Evaluating the Effects of Minimal Risk Natural Products for Control of the Tick, Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae)



Knockdown and residual activity of 10 minimal risk natural products (MRNPs), one experimental formulation of nootkatone, and two bifenthrin labels were evaluated against host-seeking nymphal Ixodes scapularis Say using a novel micro-plot product screening system placed in a landscape setting similar to a wooded residential property. The MRNPs evaluated included Tick Stop, EcoPCO EC-X, Met52 EC, CedarCide PCO Choice, EcoEXEMPT IC2, EcoSMART Organic Insecticide, Essentria IC3, privately labeled products 1 and 2 (based on EcoEXEMPT IC2 and sold as a professional pest control application), and Tick Killz.

Just the nootkatone and 4 of these 10 products tested (EcoPCO EC-X, Met52 EC, EcoEXEMPT IC2, and Essentria IC3) had statistically significant (P < 0.05) knockdown effects (killed ticks while active in the arenas) when compared to water-only controls, but only 2 of these, EcoPCO EC-X and nootkatone, displayed significant residual tick-killing activity after weathering naturally in the landscape for 2 wk prior to tick application/testing.

Moreover, botanical oil-based products with the same active ingredients provided inconsistent results when tested multiple times across study years.

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