Environmental interactions with the toxicity of plant essential oils to the poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae

D. R. George, O. A E Sparagano, G. Port, E. Okello, R. S. Shiel, J. H. Guy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The toxicity of a range of plant essential oils to the poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae (De Geer) (Acari: Dermanyssidae), a serious ectoparasitic pest of laying hens throughout Europe and elsewhere, was assessed in the laboratory. Dermanyssus gallinae may cause losses in egg production, anaemia and, in extreme cases, death of hens. With changes in legislation and consumer demand, alternatives to synthetic acaricides are needed to manage this pest. Fifty plant essential oils were selected for their toxicity to arthropods reported in the literature. Twenty-four of these essential oils were found to kill > 75% of adult D. gallinae in contact toxicity tests over a 24-h period at a rate of 0.21 mg/cm2. Subsequent testing at lower rates showed that the essential oils of cade, manuka and thyme were especially toxic to adult D. gallinae. The toxicity of the seven most acaricidal essential oils was found to be stable at different temperatures likely to be encountered in commercial poultry housing (15°C, 22°C and 29°C), although results suggest that humidity and dust might influence the toxicity of some of the oils tested. The toxicity of clove bud essential oil to D. gallinae, for example, was increased at high humidity and dust levels compared with ambient levels. The results suggest that certain essential oils may make effective botanical pesticides for use against D. gallinae, although it is likely that issues relating to the consistency of the toxic effect of some oils will determine which oils will be most effective in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalMedical and Veterinary Entomology
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Botanical pesticide
  • Dermanyssus gallinae
  • Essential oil
  • Pest management
  • Poultry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • veterinary(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Parasitology

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