoes, have more than tripled from 2004 to 2016, according to the CDC. Over that period of time, nine new germs spread by tick bites and mosquito bites have also been discovered.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, bringing attention to the tick season and the rising number of Lyme disease cases. Over 300,000 cases are recorded per year for Lyme infections, which may start out with just rashes and flu-like symptoms but may escalate to more severe complications if left untreated.
The number of ticks will increase over the next three months, in addition to a new tick species that was found in New Jersey. The longhorned ticks may not transmit Lyme disease, but they may spread a deadly virus that causes severe fever, possibly leading to death.
Clothes laced with permethrin are now tagged as an effective answer on how to protect against ticks. Other tips to prevent bug bites are to cover as much skin as possible with clothes and to regularly check your clothes when you come from outside for any ticks that may be attached to them.