Effects of the essential oil from Cymbopogon citratus on mortality and morphology of the tick Haemaphysalis longicornis (Acari: Ixodidae)

Exp Appl Acarol. 2020 May;81(1):37-50. doi: 10.1007/s10493-020-00485-3. Epub 2020 Apr 3.


Haemaphysalis longicornis is one of the most prevalent tick species across eastern Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, and has been implicated as a vector of several pathogenic agents. This study evaluated the in vitro acaricidal efficacy of Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass) essential oil on unfed H. longicornis using the adult and nymph immersion test, and the larval packet test. Six concentrations with three replications each of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 mg/mL (adults and nymphs) were used, and 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 mg/mL (larvae), with control group (50% ethanol). The adult and nymph mortality rates were 98 and 100% at 50 mg/mL, and 95 and 100% at 60 mg/mL, respectively, whereas the larval mortality rate was 94 and 96% at 40 and 80 mg/mL, respectively. Mortality of adult, nymph and larva increased significantly in a dose-dependent manner. The LC50 for adult, nymph, and larva, were 29.21 (95% confidence interval 25.90-32.58), 28.18 (23.78-32.25), and 28.06 (25.57-30.90) mg/mL, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy revealed a disjointed sensilla base from the sockets, cuticular cracks, blocked aeropyles, and shrinking of the midgut. These results showed that C. citratus essential oil could be a good eco-friendly alternative control strategy against ectoparasites like ticks due to its high acaricidal efficacy.

Keywords: Acaricidal effect; Essential oil; Haemaphysalis longicornis; Scanning electron microscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Acaricides / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Cymbopogon / chemistry*
  • Larva
  • Nymph
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Ticks*


  • Acaricides
  • Oils, Volatile