Effect of essential oils against acaricide-susceptible and acaricide-resistant Rhipicephalus ticks
The indiscriminate use of acaricides is a problem worldwide and has increased the selection of acaricide-resistant tick populations. The goal of this study was to evaluate the acaricide effects of two essential oils (from Schinus molle and Bulnesia sarmientoi) using the larval immersion test on three Rhipicephalus tick species. Rhipicephalus evertsi, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus and Rhipicephalus pulchelus ticks collected in Kenya, without history of acaricide exposure, were tested, as well as individuals from two populations of Rhipicephalus microplus (with or without history of acaricide exposure), for comparison. The sample most resistant to the treatments was a population of R. microplus with previous acaricide exposure, whereas the least tolerant sample was a strain of the same species that never had contact with acaricides (Porto Alegre strain). Interestingly, the field tick samples without previous acaricide exposure responded to essential oils with a mortality profile resembling that observed in the acaricide-resistant R. microplus field population, and not the susceptible Porto Alegre strain. The essential oil of B. sarmientoi and its two components tested (guaiol and bulnesol) caused the highest mortality rates in the tested species and are potential molecules for future studies on control methods against these species.