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3/01/2019 11:40 am  #1


New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

Got out to the camping supply stores yesterday and came across what for me was a "new" deet-free bug spray. Just before posting here, I went online and by the search results, I'm figuring its been on the market a couple of years. However, I couldn't find any meaningful reviews of it.

Since there are no bugs out there this time of year to test it with, I'm wondering if anyone tried it out last year?

Any experience with it?

http://www.algonquinadventures.com/forums/images/PI-BugSpray5.jpg


 

 

3/01/2019 2:48 pm  #2


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

The active ingredient is Icaridin, more commonly known as Picaridin. It is roughly as effective as DEET for mosquitos, looks to be somewhat more effective than DEET for ticks. I believe it also has a higher toxicity for aquatic life. 

Here is a decent article as a starting point:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4173961/
 

 

3/01/2019 3:48 pm  #3


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

I keep that exact bottle in my PFD pocket. It works but I wouldn't back that 12 hr claim, especially in June. 

 

3/01/2019 6:34 pm  #4


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

RCSpartan wrote:

It works but I wouldn't back that 12 hr claim, especially in June. 

I always just assumed the '# of hours of protection' for any bug spray is for the whole bottle, not per application.

I know that isn't the intent, but it sure feels that way sometimes... esp in June, as you said.

Thanks for the heads up Barry - I'll definitely check it out.
 

 

3/01/2019 7:03 pm  #5


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

Since I moved to Sawyer's Picaridin some 5-6 years ago (and it's been on the market before that)  I never looked back at DEET. It's much less toxic - as my own skin affirms - and as effective as DEET, at least for central Ontario bloodthirsty species. I used it last summer on my 3-year old son (against black flies) resulting in no bites and no issues to report. Might require more often applications than concentrated DEET (Picaridin's available only in 20% solution, to the best of my knowledge). Definitely not 12 hours for me - may be 3-5, depending on how much I sweat. But I never had 12 hours of DEET neither.

 

3/03/2019 11:23 pm  #6


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

I’ve used it for a couple years- never used DEET, so I can’t compare. This is less toxic than DEET from everything I’ve read, and it doesn’t melt plastic (unlike DEET) so that’s worth something to me. 

Permethrin, the other effective insect repellant that people typically soak their clothes in, is incredibly toxic to aquatic life, and in my option usage around lakes and streams should be avoided.

PiActive has no effect against deer and horse flies, but seems to do the job pretty well with mosquitos. Haven’t tried it with black flies. So long as it works against ticks, I’m happy, that’s the only insect I really don’t want to get bit by. The rest I can handle.

 

3/04/2019 9:07 am  #7


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

nvm wrote:

I’ve used it for a couple years- never used DEET, so I can’t compare. This is less toxic than DEET from everything I’ve read, and it doesn’t melt plastic (unlike DEET) so that’s worth something to me.

Can you provide a reference to show Picaridin is less toxic than DEET? I haven't been able to find anything to say that. Here are links to 2 good technical fact sheets on DEET and Picaridin. The only place Picaridin shows as slightly better than DEET is for Primary Skin Irritation where DEET ranks as Low and Picaridin as Very Low. However Picaridin is rated "moderately toxic" for Fish and Aquatic Life compared to "slightly toxic" for DEET. 

DEET: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/archive/DEETtech.html

Picaridin: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/archive/Picaridintech.html#toxbox

 

 

3/04/2019 4:57 pm  #8


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

nvm wrote:

Permethrin, the other effective insect repellant that people typically soak their clothes in, is incredibly toxic to aquatic life, and in my option usage around lakes and streams should be avoided.

Hilarious! Who is soaking their clothes in Permethrin? My instructions say a light moistening then dry for 2 hours. Ex-Officio Bugsaway clothing lasts 70 washings- that's with detergents. What makes you think a few dunkings when getting out of a canoe is going to poison anything? I'm betting swimming or washing off in the lake with DEET or Picaridin on your skin would be worse. 

