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Chemical structure of permethrin, a common acaricide.

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.[1]
  • "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.

As a practical matter, mites are a paraphyletic grouping,[2] and mites and ticks are usually treated as a single group.


Examples include:[3]

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.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mullen, Gary; Durden, Lance (2002). Medical and Veterinary Entomology. Elsevier. p. 525. ISBN 9780080536071.
  2. ^ Lindquist, E.E. (1996). "Chapter 1.5.2 Phylogenetic Relationships". In Lindquist, E.E.; Sabelis, M.W.; Bruin, J. (eds.). Eriophyoid Mites: Their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control. Elsevier Science B.V. p. 301. ISBN 9780080531236.
  3. ^ Roberts, James R.; Reigart, J. Routt (2013). "Other Insecticides and Acaracides" (PDF). Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings (6th ed.). Washington DC: Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. pp. 80–96.
  4. ^ Exploring New Methods for Varroa Mite Control, Yu-Lun Lisa Fu
  5. ^ "Everris".
  6. ^ "Gowan Co".
  7. ^ "OHP".
  8. ^ "BASF".
  9. ^ "Syngenta".
  10. ^ 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.

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