If you’re an avid hiker, consider snagging some pre-treated gear from a company like Insect Shield (as pre-treated clothes can last up to 70 washes, or about 10 times longer than the spray-on stuff).
For day-to-day tick prevention, [Tick Expert Thomas] Mather counts on clothing that’s been treated with permethrin. 'Most of it comes from a company called Insect Shield in North Carolina, and it can go through the wash about 70 times and still be effective...'
The first EPA-registered insect repellant clothing was Insect Shield in 2003, and today the brand dominates the industry and remains the gold standard.
Save yourself the trouble of soaking your socks in the tick repellent permethrin by purchasing ones that already have the compound in them. Insect Shield makes a whole line of clothes and accessories with this repellent baked in.
Sprays are a great everyday fix, but if you’re a dedicated outdoorsperson, looking into pretreated clothes might be worth your time…Insect Shield can also treat clothes you already own. This is the same treatment the company applies to clothes it sells.
Finally, for anyone in buggy conditions — think on the lake, or in hot, humid environs — BUFF Insect Shield purports to repel gnats, mosquitos, and other pesky insects.