How to Spray Your Shoes with Permethrin to Help Prevent Tick Bites

When you lace up for an outdoor adventure, you're probably thinking about the path ahead, not the pests below, particularly ticks. These little arachnids are not just a nuisance—they're potential carriers of diseases. The sneaky nymphs, a young stage of ticks, often lurk in the leaf litter, ready to climb aboard the nearest host. Since shoes are the first point of contact with the ground, they become the prime target for these tiny hitchhikers. The solution? Treating your shoes with permethrin.

Why Permethrin?

Permethrin can help protect you from tick bites. It's approved for use on clothing, gear, and yes, your trusty shoes. By treating your shoes with permethrin, you're setting up a barrier that can help deter those nymphs from hitching a ride and potentially biting you.

Long-Lasting Tick Protection

The convenience of permethrin treatment lies in its effectiveness and longevity. A monthly application is often sufficient to keep your shoes protected, even with daily use. Here's how to ensure you're doing it right:

Step-by-Step Guide to Treating Your Shoes

  1. Select the Right Product: Find a permethrin spray that is EPA-registered and formulated for use on clothing and footwear. Insect Shield Permethrin Spray is a great option. It has a continuous spray for easy application and is EPA-registered to repel and kill ticks.

  2. Prepare the Area: Choose a well-ventilated space outdoors. If you'd like to protect the surface underneath, you can lay down newspaper or a plastic sheet.

  3. Apply Thoroughly: Don't just spritz; aim for full coverage. Spray the permethrin onto your shoes until they look noticeably wet. Pay special attention to the laces and edges where ticks might cling.

  4. Let it Dry: Once you've applied the spray, leave your shoes in a safe, ventilated area to dry completely. 

  5. Reapplication: Tick expert, Dr. Thomas Mather recommends spraying your shoes once a month during tick season. Insect Shield Permethrin Spray can be purchased as a single can or a two-can value pack to easily incorporate this step into your monthly routine.

Safety First

Always follow the instructions on the permethrin product label for safe and effective use. Remember, while permethrin can help protect against ticks, it's essential to use it as part of a broader tick-avoidance strategy that includes checking for ticks after outdoor activities.

Embrace Your Adventures

With your shoes treated, step out with confidence into your next outdoor adventure. Whether you're hiking, hunting, camping, or just enjoying a walk in the woods, you've taken a step to protect yourself in tick territory. 

Explore tick repellent clothing & gear

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