Permethrin is one of the oldest, most popular, and well-known insecticides in the world. Permethrin is formulated into creams, lotions, powders, and sprays.

Each formulation is different though. Some include a synergist (a family of chemicals that improve the killing efficiency of the main chemical) and some don’t.

Other additives can increase its sticking power or extend its effective life span.

Because of these slight, yet important distinctions, it can become confusing trying to figure out which one is best which is why we’ve created this Permethrin spray review guide for you!

In this Pest Strategies product review you can expect to learn:

  • What is permethrin?
  • How does permethrin work?
  • How do you find the best permethrin sprays?
  • Are permethrin sprays effective?
  • …And our choice for the best permethrin spray!

If you’re short on time, you can click here to jump straight to our overall #1 pick for the best permethrin spray on the market.

Top 4 Best Permethrin Sprays

  1. JT Eaton Permethrin Clothing & Gear Insect Repellent Trigger Spray Gallon
  2. Duration Clothing Spray
  3. JT Eaton Permethrin Spray
  4. Repel Clothing and Gear Insect Repellent

1. JT Eaton Permethrin Clothing & Gear Insect Repellent Trigger Spray Gallon

This permethrin clothing and gear treatment will protect you against chiggers, mosquitoes, and ticks as well as 100 percent DEET. It won’t stain or damage clothing, tents, backpacks, plastics, or other outdoor gear.

This one-gallon jug is a ready-to-use permethrin insect repellent with a trigger spray on it, along with a heavy-duty carrying handle. Once applied, it takes about two hours to dry. After that, it will last for about six weeks or six washings, whichever comes first.

It is also registered with the EPA for use as a regular pesticide, to treat cracks and crevices in your house, around windows and doors for a broad variety of insects, from ants to spiders to yellow jackets and everything in between.

The Good:

  • Lasts for six weeks on clothes
  • Lasts for 30 days on household surfaces

The Bad:

  • Do not spray it on your skin


  • No greasy residue
  • Won’t stain clothes
  • Doubles are regular pesticide

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2. Duration Clothing Spray

Use Duration on clothing, tents, or netting material to keep biting pests away while enjoying the great outdoors. It’s safe to use on either natural or synthetic materials. And the protection lasts up to six weeks or six complete wash cycles.

When Duration dries, it bonds to clothing fibers, killing 99% of the pests that come into contact with it. Use to prevent bites from:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Gnats
  • Ticks
  • Crawling insects

Duration is colorless and odorless when dry. It’s easy to apply. And it comes in a convenient, eco-friendly spray bottle.

The Good:

  • Long-lasting mosquito protection
  • Safe to use on most fabrics
  • 99% effective
  • Convenient spray bottle

The Bad:

  • Bottle may leak during shipping


  • Long-lasting mosquito protection
  • Safe to use on most fabrics
  • 99% effective

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3. JT Eaton Permethrin Spray

JT Eaton now offers a fast-acting permethrin spray in a convenient 32-ounce spray bottle you can use around your home. It’s EPA-registered for use on most household items, including:

  • Outdoor vegetation
  • Wood structures
  • Carpeting
  • Pet bedding
  • Fabric car seats

This pyrethrin spray is safe to use directly on dogs to eliminate flea, tick, and lice infestations. It’s also useful on livestock, such as:

  • Cattle
  • Goats
  • Hogs
  • Sheep
  • Horses

JT Eaton Permethrin spray requires no mixing and is labeled for the following common pests:

  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Flies
  • Moths
  • Wasps

The Good:

  • Quick knockdown formula
  • Suitable for a wide range of pests
  • Safe to use on dogs and livestock
  • Safe for use on most fabric surfaces

The Bad:

  • Non-residual, frequent reapplication may be required


  • <ul class=”pest-table__features-list-mobile”><li class=”pest-table__features-item”>Quick knockdown formula Â
  • Suitable for a wide range of pests
  • Safe to use on dogs and livestock

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4. Sawyer Products Premium Permethrin Clothing Insect Repellent – Pump

This is the same product as above, but in a pump spray instead of an aerosol. It can be sprayed on your clothes, outdoor gear, sleeping bags, hammocks, and folding chairs. A single application will last up to six weeks or six washings.

Unlike citronella and other essential oils, it won’t stain your clothes or leave a greasy residue behind. It’s also odorless after it dries, making it ideal for hunting when you don’t want your scent to give you away.

This bug spray is an excellent insect repellent for disease control against mosquito and tick bites. The trigger spray might tire your hand from repetitive squeezing if you’re protecting a lot of clothing.

The Good:

  • Lasts for six weeks or six washings
  • Effective insect repellent

The Bad:

  • Shouldn’t be sprayed on exposed skin
  • The trigger can tire your hand from repetition


  • Feature 3
  • Won’t stain clothes
  • No greasy residue

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What is Permethrin?

There are over 400 different compounds listed and registered in the United States that can be used as insecticides. Permethrin is one of the most popular of them.

Permethrin is a synthetic version of pyrethrum, a dry powder made from the crushed petals of the chrysanthemum flower, which is mainly grown in Kenya. Botanical versions of pyrethrum are called pyrethrins.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists over 3,500 registered products that use pyrethrum (pyrethrins) or pyrethroids as the active ingredient. Along with permethrin are other related insecticides. Below is a partial list.

  • Allethrins
  • Bifenthrin
  • Cyfluthrin and beta-cyfluthrin
  • Cypermethrin
  • Deltamethrin
  • Lambda-cyhalothrin

Along with permethrin, these active ingredients, in various formulations, constitute the bulk of the insecticides used in the 3,500 products listed by the EPA.

How Does Permethrin Work?

Permethrin attacks the central nervous system of insects, specifically, the sodium channels. This interferes with the functions of the neurons and causes muscle spasms, leading to paralysis and death.

It can enter the body through dermal contact with exposed skin or ingesting it by eating it. It also acts as a repellent.

Repellents interfere with an insect’s senses, including taste and smell. Their eyesight is so poor that cutting off their other senses effectively renders them blind. Then they tend to avoid areas where they can’t see, smell, or taste the world around them.

Are Permethrin Sprays Effective?

Yes. Permethrin has a long track record of success in the United States and around the world. It’s what is called a broad-spectrum insecticide, meaning it kills many different insects.

How To Use A Permethrin Spray

Hold the spray nozzle at least six to 18 inches away from the surface or fabric you’re spraying. Use a smooth motion back and forth across the surface until it is damp to the touch, but not dripping wet.

Are Permethrin Sprays Safe Around My Pets And Children?
It depends on how old your children are.

Small children, and most pets, are physically smaller than adults. This means they have a greater skin surface to weight ratio. Insecticides can penetrate human skin, so the more skin per body weight, the greater the amount of pesticide that enters their body relative to their weight.

Infants and small children have higher respiratory rates than adults, resulting in them breathing in more insecticidal fumes than adults. Additionally, children eat and drink more relative to their body weight than adults.

Finally, infants and young children spend much of their time crawling around on the floor, which is where you’re most likely to spray with permethrin insecticides. The same thing goes for pets.

Infants, small children, and pets are more susceptible to toxic effects from pesticides than adults so they should be kept out of treated areas for several hours after spraying.

The CDC recommends a variety of active ingredients as a mosquito repellent and/or tick repellent to protect you and your family from the Zika virus, rocky mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and scabies, among other diseases.

They recommend you use the following as your first line of defense:

  • DEET
  • Picaridin ( also known as KBR 3023 and icaridin)
  • IR3535
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
  • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)

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