Repellencies and toxicities of five ant-derived defensive compounds against the lone star tick, amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae)

Erika T. Machtinger, Xiaolong Yang, Jian Chen, Andrew Y. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, is a vector of several important human and animal diseases. This tick species has rapidly expanded in its geographic distribution, and its aggressive behavior has increased the risk of tick-borne diseases in these new areas. Repellents are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protection against tick bites. DEET is the most common repellent, but public concerns over its safety have increased the need for alternative safe and efficacious tick repellents. Several naturally derived animal compounds have been tested against other species of ticks or other arthropod pests, but not against A. americanum. Based on EC 50 values obtained using a vertical paper bioassay, decylamine and MT-710 (a 2-tridecanone formulation) were found to be as repellent as DEET. Those two substances along with 2-tridecanone were also found to be as repellent as DEET when their EC 95 values were compared. Lone star ticks were more susceptible to the toxic effects of DEET in glass vial assays than all of the ant-derived defensive compounds/formulations. These results suggest that the ant-derived defensive compounds are likely more effective lone star tick repellents than DEET, but they are not as toxic as DEET towards the ticks. The suitability of these compounds for use as personal repellents, as well as at the landscape scale, should be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-313
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Entomology and Zoology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Insect Science

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