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Efficacy of the repellent N,N-diethyl-3-methyl-benzamide (DEET) against tabanid flies on horses evaluated in a field test in Switzerland


Herholz, C; Kopp, C; Wenger, M; Mathis, A; Wägeli, S; Roth, N (2016). Efficacy of the repellent N,N-diethyl-3-methyl-benzamide (DEET) against tabanid flies on horses evaluated in a field test in Switzerland. Veterinary Parasitology, 221:64-67.

Abstract

Female tabanid flies (Diptera: Tabanidae) can be a serious nuisance for horses because of their painful bites during blood feeding. They also play a primary role in mechanical transmission of a lentivirus causing Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), a virus that has spread within Europe in recent years. According to the European law for products intended for use as a repellent on horses (recreational and sport horses), a field test is mandatory to demonstrate sufficient repellency of such a substance against the specific target fly species, but currently no agreed protocols are available for testing of potential repellents. The aim of the present study was to establish a protocol for a field test to investigate the efficacy of N,N-diethyl-3-methyl-benzamide (DEET, Brum(®), Huebeli-Stud Horse Care AG) in a 15-17% oil-water emulsion against tabanid flies on horses up to four hours. Between July and August 2015, four horses on three farms each were tested on two consecutive days in a cross-over design. The four horses on Farm A were used in the pre-test as well as in the main test. Two and a half hours after repellent application the horses were lunged until sweating. Tabanid fly infestations were both photographed and directly counted during five minutes 3 and 4h after repellent application on the right side of the horses in the area from the head to the flank, belly and first third of the foreleg. Without repellent application, up to 29 tabanid flies were counted on a horse, whereas the maximum for the repellent treated horses was four. In 50% of the horses treated with DEET there were no Tabanids observed (efficacy 100%), and in all horses the tabanid fly counts were lower than in the control horses with one exemption at 4h. The efficacy of the DEET repellent was at least 80% and 71% respectively, three or four hours after application (with a confidence level of 89%). A fly trap (Horse Pal) revealed the presence of the tabanid species Tabanus brominus and Haematopota pluvialis, but also non-specified arthropods. The design of the present study simulated practical conditions, allowed to quantify the number of tabanids flies and to demonstrate repellency of DEET in horses.

Abstract

Female tabanid flies (Diptera: Tabanidae) can be a serious nuisance for horses because of their painful bites during blood feeding. They also play a primary role in mechanical transmission of a lentivirus causing Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), a virus that has spread within Europe in recent years. According to the European law for products intended for use as a repellent on horses (recreational and sport horses), a field test is mandatory to demonstrate sufficient repellency of such a substance against the specific target fly species, but currently no agreed protocols are available for testing of potential repellents. The aim of the present study was to establish a protocol for a field test to investigate the efficacy of N,N-diethyl-3-methyl-benzamide (DEET, Brum(®), Huebeli-Stud Horse Care AG) in a 15-17% oil-water emulsion against tabanid flies on horses up to four hours. Between July and August 2015, four horses on three farms each were tested on two consecutive days in a cross-over design. The four horses on Farm A were used in the pre-test as well as in the main test. Two and a half hours after repellent application the horses were lunged until sweating. Tabanid fly infestations were both photographed and directly counted during five minutes 3 and 4h after repellent application on the right side of the horses in the area from the head to the flank, belly and first third of the foreleg. Without repellent application, up to 29 tabanid flies were counted on a horse, whereas the maximum for the repellent treated horses was four. In 50% of the horses treated with DEET there were no Tabanids observed (efficacy 100%), and in all horses the tabanid fly counts were lower than in the control horses with one exemption at 4h. The efficacy of the DEET repellent was at least 80% and 71% respectively, three or four hours after application (with a confidence level of 89%). A fly trap (Horse Pal) revealed the presence of the tabanid species Tabanus brominus and Haematopota pluvialis, but also non-specified arthropods. The design of the present study simulated practical conditions, allowed to quantify the number of tabanids flies and to demonstrate repellency of DEET in horses.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Parasitology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
600 Technology
Language:English
Date:15 May 2016
Deposited On:05 Aug 2016 09:55
Last Modified:30 Nov 2016 08:28
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0304-4017
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2016.03.015
PubMed ID:27084474

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