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

J Med Entomol. 2021 Jan 12;58(1):390-397. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjaa188.


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.

Keywords: Ixodes scapularis; blacklegged tick; botanical oil; natural product; tick control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acaricides*
  • Animals
  • Biological Products*
  • Ixodes* / growth & development
  • Nymph / growth & development
  • Polycyclic Sesquiterpenes*
  • Pyrethrins
  • Tick Control*


  • Acaricides
  • Biological Products
  • Polycyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Pyrethrins
  • bifenthrin
  • nootkatone