/ Permethrin and climbing gear

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asteclaru 12 Aug 2019

So I've read that you can spray your rucksack with Permethrin to prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride back home with you.

I got the Lifesystems EX4 bottles and did my rucksack today, however, it just occured to me that I've forgot to look into the effects of Permethrin on climbing gear.

What do you reckon? Is it still safe to put soft goods climbing gear (slings/quickdraws/rope etc) inside my rucksack?

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pavelk 12 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

It should be safe. Permethrin does not react with textile materials

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PaulJepson 12 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

Check the ingredients. DEET f*cks nylon but Permethrin is alright. 

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asteclaru 12 Aug 2019
In reply to PaulJepson:

Well, only Permethrin is listed on the bottle, and it's only 0.512% (or something along those lines). I have no idea what the other 99.488% of the spray is.

I can't find any definitive answer online as to whether Permethrin damages nylon/dyneema or not, as no manufacturer has tested the combination yet.

I'm of the 'if in doubt, there is no doubt' train of thought and ordered a new rucksack today. 

The treated one will be relegated to non-climbing activities (which, as the pack in question is a Tupilak 45, is a bit of a shame, but that's life I guess).

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SouthernSteve 12 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

I have no idea what the other 99.488% of the spray is.

See if you can get the MSDS for the product. I suspect it will be water from the description. Also consider ringing the manufacturer!

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deepsoup 12 Aug 2019
In reply to PaulJepson:

> DEET f*cks nylon

No it doesn't.  (Certain other plastics, yes.  But it never ceases to amaze me how many people insist it eats all plastics given that you invariably buy the stuff in a plastic bottle.)

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deepsoup 12 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

It seems to me that you're being very excessively risk-averse there, but it's your call of course: your kit and you're the one who has to have confidence in it.

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asteclaru 12 Aug 2019
In reply to deepsoup:

I know that it's probably fine, but it's just the way I am: once the idea is in my head, it's really hard to convince myself without hard facts (which, unfortunately are nowhere to be found).

I've never really liked the Tupilak rucksack anyway, so it's actually not that hard a decision to make.

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deepsoup 12 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

Yes, I do understand.  My post wasn't intended as a dig at you, honest. 

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kevin stephens 12 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

It's safe.  Kayakers won't use deet because it can rot expensive drysuits but permethrin is ok

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asteclaru 12 Aug 2019
In reply to deepsoup:

I didn't read is a dig at me. Honest  

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PaulJepson 12 Aug 2019
In reply to deepsoup:

Just going on personal experience of it eating through a sea-to-summit dry bag, which was made of nylon....

I've had Permethryn on my rucksack and my sil nylon tent without any issues but consequences of climbing gear failure is a bit more than tent failure, so I'd err on the side of caution. 

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galpinos 12 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

> I'm of the 'if in doubt, there is no doubt' train of thought and ordered a new rucksack today. 

> The treated one will be relegated to non-climbing activities (which, as the pack in question is a Tupilak 45, is a bit of a shame, but that's life I guess).

Have i read this right? You have relegated a £220 sac to "non-climbing duties" after spraying it with a fairly innocuous liquid that people have told you is fine?

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ebdon 12 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

Couldn't you just wash it?

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asteclaru 12 Aug 2019
In reply to galpinos:

> Have i read this right? You have relegated a £220 sac to "non-climbing duties" after spraying it with a fairly innocuous liquid that people have told you is fine?

Yes, you have read that right.

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galpinos 12 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

Fair dos. You must have more disposable income (and a differently mentality) to me.

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asteclaru 12 Aug 2019
In reply to ebdon:

You probably could, but manufacturers can't even make up their minds on how long it lasts. I've seen it stated that the spray lasts from 2 weeks/2 washes to 6 weeks/6 washes.

How many times are you supposed to wash it then?

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ebdon 12 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

Based on that I'd say 6 and you should be definitely good to go!

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EdS 12 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

Better to wash or freeze the bag.

Permethrim won't get in to all to nooks and crannies of a bag. Plus it's nasty stuff

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kipper12 12 Aug 2019
In reply to SouthernSteve:

The SDS (MSDS is the US name).  The SDS will only include ingredients which contribute to classification. A SDS will be supplies to the public on request, thought how much use it will be. 

