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Acaricides are pesticides that kill members of the arachnid subclass Acari, which includes ticks and mites. Acaricides are used both in medicine and agriculture, although the desired selective toxicity differs between the two fields.
More specific words are sometimes used, depending upon the targeted group:
- "Ixodicides" are substances that kill ticks.
- "Miticides" are substances that kill mites.
- The term scabicide is more narrow, and refers to agents specifically targeting Sarcoptes.
- The term "arachnicide" is more general, and refers to agents that target arachnids. This term is used much more rarely, but occasionally appears in informal writing.
- Permethrin can be applied as a spray. The effects are not limited to mites: lice, cockroaches, fleas, mosquitos, and other insects will be affected.
- Ivermectin can be prescribed by a medical doctor to rid humans of mite and lice infestations, and agricultural formulations are available for infested birds and rodents.
- Antibiotic miticides
- Carbamate miticides
- Dienochlor miticides
- Formamidine miticides
- Organophosphate miticides
- Diatomaceous earth will also kill mites by disrupting their cuticles, which dries out the mites.
- Dicofol, a compound structurally related to the insecticide DDT, is a miticide that is effective against the red spider mite Tetranychus urticae.
- Lime sulfur is effective against sarcoptic mange. It is made by mixing hydrated lime, sulfur, and water, and boiling for about 1 hour. Hydrated lime can bond with about 1.7 its weight of sulfur. (Quicklime can bond with as much as 2.2 times its weight of sulfur). The strongest concentrate is diluted 1:32 before saturating the skin (avoiding the eyes), applied at six-day intervals.
- Nonpesticide miticides act by causing desiccation, but are not a diatomaceous earth (which contain crystalline silica, potentially dangerous by inhalation), but made from a patented mix of food-grade components, one to breach the cuticle and one to ensure rapid, reliable desiccation. They can be dusted as powder or sprayed in aqueous solution.
- A variety of commercially available systemic and non-systemic miticides: abamectin, acequinocyl, bifenazate, bifenazate, chlorfenapyr, clofentezine, cyflumetofen, cypermethrin, dicofol, etoxazole, fenazaquin, fenpyroximate, hexythiazox, imidacloprid, propargite, pyridaben, spiromesifen, spirotetramat.
Acaricides are also being used in attempts to stop rhinoceros poaching. Holes are drilled into the horn of a sedated rhino and acaricide is pumped in and pressurized. Should the horn be consumed by humans as in traditional Chinese medicine, it is expected to cause nausea, stomachache, and diarrhea, or convulsions, depending on the quantity, but not fatalities. Signs posted at wildlife refuges that the rhinos therein have been treated are thus expected to deter poaching. The original idea grew out of research into using the horn as a reservoir for one-time tick treatments; the acaricide is selected to be safe for the rhino, oxpeckers, vultures, and other animals in the preserve's ecosystem.
- Mullen, 2002, p.525.
- Lindquist, 1996, p.301.
- "Gowan Co".
- Angler, Martin. "Dye and Poison Stop Rhino Poachers". Scientific American Blog Network. Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
It is actually a mixture between the bright pink dye and an ectoparasiticide, which normally is used for protecting rhino against ticks. In this case, however, the purpose is not to protect the rhino against ticks but to poison rhino horn consumers. The purpose: Discouraging the (typically) Asian clients to buy the horn and to prevent poaching in the first place. If they consume RRP-treated horn powder, they will heavily suffer from nausea, stomach-ache and diarrhea.
- Lindquist, E.E. (1996). "Chapter 1.5.2 Phylogenetic Relationships". In Lindquist, E.E.; Sabelis, M.W.; Bruin, J. Eriophyoid Mites: Their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control. Elsevier Science B.V. ISBN 9780080531236.
- Mullen, Gary; Durden, Lance (2002). Medical and Veterinary Entomology. Elsevier. ISBN 9780080536071.