 

3/05/2019 9:36 am  #9


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

EGB - Permethrin *is* a pesticide and is rated as "highly toxic" to Fish and Aquatic Life. Here is the technical fact sheet for Permethrin:
http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/archive/Permtech.html
 

 

3/06/2019 12:10 am  #10


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

These fact sheets from the same organization are the “general audience” ones and are a bit more readable than the technical ones...

Permethrin http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/PermGen.html
Deet  http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/deet.html
Picaridin aka icaridin  http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/PicaridinGen.html

@EGB. Lots of people soak their clothes in Permethrin. It’s the best way to make it last longer. There are lots of threads on outdoor forums about how to do this.

——————————————————————————————

That said, I agree, From what I’ve read, once the permethrin has bound to the fibres and dried, it is not going to wash out easily at all into a lake or river. And once it has dried, it is much less toxic to human skin. I’ve used the spray with good results in super ticky areas (south of Thunder Bay in the spring is a tick nightmare).

Marks WorkWearhouse now sells NoFlyZone pants treated with Permethrin. In Canada, they have a lining to prevent direct contact with skin. In the States, they do not. The lining makes them too warm, in my opinion, for June tripping. I still spray my regular outdoor pants each spring with permethrin.

As for picaridin/icaridin, I used it on a buggy June trip in Algonquin a few years ago. I found that it was about as effective than deet, but lasted a shorter time. Unfortunately, the spray I had (Sawyer) warned against reapplying more than twice a day. So I stopped using it.

I’m keen to try the pi active spray this year to see if it is better than the Sawyer brand.

Hope that info is useful.

Last edited by Methye (3/06/2019 12:14 am)

 

3/07/2019 9:55 am  #11


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

EGB, "Hilarious! Who is soaking their clothes in Permethrin? " that's usually the recommended method because the only permethrin you can easily get here is for agricultural use. Normal application is to soak it  in permethrin, let it dry thoroughly, then wash. Soaking is FAR more effective than spraying because it allows the repellent to be absorbed into the fibers, resulting in a higher concentration, and better longevity (20 or so washes compared to 5-6 washes) Spraying only wets one side of the fabric, unless you spray so much that you are, in essence, soaking the fabric anyway

 

3/07/2019 12:36 pm  #12


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

http://i65.tinypic.com/es89xs.jpg
I follow the directions and it works great. Why would I want pesticide on the inside of my clothing? The bugs dont come anywhere near me. That's pretty effective. But please, continue to try and prove me wrong http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png

 

3/07/2019 3:44 pm  #13


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

I have that bottle as well which I got in the US. I spray it on my tripping clothes (hat, shirt, socks, etc...) as well as my camping chair before setting out in June. Works well. I also have a BugsAway shirt and pants from XOfficio which claims to be good for 60 washes but I'm already noticing a lessening in effectiveness after a few seasons of use. 
I try not to stop and think too much what all this Deet, Picaridin, Permetherin and Thermacells may be doing to my health...http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/blooper.png

 

3/07/2019 4:27 pm  #14


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

I ordered more Pemethrin last week. I started just spraying. I soak now. At least the heavy use items. pants, hat, couple of shirts. Soaking definitely works better .and buying  this 10-% solution and diluting down to the .5% solution of the Sawyer bottles is substantially cheaper.  .

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/9EAAAOSwm7pZ1V6o/s-l640.jpg


We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.
 - George Washington Sears
 

3/07/2019 6:39 pm  #15


Re: New deet-free bug spray "PiActive" .. any experience with it?

ShawnD wrote:

I ordered more Pemethrin last week. I started just spraying. I soak now. At least the heavy use items. pants, hat, couple of shirts. Soaking definitely works better .and buying  this 10-% solution and diluting down to the .5% solution of the Sawyer bottles is substantially cheaper.  .

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/9EAAAOSwm7pZ1V6o/s-l640.jpg

Shawn - I've used the exact same product in the past and also used the soak method for my clothing and bug shelter, then sprayed everything else that I couldn't soak (backpack, shoes, etx). This shit actually works and works very well. The soak method is generally considered to be the most effective way to fully penetrate the fabric. To each their own, though.
 

 

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