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Comparative in vitro evaluation of contact activity of fluralaner, spinosad, phoxim, propoxur, permethrin and deltamethrin against the northern fowl mite, Ornithonyssus sylviarum.

  • Author(s): Mullens, Bradley A
  • Murillo, Amy C
  • Zoller, Hartmut
  • Heckeroth, Anja R
  • Jirjis, Faris
  • Flochlay-Sigognault, Annie
  • et al.


Northern fowl mites (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) are obligate hematophagous ectoparasites of both feral birds and poultry, particularly chicken layers and breeders. They complete their entire life-cycle on infested birds while feeding on blood. Infestations of O. sylviarum are difficult to control and resistance to some chemical classes of acaricides is a growing concern. The contact susceptibility of O. sylviarum to a new active ingredient, fluralaner, was evaluated, as well as other compounds representative of the main chemical classes commonly used to control poultry mite infestations in Europe and the USA.


Six acaricides (fluralaner, spinosad, phoxim, propoxur, permethrin, deltamethrin) were dissolved and serially diluted in butanol:olive oil (1:1) to obtain test solutions used for impregnation of filter paper packets. A carrier-only control was included. Thirty adult northern fowl mites, freshly collected from untreated host chickens, were inserted into each packet for continuous compound exposure. Mite mortality was assessed after incubation of the test packets for 48 h at 75% relative humidity and a temperature of 22 °C.


Adult mite LC50 /LC99 values were 2.95/8.09 ppm for fluralaner, 1587/3123 ppm for spinosad, 420/750 ppm for phoxim and 86/181 ppm for propoxur. Permethrin and deltamethrin LC values could not be calculated due to lack of mortality observed even at 1000 ppm.


Northern fowl mites were highly sensitive to fluralaner after contact exposure. They were moderately sensitive to phoxim and propoxur, and less sensitive to spinosad. Furthermore, the tested mite population appeared to be resistant to the pyrethroids, permethrin and deltamethrin, despite not being exposed to acaricides for at least 10 years.

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