Two facts about ticks: everyone hates them, and they are everywhere. Which makes a recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina extremely useful. The Wall Street Journal reports that scientists at the school gave 67 outdoor workers uniforms treated with permethrin, a generally nontoxic chemical used in insect repellents, and gave 66 workers untreated clothing. The subjects wore the clothing for two tick seasons. During the first tick season, 84 tick bites were reported by 64 subjects in the permethrin-treated clothing group, and 493 bites were reported by 63 people in the control group. In the second season, 181 bites were reported by 53 permethrin subjects and 287 bites by 48 in the control group. Of 867 ticks submitted for analysis, 286 were from the permethrin group and 581 from the control group. Now, one fact about permethrin: it is believed to be dangerously toxic to cats.