Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 48, Issue 1–2, pp 43–50 | Cite as

Variation in chemical composition and acaricidal activity against Dermanyssus gallinae of four eucalyptus essential oils

  • David R. GeorgeEmail author
  • Dino Masic
  • Olivier A. E. Sparagano
  • Jonathan H. Guy


The results of this study suggest that certain eucalyptus essential oils may be of use as an alternative to synthetic acaricides in the management of the poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae. At a level of 0.21 mg/cm², the essential oil from Eucalyptus citriodora achieved 85% mortality in D. gallinae over a 24 h exposure period in contact toxicity tests. A further two essential oils from different eucalyptus species, namely E. globulus and E. radiata, provided significantly (P < 0.05) lower mite mortality (11 and 19%, respectively). Notable differences were found between the eucalyptus essential oils regarding their chemical compositions. There appeared to be a trend whereby the essential oils that were composed of the fewer chemical components were the least lethal to D. gallinae. It may therefore be the case that the complexity of an essential oil’s chemical make up plays an important role in dictating the toxicity of that oil to pests such as D. gallinae.


Dermanyssus gallinae Poultry red mite Plant-derived product Botanical pesticide 



The authors would like to thank Mr. Paul Donohoe for GCMS analysis and Dr. Ed Okello for assistance with biochemical classification of essential oil constituents. This work was conducted as a satellite study to a project called MITEeHEN, for which funding is gratefully received from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK).


  1. Arkle S, Guy JH, Sparagano O (2006) Immunological effects and productivity variation of red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) on laying hens–implications for egg production and quality. Worlds Poult Sci J 62:249–257. doi: 10.1079/WPS200594 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Axtell RC (1999) Poultry integrated pest management; status and future. Integr Pest Manag Rev 4:53–73. doi: 10.1023/A:1009637116897 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chalchat JC, Ozcan MM, Dagdelden A, Akgul A (2007) Variability of essential oil composition of Echinophora tenuifolia subsp sibthorpiana Tutin by harvest location and year and oil storage. Chem Nat Compd 43:225–227. doi: 10.1007/s10600-007-0087-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chauve C (1998) The poultry red mite Dermanyssus gallinae (De Geer, 1778): current situation and future prospects for control. Vet Parasitol 79:239–245. doi: 10.1016/S0304-4017(98)00167-8 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chiasson H, Bélanger A, Bostanian N, Vincent C, Poliquin A (2001) Acaricidal properties of Artemisia absinthium and Tanacetum vulgare (Asteraceae) essential oils obtained by three methods of extraction. J Econ Entomol 94:167–171PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Chirico J, Eriksson H, Fossum O, Jansson D (2003) The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, a potential vector of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae causing erysipelas in hens. Med Vet Entomol 17:232–234. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2915.2003.00428.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Choi W, Lee S, Park H, Ahn Y (2004) Toxicity of plant essential oils to Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) and Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acari: Phytoseiidae). J Econ Entomol 97:553–558PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Cimanga K, Kambu K, Tona L, Apers S, De Bruyne T, Hermans N, Totté J, Pieters L, Vlietinck AJ (2002) Correlation between chemical composition and antibacterial activity of essential oils of some aromatic medicinal plants growing in the Democratic Republic of Congo. J Ethnopharmacol 79:213–220. doi: 10.1016/S0378-8741(01)00384-1 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cosoroaba I (2001) Massive Dermanyssus gallinae invasion in battery-husbandry raised fowls. Rev Med Vet (Toulouse) 152:89–96Google Scholar
  10. Feng R, Isman MB (1995) Selection for resistance to azadirachtin in the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae. Experimentia 51:831–834. doi: 10.1007/BF01922438 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fiddes MD, Le Gresley S, Parsons DG, Epe C, Coles GC, Stafford KA (2005) Prevalence of the poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) in England. Vet Rec 157:233–235PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Flamini G, Cioni PL (2007) Seasonal variation of the chemical constituents of the essential oil of Santolina etrusca from Italy. Chem Biodivers 4:1008–1019. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.200790069 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. George DR, Callaghan K, Guy JH, Sparagano OAE (2008) Investigating the residual toxicity of lavender essential oils as acaricides against the poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae). Res Vet Sci 85:440–442. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2008.02.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goodger JQD, Heskes AM, King DJ, Gleadow RM, Woodrow IE (2008) Micropropagation of Eucalyptus polybractea selected for key essential oil traits. Funct Plant Biol 35:247–251. doi: 10.1071/FP07241 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Isman MB (2008) Botanical insecticides: for richer, for poorer. Pest Manag Sci 64:8–11. doi: 10.1002/ps.1470 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kim S, Yi J, Tak J, Ahn Y (2004) Acaricidal activity of plant essential oils against Dermanyssus gallinae (Acari: Dermanyssidae). Vet Parasitol 120:297–304. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2003.12.016 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kim S, Na Y, Yi J, Kim B, Ahn Y (2007) Contact and fumigant toxicity of oriental medicinal plant extracts against Dermanyssus gallinae (Acari: Dermanyssidae). Vet Parasitol 145:377–382. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2006.12.021 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Macchioni F, Cioni PL, Flamini G, Morelli I, Perrucci S, Franceschi A, Macchioni G, Ceccarini L (2002) Acaricidal activity of pine essential oils and their main components against Tyrophagus putrescentiae, a stored food mite. J Agric Food Chem 50:4586–4588. doi: 10.1021/jf020270w PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Miresmailli S, Bradbury R, Isman MB (2006) Comparative toxicity of Rosmarinus officinalis L. essential oil and blends of its major constituents against Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae) on two different host plants. Pest Manag Sci 62:366–371. doi: 10.1002/ps.1157 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Moreno PHR, Lima MEL, Sobral M, Cláudia M, Young M, Cordeiro I, Apel MA, Limberger RP, Henriques AT (2007) Essential oil composition of fruit colour varieties of Eugenia brasiliensis Lam. Scientia Agricola 64:428–432. doi: 10.1590/S0103-90162007000400014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Raal A, Orav A, Arak E (2007) Composition of the essential oil of Salvia officinalis L. from various European countries. Nat Prod Res 21:406–411. doi: 10.1080/14786410500528478 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wojcik AR, Greygon-Franckiewicz B, Zbikowska E, Wasielewski L (2000) Invasion of Dermanyssus gallinae (De Geer, 1778) in poultry farms in the Torun Region. Wiad Parazytol 46:511–515PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Yang YC, Lee H-S, Clark JM, Ahn YJ (2004) Insecticidal activity of plant essential oils against Pediculus humanus capitis (Anoplura: Pediculidae). J Med Entomol 41:699–704PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. George
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dino Masic
    • 1
  • Olivier A. E. Sparagano
    • 1
  • Jonathan H. Guy
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Agriculture, Food and Rural DevelopmentNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

Personalised recommendations