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deepsoup 12 Aug 2019
In reply to EdS:

> Better to wash or freeze the bag.

A 45 litre sack is going to be tricky to get in the washing machine or the freezer though.

That got me wondering whether you can drown bedbugs.  Would any bugs lurking on a bag survive if you were to put a couple of bricks in it and dump it in a water butt for a week or so?  (Perhaps a more pertinent question - is it possible that they could have laid eggs that might still be viable afterwards.)

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asteclaru 12 Aug 2019
In reply to deepsoup:

Just to be clear: I don't actually have bed bugs.

This whole 'experiment' has been triggered by the recent thread about bed bugs in alpine huts, where someone mentioned that they were bitten in one of the huts on the TMB. I'm going on the TMB in September, so I thought it would be wise to take some precautionary measures. I've read that spraying your bag with permethrin works, because bed bugs can 'sense' permethrin and as such steer clear of your bag (which is why spraying permethrin after you've been infested doesn't work that well, as they will just spread out further)

Where I went wrong is that I've sprayed my climbing pack instead of buying a cheaper walking pack and treating that one instead. Oh well, lesson learned.

One of the good things about the Tupilak is that you can strip a lot of things off it. I took out the foam in the back and most of the metal bits and this way it easily fit into my washing machine, so I put it through the washing machine then the drier (yes, I know that you're not supposed to do that, but in for a penny, in for a pound, right?). I just took it out of the drier and it looks pretty much like new, but the whole process did take a few good hours - I'm not sure I can be bothered to repeat it for at least another 5 times.

I've also emailed Lifesystems asking whether their formula is known to damage nylon/dyneema, but haven't heard back yet.

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asteclaru 12 Aug 2019
In reply to EdS:

By the way, I've done a lot of reading on bed bugs recently (again, triggered by that infamous thread), and, although in the past it was recommended to freeze your stuff, the consensus now seems to be that freezing doesn't actually work to kill bed bugs, only heat treatment to a minimum of 60 degrees Celsius definitely kills them (also Permethrin, but you have to find a way to fill every nook and cranny, so smoke bombs instead of sprays)

Bed bugs will survive up to a year in the freezer and even then it's not 100% guaranteed that it will kill them.

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neuromancer 13 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

You need CBT not permethrin

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Donny M 13 Aug 2019
In reply to neuromancer:

Maybe a C.R.B as well. 

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asteclaru 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Donny M:

I get the CBT (very funny, I almost laughed), but what are you suggesting with the CRB?

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Becky E 14 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

Permethrin 5% cream is used to treat scabies. This is much more concentrated than the spray. 

The manufacturers do not give any specific advice or warnings about what your clothes must be made of.   https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/6540

Although in my professional life I've heard a few stories about scabies  "his clothes melted after we applied the permethrin cream" is not one of them. 

Does that help??

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Donny M 14 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

You might want to get the carpets lifted. Heck, move house, you don’t know what else that devil-potion  is going to dissolve before your very eyes! 

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oldie 15 Aug 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

> Bed bugs will survive up to a year in the freezer and even then it's not 100% guaranteed that it will kill them. <

There's still quite a lot on Google that recommends freezing. It might depend on the temperature of the freezer and duration. I think one paper in 2013 implied less than -30deg C would probably be 100% but most people won't have access to that unless they work in a lab or something......I've read that -18 degC for a few days is sufficient. If it does work it would seem ideal for lowish volume items. However you sound as if you've looked at more recent scientific evidence.

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FactorXXX 15 Aug 2019
In reply to neuromancer:

> You need CBT not permethrin

Might have the wrong type of CBT, but what help would Cock and Ball Torture have with getting rid of bed bugs?

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asteclaru 16 Aug 2019
In reply to Becky E:

At the risk of sounding even more mentally deranged than I already do, DEET does not affect nylon, but it will literally melt other plastics. Following the same logic, Permethrin may be perfectly good for the polyester clothes are usually made from, but could affect other plastics, such as nylon.

We don't know whether it does or doesn't, because nobody's bothered to test it.

To know for certain, we need to break a few slings. I'll provide slings both new and soaked in Permethrin if anyone is able to test them and share their findings. Come on, it will be fun and it will answer the question.

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