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Bed Bug Sheets


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Hello! I plan to walk the Camino Frances in April 2010, and I am having trouble locating those permethrin bedbug sheets here in the U.S. Perhaps someone here has a secret source. Or, does anyone know if they sell them in Spain? Or is the spray that you can buy in the farmacias just as effective?
Thank you!
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You may want to treat your sleeping bag yourself. Here is an information sheet on repelling bugs:

Permethrin Repellents
The DOD Chemical Protection System: The Department of Defense (DoD) utilizes a system of two chemical components in conjunction with the field dress uniform. The EPA approved components of this system include the insecticide permethrin and the insect repellent DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-tiluarnide) in concentrations less than 33%.

Permethrin is virtually non-toxic to humans and no systemic effects have been reported. In EPA and FDA tests, it was uncommon to have any skin reddening, rash or other irritation. When used as a repellent, permethrin is applied to exterior clothing where it dries and bonds to the cloth fiber. This water-based formula is non-staining, odorless and has exceptional resistance to degradation by sunlight (UV), heat and water. Although permethrin is approved for skin application under certain circumstances such as head lice formulas, it is not applied to skin as a repellent. Permethrin does not bond to skin (stick) and is quickly deactivated by skin's esterase action into inactive compounds. Because of these attributes permethrin offers no repellent benefit on skin. It is only effective when used as a clothing treatment. Deactivation of permethrin on skin occurs in approximately 20 minutes, when placed on clothing it will last 2 weeks (even up to 1 year with special application) and will even last through weekly launderings. With the long history of success permethrin has achieved, it is best not to second-guess these extraordinary results. By following the directions provided on the product you can be assured of results that achieve protection at or near 100%. Any variation of instructions that placed less permethrin on clothing will result in diminished performance.

Permethrin Mosquito Tests: The early history of permethrin development involved tests on mosquitoes conducted by the US Army and Air Force. Tests showed that when lightweight uniforms were treated until moist (approximately 3 ounces) the permethrin alone (0. 5% solution) gave 97.7% protection from mosquitoes and 99.9% protection when used in combination with DEET (33% solution). Two detergent washings did not diminish mosquito repellent and killing action of permethrin-treated uniforms.

An interesting side note: The effectiveness of permethrin can be shown in the following report highlight that was reported in a very matter of fact statement. During testing in the Everglades, "Mosquitoes were also repelled because of the side-stream effect caused by numerous treated uniforms within the same general location. This required that the test site be moved to locate more mosquitoes!"

Permethrin Tick Tests: Test on ticks conducted in Massachusetts concluded that 100% protection was provided against the Deer tick (Ixodes Scapularis), which is the primary vector of Lyme disease in the Midwest and Northeast. The same outstanding results occurred when testing the Western Black Legged tick, Lone Star tick, American Dog tick and Brown Dog tick. Similar results have been found with other tick species throughout the United States and Europe. Two detergent washings did not diminish repellent killing action of permethrin-treated uniforms. In tests, ticks that crossed only 10 inches of treated fabric fell from the uniform, later dying due to this limited exposure.

Note: Military application of permethrin (Permethrin Arthropod Repellent) varies from civilian application in that 4.5 ounces are applied to the uniform and the remaining contents of the 6 ounce container used to treat mosquito netting. The difference in application also results in increased protection. It is specified that "reapply after six weeks and sixth laundering." The additional 1.5 ounces doubled the 2 to 3 week protection realized from the civilian application of 3 ounces. Full protection is realized by use of permethrin AND application of standard issue repellent approved for skin application (3M Ultrathon)

DEET (N, N-.diethyl-m-tiluamide): is an approved repellent for skin application. Exposure to high concentrations of DEET can pose some limited health hazards. At the time concentrations of 33% as provided in the 3M Ultrathon product were chosen by the military for its superior performance and high margin of safety. Up until the 3M product was chosen the military had been using a 100% DEET. It was uncomfortable to wear and easily damaged certain materials. Since the 3M Ultrathon introduction, some new developments have been made using DEET in special micro encapsulated formulas that have tested quite well and last some 20 hours between applications. Based-based products are available in a wide variety of formulas that can address the very specific needs of the individual traveler, outdoors person, family member and even young children. Specific blends with other repellents to repel biting flies are called composites, while others formulas have been added to sunscreen for convenient dual-purpose application.

