Lone star ticks are aggressive ectoparasites of domestic and wild animals, as well as humans. These ticks can transmit many pathogens that cause disease including Erhlichia and tularemia. Common compounds used for personal protection and area sprays are N-diethyl-3-methyl benzamide (DEET) and permethrin, but public concern over personal and environmental safety require the development of new, safer products. In the current study, four commercially available products (Wondercide, Essentria IC3, Vet’s Best, and Mosquito Barrier) were tested for both repellent and toxic effects against lone star tick nymphs and adults. Overall, all four products were more effective against nymphs than against adults. Wondercide and Essentria IC3 were as toxic to nymphs as permethrin at concentrations of 3.13% and higher, and as repellent as DEET at all concentrations. Nymphs were also repelled by Mosquito Barrier and Vet’s Best, but these products had about half or less of the repellent effects of Wondercide and Essentria IC3 at most of the concentrations. Adult ticks were repelled similarly by all products at all tested concentrations, but at lower levels than nymphs. Toxicity of the four tested products on adults was similar at concentrations of 12.5% and below, less than half of what was observed with permethrin with declining effectiveness as concentrations decreased. Overall, these four products may offer a natural way to repel lone star ticks, but further field testing is needed to determine rates of application and residual activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science