Not so fast! I was reminded Sunday when I sprayed my running shoes, to pass along something that I learned only recently that every suburban homeowner needs to know.
Most of us know or have heard anecdotally how bad Lyme disease can be when left untreated – which can easily happen because it’s not always possible to know when you’ve been bitten. What is not generally known is that there is a class of products that when sprayed on shoes and clothing actually kill ticks pretty much on contact.
It’s available. I believe it’s safe, and if you venture outside almost any time of year except the dead of winter you would be well advised to use it.
It’s called permethrin. That’s the active ingredient, not a brand name (there are several brands). You can buy it in spray or pump form at outdoor stores like REI or on Amazon, and one treatment survives several washes.
Unless you plan to roll in the grass you only need to treat shoes, socks and trousers below the knee (trousers of course tucked into socks) to get incredibly effective protection. I have read studies that described ticks just rolling over dead as soon as they hit the treated fabric.
With the warming weather, now is probably a good time to add one of these canisters to your outdoor arsenal.