OK, I know it's spring. I spray treated a few pieces of hiking clothing (pants, shirt, socks, ballcap) with Permethrin this week.
If you've seen the crazy expensive Insect Shield clothing that Ex-Officio and LLBEAN and others sell, this is clothing that has been factory washed in a permethrin solution. Once dry, this stuff is harmless to people and pets, but kills bugs that land on it. This makes it ideal for tick prevention:
You can also treat your own clothing, using a spray product with 0.5% solution of permethrin:
The only catch is that the cost of this stuff adds up really quickly if you treat all your stuff. The Sawyer spray bottles (24 ounces) are $17 and you can go through one of these in no time if start spraying socks, pants, backpacks, tents.
So what I do is save the empty Sawyer bottle from the first time (so I've got a fully labelled bottle!) and then refill it with a concentrate. You can buy 13.3% concentration which would dilute 1 oz in 24 ounces of water for a 0.5% solution. Or, I just bought it in a 10% solution. I'll put 1 ounce in 20 ounces of water when I refill the spray bottle.
Here's a 16 ounce bottle from Amazon. Same price as the Sawyers and it'll refill the Sawyers bottle 14 times for the price of one bottle of Sawyers:
Spray outdoors and let it dry before wearing! Do not let cats near the wet or liquid solution. It's safe after it dries. Unlike DEET, it won't destroy plastic or synthetic stuff on your clothing or tents. However, this stuff is NOT for application to your skin (it doesn't work). So this stuff for fabric/gear. DEET for skin.
It lasts for a month of outdoor exposure (UV) and/or 6 washings before it needs to be reapplied. Hiking one or twice a week, one application is probably enough to get through a season, but it's easy enough to respray.
I'll spritz down the tent inner and doors and mesh panels the first time I set it up, making sure to allow time for it to dry before I sleep in it.
I do find that there is a slight odor the day after you first apply the stuff, but it goes away as it completely dries. I put a mark on the inside label of treated shirts, so I can figure out which are bug repellent and which aren't. I treat all hiking socks, boots, pants, and shorts as these are the most likely tick magnets.