Acaricidal properties of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia Cheel (tea tree oil) against nymphs of Ixodes ricinus

Vet Parasitol. 2005 Apr 20;129(1-2):173-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2004.11.035.


The aim of the study was to examine the acaricidal effect of essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil, TTO) at different doses (4, 6, 8 and 10 microl) and for different exposure times (30, 60, 90 and 120 min) on nymphs of Ixodes ricinus. A dose of 8 microl TTO was lethal for more than 70% of ticks when inhaled and this effect was enhanced when the dose was increased to 10 microl (> 80%). The effect was correlated with the duration of exposure of ticks to TTO, with a significant effect being observed after 90 min exposure. The findings show that TTO has acaricidal properties and could be extremely useful in controlling ticks that are efficient vectors of pathogens.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arachnid Vectors / drug effects
  • Arachnid Vectors / growth & development
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Insecticides / pharmacology*
  • Ixodes / drug effects*
  • Ixodes / growth & development
  • Melaleuca / chemistry*
  • Nymph
  • Random Allocation
  • Tea Tree Oil / pharmacology*
  • Tick Control / methods
  • Time Factors


  • Insecticides
  • Tea Tree Oil