Early research on DEET showed that performance dropped off when concentrations of 35% or higher were tested. As an example, if a 30% DEET concentration offers satisfactory repellent action for four hours, an assumption that a 60% DEET would last eight hours is not correct. The 60% product may only last about 5 hours. In the use of standard DEET formulas, it is more effective to use lower concentrations of DEET with more frequent application than to assume the higher concentrations to be longer lasting. They are not. Most brand-name based-based products already have a DEET range from 15% to 33%. Once the threat of insect/tick bite is over, the repellent should be washed off. DEET by itself tested between 85% to 89% effective at repelling ticks (DEET does not kill either ticks or mosquitoes) and 97% against mosquitoes.

The DoD system consists of both permethrin treated clothing and DEET applied to skin. The use of one without the other will undermine the system and increase the risk of insect or tick bite. Many non-DEET products are available on the market and are not part of the DoD protection system. They show ineffective repellent performance and are not recommended for any situation where disease transmission is a threat.


Previously sold under the PERMAKILL 4-WEEK TICK KILLER label, the new name best describes the product and its attributes. This has long been used as an economical means of applying permethrin to tents, camping gear, building premises, surrounding grounds, dogs, dog bedding, kennels and clothing. Permethrin is the product referred to by the CDC for use by travelers. The following information is gleaned from several sources including the US Army:

Permethrin Fabric Treatment
There are three specific dosages used to impregnate fabric with Permethrin.
For protection up to one year (52 weeks):
0.125-mg permethrin per square centimeter of fabric. The protection will last for the life of the garment, 50 detergent launderings, or 1 year, whichever comes first. It is accomplished by applying a dosage of 1 pint of .8% mixture to a garment using Perma-kill 13.3% Permethrin solution by way of Controlled Wicking, Spraying or Soaking (see below).

For protection up to 6 weeks:
0.026 mg per square centimeter of fabric will yield 6 weeks of protection or 6 launderings and is accomplished by applying by 2 1/2 ounces of .5% (1/2%) mixture to a garment by aerosol spray or non-aerosol spray.

For protection up to 2 weeks:
0.008 mg per square centimeter of fabric will yield 2 weeks of protection or 2 launderings and is accomplished by applying by 1 1/2 ounces .5% (1/2%) mixture to a garment by aerosol spray or non-aerosol spray.

Controlled Wicking - The ideal application (preferred method) is to follow the prescribed military procedure that maximizes protection and minimizes waste. The process is a controlled wicking process where a specific amount (dose) of permethrin is introduced to an individual garment under controlled conditions.
You will need:
a - pint measuring cup
b - 1 ounce measurer
c - several 2 gallon sealable plastic bags (e.g. Ziploc ™)
d - a bottle of 13.3% permethrin
e - water
f - clothing (Do not treat any under garments, treat outer garments only).
g - several large rubber bands
h - rubber gloves

Instructions: Wear rubber gloves when handling wet solution. Add 1 ounce of Perma-kill 13.3% Permethrin to measuring cup and top off with 15 ounces of clean water to make 1 pint. Roll garment to be treated tightly to a size that will fit into bag and secure roll with rubber bands. Place garment into the bag, add the mixed (1 pint) of permethrin solution and seal the bag while removing excess air. Put bag aside for 2 hours minimum to allow thorough wicking. Remove garment, unroll the garment to ensure entire garment is damp without dry spots, air dry, mark with treatment date (month/year) and store. If wicking is not complete, roll garment and return to bag.

This method has been tested and delivers protection within the following guideline - Properly completed, this procedure will impregnate the garment with a dosage of approximately 0.125-mg permethrin per square centimeter. The protection will last for the life of the garment, 50 detergent launderings, or 1 year, whichever comes first.

