Organization: Public Health Agency of Canada
What is permethrin-treated clothing?
- Permethrin is an insecticide and is an active ingredient used in some household products to control insects, biting flies, wasps, cockroaches and spiders.
- Permethrin-treated clothing is clothing that has been treated, by a manufacturer, with permethrin to protect against mosquitoes and ticks.
How does permethrin-treated clothing work?
- Permethrin-treated clothing and accessories, such as hats, can help protect you from mosquitoes and tick bites by protecting the areas of the body covered by the treated garments.
- When the mosquito or tick gets close to, lands on, or crawls onto the treated fabric, the permethrin irritates the mosquito or tick which causes it to move away before it can bite.
While permethrin-treated clothing is a prevention measure against tick and mosquito bites, it doesn't provide complete protection and should be combined with other prevention measures such as:
- using bug spray with DEET or Icaridin on exposed skin (always follow label directions)
- tucking your shirt into pants and pants into socks to prevent ticks from crawling under clothing.
Who can wear permethrin-treated clothing?
- Permethrin-treated clothing has been approved for people over the age of 16, including pregnant women.
- Permethrin-treated clothing should be kept out of reach of children.
- However, people wearing permethrin-treated clothing may touch or hug children.
- Carrying an infant or young child who may suckle or chew on the fabric of the clothing should be avoided.
Pregnancy and nursing
- Women who are pregnant or nursing can wear permethrin-treated clothing (e.g., shirts, jackets), but it is recommended that these not be worn while nursing, as it places infants in close contact with the product.
- Permethrin-treated clothing has not been evaluated for pet safety in Canada.
- Prolonged periods of contact between the clothing and your pet should be avoided.
Always follow label directions.
Permethrin-treated clothing in Canada
- When purchasing permethrin-treated clothing, look for the Health Canada Pest Control Product (PCP) number on the label. Always read and follow the label instructions. Labels for pest control products are also accessible by searching the online Pesticide Product Label Database.
- Permethrin products in the form of liquids or sprays for consumers to treat their own clothing are not approved for use in Canada.
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