Rating: 4 / 5
Sawyer brand permethrin spray is widely available here at Wal-Mart and many sporting goods stores. If you live in an area that isn't tick infested then count your blessings. If you do live or hike in a locale with the nasty little buggers then permethrin is a great tool. In heavily infested areas of OK and AR I have found permethrin nearly 100% effective in preventing ticks from latching on. So, for effectiveness, permethrin is a great product. I've found that it is effective for at least 2 weeks from a single application.
PERMITHRIN IS ONLY FOR APPLICATION TO CLOTHING AND NOT YOUR SKIN! Permithrin has been discussed extensively on BPL. It is not designed for use on your skin. Yes, this is a chemical product. Don't use it if you are opposed to insecticides. But in an area with a heavy tick population permethrin is a very useful tool.
There are many available products for applying permethrin insecticide to clothing. The Sawyer spray is in an aerosol can. In past years local stores have carried a pump spray from Sawyer.
The sprays are fairly easy to apply to clothing. Spraying is to be done outdoors to avoid breathing the overspray. Spraying clothes is straightforward but having to set up outside is a bit of a hassle.
Wetting down the surface of pants and socks has been effective in stopping ticks. I usually spray my clothes a day or 2 before heading for the trail except in winter. In summer weather permethrin is also effective against mosquitos.
IIRC the Sawyer can retails for about $5. One can will treat my pants and socks for 3 or 4 applications.