Sawyer Permethrin Clothing Insect Repllent SprayBzzzzzzz… Smack!  Do mosquitos love you?  Do you end up with itching, annoying bites whenever you spend time outdoors – even though you put insect repellent on that morning?  Well, read on…

On our first trip to Africa where there was a real risk of catching malaria from these pesky little buggers, our travel doctor encouraged us to try Permethrin insect repellent spray.  Ever since then, we’ve found that treating our clothing and gear with Sawyer Permethrin deet free insect repellent spray has given us the added protection we’ve needed while traveling in remote places, or just camping or hiking in our own nearby recreation areas.

Permethrin clothing treatment spray is the perfect ‘partner’ to insect repellents that are applied to exposed skin.  Sure, using a DEET repellent on the exposed parts of your body is a great way to keep from getting bites in those areas.  But this doesn’t stop mosquitoes from biting right through your shirt, hat, or pants.  Not to mention ticks, mites, chiggers, or other bugs that can crawling up your pant leg or down your collar.  It also doesn’t stop these critters from entering your tent or sleeping bag.  That’s where Permethrin comes to the rescue!


Permetherin – A Deet-Free Insect Repellent  

Permethrin is a synthetic substance that is similar to natural pyrethrum, which comes from the chrysanthemum flower.  It contains NO DEET and is non-toxic to humans.  It won’t stain or damage fabrics, plastics, or finished surfaces. It isn’t harmful to skin, but isn’t effective on skin either.   This is because skin contact deactivates it in about 15 minutes.  But when you spray it on fabric, you can turn any outfit you have into insect repellent clothing.

Unlike repellents applied to your body, Permethrin won’t wash off when you sweat or take a dip in a pool.  Plus, it’s odor-free once it’s dried.  And since you can use it to treat any piece of clothing you want, it is much easier and less expensive than trying to buy entire outfits of bug repellent clothing.  Just one application to your outdoor clothing can last up to 6 washings!


How It Works

Not only does Permethrin repel insects, but it’s also a contact insecticide.  That means it kills insects that land on it as well as those that are in the area.  It’ll kill mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, mites and over 55 other types of insects.

Permethrin binds tightly to the fabric it’s applied to in a way that minimizes exposure to the skin. And the treatment on clothing that’s been sprayed with Permethrin lasts up to 6 weeks, and through 6 or more washings.

The 24-ounce trigger spray bottle can treat 4 complete outfits consisting of a shirt, pants, and pair of socks.  But if you’re like us, you’ll also want to treat your sweater, jacket, shoes, boots, hat and gloves for fullest protection and greatest peace of mind.




Not Just For Clothing

Because Permethrin kills insects on contact, it’s great not only for clothing of all types from head to toe, but also for other fabric items in your vicinity.  These include:

  • Tents
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Backpacks
  • Hammocks
  • Mosquito Nets
  • Cloth Camping Chairs



  • Kills insects on contact and repels airborne insects, and is effective against over 55 species
  • Non-toxic to humans and 100% DEET-free
  • Doesn’t mar or stain fabric, and does not leave a greasy feel or lasting odor
  • Remains effective for over 6 weeks and through 6 washings with just one treatment

Things to Know

  • Need to allow it time to fully dry to be effective.  This means you can’t spray and go and expect it to work right away.  Requires some advanced planning.
  • Harmful to cats in its liquid form (but not after it has dried).   So be sure to apply in an open well-ventilated area away from straying cats.
  • Unused product needs to be carefully disposed of, as it is harmful to fish in its liquid form.  So, don’t pour down the drain or into a river.  (Once it’s dried and bonded onto fabric, it is no longer harmful and can be worn in a river or other body of water.)


No more Bzzzzz… Smack!  Permethrin is an absolute life-saver for any outdoor enthusiast.  It’s ideal for activities including camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting, and is absolutely essential when venturing into an area where there is a risk of insect-spread infections or viruses such as malaria or West Nile virus.

We’ve found the overall best insect repellent solution to be the combination of using both a DEET based insect repellent on your exposed skin and Sawyer Permethrin spray applied to clothing and gear.  KO those pesky insects with a real one-two punch!

You can buy the 12 or 24 ounce Sawyer Permethrin Deet Free Insect Repellent Spray on Amazon.



  1. Permethrin is toxic, so be careful.

    It is very deadly to cats…and I’m assuming it wouldn’t be a good idea to spray your baby’s clothes with it either. I read that a girl using a stronger dog shampoo with permethrin also died from it.

    Jeff July 28, 2014
    1. You’re absolutely right, Jeff. Thanks for your comment. Permethrin is very powerful stuff and should only be used according to the directions (which do warn about use around pets and young children). We’ve used it successfully on our clothes (two adults) on trips to Africa, Patagonia, and other locations where we really wanted to make extra sure we were well protected, and it definitely does the trick.

      leezsnow July 30, 2014

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