Sawyer Permethrin Premium Insect Repellent



Easy to use and long lasting this bug treatment really…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $15


Easy to use and long lasting this bug treatment really works. If you visit buggy areas or are concerned about ticks at home or on trail this stuff is peace of mind in a bottle


  • Effective
  • Easy to apply
  • Won't harm most clothing and gear
  • Long lasting
  • Safe for children's clothing


  • Very poisonous requiring safe disposal of any remainders
  • OK, that was a reach since I can't think of any real cons

Designed to be used to pretreat clothing and gear to repel ticks, chiggers, mites and mosquitoes this product works as advertised.  After one full season of use I am convinced of the effectiveness of Sawyer's permethrin and will keep using it so long as that remains the fact.

Application is simply a matter of waiting for a day without much wind, hanging the item or items to be treated, lightly dampening items with the product via the spray applicator and then waiting for them to dry. Sawyer claims 42 days of effectiveness per treatment and will last through 6 washes, but as I'm either walking in the rain or sweating in the heat I retreat once a month if I remember.

Once the product dries it is almost entirely without odor. There is a very faint smell which I do not find annoying in the least and really only notice when I'm sniffing to see if I should reapply. I have yet to find any item I have treated which was discolored by the process, but I would recommend testing first on a small hidden area just in case.

The info on the container says the 24oz bottle is enough to treat four complete outfits but that seems very conservative to me. I treated my own shirt, pants, hat and socks three times last year, some clothes for Mrs Stranger and The Tot as well as treating clothing for three other people who came on trips with me last year and that left about a third of the product remaining. I may have been under treating but based on how well it worked I'm thinking they may just be avoiding setting their specs too high.

As mentioned the product is safe to use on children's clothing which is great if you have kids who like to roll around on the ground. Our back yard is a forest filled with ticks so I have found the permethrin useful at home as well as on trail given Lyme Disease concerns. Now that EEE is moving into our area I think we may start treating more of our clothes we wear outside the house this year.

There are other brands of permethrin out there but having tried the Sawyer I don't feel much need to try them.  This stuff works as advertised and definitely far better than I expected. On last year's trips I never had to resort to using a head net and only used bug repellent one time.

Keep in mind my trips were all here in Maine where bugs are certainly not a minor annoyance so if it works here it will probably work where you go. Personally I'm sold and will buy a bottle each year unless something better comes along.



You can save a lot of money if you buy it concentrated at local farm supply stores (It's used to treat cattle and horse stalls). I bought a quart of concentrate for $25. It mixes to 20 gallons. I mix it up in a pump up sprayer and treat my gear and my basement (for spiders) at the same time.

3 years ago

@G00SE heh I think I'll stick to the version designed for humans and cut corners elsewhere. I'm using this to try to cut down on the toxic chemicals I absorb 8p

3 years ago
Sean Harrison

Nice review. Gotta get a bottle for my Katahdin trip.

3 years ago

LS, it's the exact same stuff. Sawyer just jacks the price up by selling it as ready-to-use.

3 years ago

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