Formulations of deet, picaridin, and IR3535 applied to skin repel nymphs of the lone star tick (Acari: Ixodidae) for 12 hours

J Med Entomol. 2010 Jul;47(4):699-704. doi: 10.1603/me09239.


The efficacies of a 20% 1-methyl-propyl-2- (hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidinecarboxylate (picaridin) spray, 20% 3-(N-acetyl-N-butyl)aminopropionic acid ethyl ester (IR3535) spray, 20% picaridin lotion, 10% IR3535 lotion, and 33% N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (deet) cream in repelling nymphal lone star ticks, Amblyomma americanum (L.), were determined at 2-h intervals over 12 h using human subjects. A repellent formulation was applied in a 5-cm-wide band encircling a volunteer's lower leg. For each challenge, 70 host-seeking nymphs were released on each volunteer's ankle, and tick locations were recorded 10 min after the ticks were released. Ticks that crawled entirely across the repellent band were considered not repelled. For all formulations and time points, significantly fewer (all P < 0.0001) A. americanum nymphs crossed the treatment bands on the volunteers' ankles than crossed the corresponding area on the untreated control legs. Formulations containing > or = 20% active ingredient were highly effective, with <10% of the ticks crossing through the treatment bands for any challenge during the 12 h. At least 40% of ticks exposed to any formulation for any challenge fell or crawled off the volunteers. There was no difference in effectiveness between the 20% spray and 20% lotion formulations of picaridin. The 10% IR3535 lotion was significantly less effective than the formulations with higher concentrations of repellent. In the formulations tested, deet, picaridin, and IR3535 provided lasting protection against A. americanum.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • DEET / administration & dosage
  • DEET / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Insect Repellents / pharmacology*
  • Ixodidae / drug effects*
  • Piperidines / administration & dosage
  • Piperidines / pharmacology*
  • Propionates / administration & dosage
  • Propionates / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors


  • Insect Repellents
  • Piperidines
  • Propionates
  • DEET
  • ethyl-3-(N-n-butyl-N-acetyl)aminopropionate
  • picaridin