Can Deer Smell Permethrin? (Our Thoughts)


Permethrin is a synthetic insecticide used to control ticks and other pests in the environment. It is derived from chrysanthemum flowers and can be an effective way to repel and kill insects by paralyzing them.

Deer have sensitive noses that are at many times stronger than humans. Deer can likely smell Permethrin when wet, but once it dries, it will be undetectable to them.

Does Permethrin Have An Odor?

According to several sources, including The Healthy Journal and Sawyer Products, permethrin is 100% odorless after drying. This means that once the product has dried, there should be no detectable smell or fragrance.

Martins Permethrin 10% and Ranger Ready Permethrin 0.5% are two examples of products that are specifically marketed as being odorless.

Will Permethrin Spoil Your Deer Hunting?

Permethrin will not spoil your deer hunting. If applied correctly and allowed to dry, the product will be undetectable to deer. In fact, permethrin can help reduce ticks in the environment which may make for a more comfortable hunting experience!

Many people have reported having successful deer hunts with permethrin, so it’s definitely worth trying out if you’re looking for an additional layer of protection against ticks and pests. However, it is always important to read and follow the directions on the product labels.

What impact does Permethrin have on equipment or clothing?

Permethrin is an effective and safe way to protect yourself against pesky insects. But, you may wonder what effect it would have on your clothes or equipment. The good news is that you can use permethrin without worrying about damaging your belongings. Unlike DEET, which may stain or have a strong odor, permethrin does not cause any pungent smell that may spook deer away.

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You do not have to be afraid of using permethrin on soft and fragile fabrics, as it has no adverse effects on clothing materials. It is also essential to note that the solution does not affect waterproof clothing or synthetic materials’ color or appearance.

Adding permethrin into your protection regimen will help you avoid bugs while keeping your clothes and equipment safe from any corrosive damage caused by other insect repellents.

Does Permethrin Have Side Effects When In Contact With Skin?

Permethrin is generally considered safe when used as directed, but it can cause side effects in some people, especially if it comes into direct contact with the skin. Some of the common side effects of permethrin exposure include:

  1. Skin irritation: Permethrin can cause mild to severe skin irritation in some people, including itching, redness, and swelling.
  2. Numbness or tingling: Permethrin can cause numbness or tingling in the skin, especially in the hands and feet.
  3. Rash: Some people may develop a rash or hives after exposure to permethrin.
  4. Headache or dizziness: Permethrin exposure can cause headaches or dizziness in some people.
  5. Nausea or vomiting: Some people may experience nausea or vomiting after exposure to permethrin.

If you experience any of these symptoms after using permethrin, you should stop using the product immediately and seek medical attention if necessary. To avoid skin contact with permethrin, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and to wear protective clothing, gloves, and a mask if necessary when handling the product.

Other Ways To Manage Bugs While Hunting?

There are several ways to manage and/or control bugs while hunting outside using permethrin. If you are looking for an alternative solution to using permethrin, here are a few methods that may be beneficial:

  1. Safeguard yourself: Cover up with long-sleeved shirts, pants, and hats to protect your skin from insect bites. Additionally, choose light-colored clothing, which will make it simple to spot any ticks or other bugs on your clothes.
  2. Use bug repellent: There are a variety of bug repellents on the market that can help keep insects away. Some contain DEET, while others use natural ingredients such as citronella or eucalyptus oil. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label and apply the repellent to all exposed skin.
  3. Use bug-proof gear: Consider investing in bug-proof gear such as bug-proof tents or bug-proof clothing. These products are designed to repel insects and help make your hunting trip more comfortable.
  4. Stay in areas with fewer bugs: Avoid hunting in areas with high concentrations of bugs. Instead, choose areas with fewer bugs or treated with insecticides.
  5. Be mindful of your scent: Insects are often attracted to scents, so be mindful of the products you use on your body and the clothes you wear. Avoid using scented soaps, shampoos, and deodorants, and consider using scent-free laundry detergent and dryer sheets.
  6. You could also use other pest prevention products like a thermacell
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Wearing insect and bug-repellent clothing may increase your chances of a successful deer hunting trip.

However, permethrin-treated clothing can still be used with cover scents to attract deer. While there are some limitations to permethrin use, it remains a useful tool for managing insects during deer hunting.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>