Note: Measuring cups (a) & (b) and sealable plastic bags (c), must be dedicated only to this process and not used for ANY other purpose. Clothing to be treated must be washable and suitable for exposure to water. Dry Clean Only products should not be treated. Do not treat underwear.
Spraying - Wear rubber gloves when handling wet solution. Mix 8 ounces of Perma-kill 13.3% Permethrin with 120 ounces of water to make 1 gallon of mixed solution in an appropriate pump up garden sprayer. Lay clothing out and spray until wet, flip over and spray until wet, hang and let dry. One gallon of mixed solution will treat eight garments (@ 1 pint per garment) with the proper dosage of permethrin. See section on garments for proper definition of garment.

Submersion - Wear rubber gloves when handling wet solution. Follow all instructions for Controlled Wicking. Limit garment or equivalent (see section on garments for proper definition of garment) to 1-pint of mixed solution. Substitute pail or other dedicated container for sealable plastic bags.
Storage - The ideal storage is to pack into plastic bag after it's completely dry (black garbage bags are perfect) and store in a dark place when not in use.

Garments - A garment consists of one pair of long pants (or an alternate of two pairs of short pants) or one long sleeve shirt (or an alternate of two T-shirts). Garments to be treated must be treated individually except when treating an alternate. When treating an alternate both items (e.g.: two pair of shorts or two T-shirts) must be treated at the same time. An alternate pair must be made of like material to ensure accurate wicking of the full dosage. Example - do not combine cotton blend with a nylon garment.

Other Permethrin Dosages - There are two other dosages that have been tested for clothing treatment. Both rely on a .5% (1/2%) solution, which is available in pre-mixed 6-ounce containers (either aerosol or non-aerosol).

0.026 mg per square centimeter of fabric will yield 6 weeks of protection or 6 launderings and is accomplished by applying by 2 1/2 ounces to a garment by aerosol spray or non-aerosol spray. Retreat garments after 6 weeks or sixth laundering.

0.008 mg per square centimeter of fabric will yield 2 weeks of protection or 2 launderings and is accomplished by applying by 1 1/2 ounces to a garment by aerosol spray or non-aerosol spray. Retreat garments after 2 weeks or second laundering.

Note: For trips of short duration (6 weeks or less) the use of Duranon Tick & Mosquito Repellent is far more convenient in either the aerosol or non-aerosol pump. By pre-treating before the trip and re-treating once during the trip, you'll find these products to be the perfect answer.

There are many recipes for use of this product while only a few have been tested. Only rely on tested methods for best protection. One frequently mentioned method is WRONG; here it is - Add the concentrate to the final rinse cycle while washing your clothing. DO NOT DO THIS! First you will over dilute the product thereby reducing its strength and effectiveness significantly. Secondly, you will be flushing the excess product into the environment through sewers or septic systems.
Always follow manufacturer's instructions as the basis for use. The use of permethrin clothing treatment requires that you use a DEET based repellent on skin. The DEET repellent can be any repellent of less than 35% DEET concentration. This combination is known as the DOD system (Department Of Defense) and is known to perform at nearly 100% effectiveness. Keep in mind that no protection system will be 100% effective and that you must use other means to supplement the repellent.

This would include:
Proper clothing, worn in a defensive manner.
Awareness of your environment and disease threats you're likely to encounter. Your choice to remain, or retreat from a threatening environment.
The choice is ultimately yours!

Mosquitoes as a group are the single largest carrier of infection to mankind. In less developed areas of the world the diseases they carry cause death and debilitating illness to millions of people each year. Children are especially venerable and succumb to diseases such as malaria and encephalitis at alarming levels.

But there's also good news in such countries as Ghana where slight changes in sleeping accommodations reduced infant mortality by up to 40% from these diseases . . . how? by using mosquito nets. Where these diseases are endemic the nets are treated with permethrin for added protection and reduction of mosquito populations.

The best method for stopping insect borne disease is to avoid the bite. This is equally true for both mosquitoes and ticks. The best system for accomplishing this is a repellent system known as the DoD system. It stands for Department of Defense and comprises two components: a topical DEET repellent applied to exposed skin AND treatment of clothing with permethrin.

Beside the threat of diseases introduced to humans by mosquitoes, the tick and its array of problems are a close second. The tick is, however, the more misunderstood of these groups in that folklore has played such an important role in establishing our beliefs. Our sources are the preeminent authorities in the field of entomology who assure us that our presentation materials are sound, realistic and based on fact. It's a pleasure to deal with scientists from such locations as Harvard Medical School of Tropical Diseases, Ohio State University Department of Entomology and Oklahoma State Department of Entomology to name but a few.

To begin with, ticks don't fly, jump or blow around with the wind; these suspects are not ticks. They are small, simple in their approach to locating a host and very patient. Their purpose in life like so many species is to propagate their species. They don't feed often, but when they do, they can acquire disease agents form one host and pass it to another to another host at a later feeding. Their sensory organs are complex and they can determine trace amounts of gases, such as carbon dioxide left by warm-blooded animals and man. They can sense the potential host's presence from long distances and even select their ambush site based upon their ability to identify paths that are well traveled.

Knowing this adversary is important. Understanding the disease potentials they threaten us with and having the capability to identify the basic tick group can help you help your doctor diagnose illness that may be tick initiated.

Although the number of tick species is in the hundreds, there are relatively few ticks that interact with mankind and domestic animals causing harm. While most ticks limit their host selection, others are opportunistic feeders and will feed on almost any accessible host. A tick, which feeds on a select host group, will move infective agents within that group. However, when a tick is a nonselective feeder, it can transmit disease agents from one host group to another. These nonselective ticks pose the largest threat of infection in man.

Ticks generally are not born with disease agents but rather acquire them during various feedings. They then pass the disease on to other animals and mankind during subsequent feedings. When an infection moves from an animal host to a human it is called zoonosise. Lyme disease, babiosisos, erlichiosious and tularemia are examples of such diseases.

Ticks have life cycles that involve three distinct life stages of: larval (infant), nymph (immature) and adult (mature). The ticks known for the greatest quantity of disease infections are the Ixodes group. The group consists of many ticks but the ones of most concern are ixodes scapolarius, ixodes pacificus, ixodes damini, and ixodes ricionoiuse.

Even experts find it difficult to distinguish the ixodes ticks based on physical characteristics alone since a large part of identification relies on the geographical location they inhabit. When the female tick engorges on blood, her body change of both size and color is so significant that she is unrecognizable when compared to her pre-engorgement appearance. Look at the below sequence of a Lone Star tick as she engorges . . . is this hard to believe? In an attempt to simplify identification we are providing photographs showing various stages of the tick during the feeding process. Regardless of the difficulty in identifying specific tick species within a group it is quite easy (with the aid of our photographs) to identify ticks belonging to the group. That is the purpose of this website!

Besides the body types associated to different tick species, each has a distinguishing characteristic called the shield. It is an area just behind the mouthpart and is the key part of this tick identification method. You'll see in the photographs that the shield remains constant in size and in relationship to the mouthparts. The only difference you will note is that the shield pivots forward in relation to the mouthparts as the tick becomes more and more engorged. By using this system and knowing where the tick specimen originated, you will be able to identify the tick with reasonable certainty.

If the tick’s origin is from an area known to have incidence of tick-borne disease and if the specimen is of a species of tick known to carry and transmit that disease, you can consider that the possibility of infection exists.

Other considerations in this assessment:
Percentage of infected ticks within the geographic area -- is it a low, medium or high?
How long did the tick feed before discovery? Was the tick flat (meaning it attached recently) or engorged (meaning it had fed for an extended time)? Research conducted at Ohio State University indicates that transmission of disease organisms (Lyme disease) begins at approximately 24 hours. Other diseases may vary.

These factors can assist you in making a decision to visit your doctor. The decision is yours. If you keep the specimen, it’s important to protect it from dehydration by wrapping it in a damp (not wet) paper towel. Should dehydration of the tick occur it could be extremely difficult to identify.


New Member
Thanks Falcon,

That was chock full of information! I especially liked discovering that permethrin doesn't absorb into skin. I'm definitely going to dip my sleeping bag, and maybe my backpack too.

Buen Camino


New Member
Re: Anti Bed Bug Sheets

You get the Bed bug Repellent Sheet here :

http://www.bedbugs-free.com *

This sheet is ready to use and stays repellent for 50-100 washings - almost forever. Its weight is just right to take up sufficient repellent for efficiency, and to keep it where you put it.

* The information of the website has been translated (review 24 March 2011).

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