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Report for Buzz Away Extreme versus OFF! Active IV
Against the American Dog Tick

Study completed June 2006


Go to Buzz Away Extreme

Abstract. In part 1, Buzz Away Extreme and OFF! Active IV insect repellents applied to cotton cloth were shown to be repellent against the American dog tick for up to 3.5 h after application. In part 2, Buzz Away Extreme was shown to be more repellent than OFF! Active IV (25% DEET) in a direct comparison. All assays were conducted under laboratory conditions using a two-choice bioassay.

Part 1: Buzz Away Extreme vs. OFF! Active IV on cotton cloth

Purpose of study. The objective of this study was to compare the repellency of Buzz Away Extreme versus OFF! Active IV (25% DEET) applied to cloth against the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis Say) (Acari: Ixodidae).

Repellents used. Two repellents were tested: (a) Buzz Away Extreme and (b) OFF!® ActiveTM IV (25% DEET). Buzz Away Extreme was provided by Allen Jones (HOMS, LLC) and OFF! Active IV was purchased at a local retail store. Repellents were stored at room temperature prior to the experiment.

Experimental design. Tests were conducted in a 5 cm diameter (19.6 cm2) arena lined with two half-circle pieces of cotton cloth (HOMS, LLC, Clayton, NC); one side with untreated cloth and the other side with cloth treated with Buzz Away Extreme (HOMS, LLC, Clayton, NC) or OFF! Active IV (SC Johnson, Racine, WI). Seven arenas were used; three contained cloth treated with Buzz Away Extreme and untreated cloth, three contained cloth treated with OFF! Active IV and untreated cloth, and one contained only untreated cloth and served as a control.

Preparation of cloth. Cloth was prepared by spraying two sprays of Buzz Away Extreme or OFF! Active IV onto a 4.5 cm diameter (15.9 cm2) half-circle piece of purple cotton cloth using the sprayer on each product's bottle. Amount of product applied to cloth was quantified by weighing cloth samples immediately before and after treatment. Approximately 0.057 ? 0.012 g and 0.119 ? 0.039 g of Buzz Away and OFF! Active IV were applied to cloth respectively. Cloth was laid on plastic wrap during sprays and incubated for 2 h at ambient temperature and humidity prior to beginning the experiment.

Sampling. Six unfed adult mixed sex American dog ticks were placed in each arena along the line where treated and untreated cloth met. A 5 cm plastic Petri dish lid was placed over the ticks and cloth to prevent ticks from moving off the cloth. Distribution of ticks was recorded at 5, 10, 15, 30, 60, and 90 min after the beginning of each assay. Ticks in simultaneous contact with treated and untreated cloth were not counted in determining percent repellency. Trials were conducted in the absence of light except during monitoring of tick distribution. Trials were conducted on 9 May, 2006.

Test rationale. Ticks were given a choice between two different halves of a test arena: one treated with Buzz Away Extreme or OFF! Active IV and one untreated. If Buzz Away Extreme and OFF! Active IV are repellent, more ticks should be found on the surface of the untreated half of the arena than on the treated half. A control arena was used to determine the distribution of ticks in the absence of the repellent. In the absence of repellent the distribution of the ticks should be random.

Test Considerations. The test format used was a two-choice test. Experiments do not consider whether the ticks will or will not take a blood meal on a treated surface. Tests were conducted in a plastic arena. All tests were conducted with the American dog tick. The two-choice test and the position of ticks on the treated versus the untreated surface can be affected by toxic effects of the repellent on tick motor and sensory activities at any time during the course of the assay, however no toxic effects were observed.

Results. The results of a single replicate of the control and the mean of three replicates each of the treatments (Buzz Away Extreme versus OFF! Active IV (25% DEET)) at six time points are presented in Table 1. No difference in distribution was found in distribution between the left and right side of the control dish indicating that tick distribution was random in the absence of a repellent (t = 0.35, P = 0.74). Percent repellency was calculated as [(control count-treatment count)/control count] * 100. Percent repellency of Buzz Away Extreme was 100% for all time periods observed. Percent repellency of OFF! Active IV was 100% at 5, 15, 30, and 60 minutes post-introduction of ticks to the arena and 90% and 92.5% repellent at 10 and 90 minutes post-introduction of ticks to the arena respectively.

Test conclusions.

  • When 2 sprays of Buzz Away Extreme were applied to cotton gauze, the product was highly repellent to unfed mixed-sex adult American dog ticks for at least 3.5 h post application of the repellent.
  • When 2 sprays of OFF! Active IV were applied to cotton gauze, the product was highly repellent to unfed mixed-sex adult American dog ticks for at least 3.5 h post application of the repellent.

Part 2: Direct comparison of Buzz Away Extreme and OFF! Active IV on cotton cloth

Purpose of study. The objective of this study was to directly compare the repellency of Buzz Away versus OFF! Active IV (25% DEET) applied to cloth against the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis Say) (Acari: Ixodidae).

Repellents used. Two repellents were tested: (a) Buzz Away Extreme and (b) OFF!® ActiveTM IV (25% DEET). Buzz Away Extreme was provided by Allen Jones (HOMS, LLC) and OFF! Active IV was purchased at a local retail store. Repellents were stored at room temperature prior to the experiment.

Experimental design. Tests were conducted in a 5 cm diameter (19.6 cm2) arena lined with two half-circle pieces of cotton cloth (HOMS, LLC, Clayton, NC); one side contained cloth treated with OFF! Active IV (SC Johnson, Racine, WI) and the other side contained cloth treated with Buzz Away Extreme (HOMS, LLC, Clayton, NC). Six arenas were used; three contained cloth treated with Buzz Away Extreme and OFF! Active IV, one contained cloth treated with Buzz Away Extreme and untreated cloth, one contained cloth treated with OFF! Active IV and untreated cloth, and one contained only untreated cloth and served as a control.

Preparation of cloth. Cloth was prepared by spraying two sprays of Buzz Away Extreme or OFF! Active IV (approximately 0.057 g and 0.119 g respectively) onto a 4.5 cm half-circle piece of purple cotton cloth using the sprayer on each product's bottle. Cloth was laid on plastic wrap during sprays and incubated for 2 h at ambient temperature and humidity prior to beginning the experiment.

Sampling. Six unfed adult mixed sex American dog ticks were placed in each arena along the line where treated and untreated cloth met. The same ticks from Part 1 were used due to supply limitation. Ticks were randomly assigned to a treatment or control arena. A 5 cm plastic Petri dish lid was placed over the ticks and cloth to prevent ticks from moving off the cloth. Distribution of ticks was recorded at 5, 10, 15, 30, 60, and 90 min after the beginning of each assay. Ticks in simultaneous contact with treated and untreated cloth were not counted in determining percent repellency. Trials were conducted in the absence of light except during monitoring of tick distribution. Trials were conducted on 13 May, 2006.

Data analysis. Data were analyzed using PROC TTEST (SAS 2001).

Test rationale. Ticks were given a choice between two different halves of a test arena: one treated with Buzz Away Extreme and one treated with OFF! Active IV. A control arena was used to determine the distribution of ticks in the absence of the repellent. In the absence of repellent the distribution of the ticks should be random.

Test Considerations. The test format used was a two-choice test. Experiments do not consider whether the ticks will or will not take a blood meal on a treated surface. Tests were conducted in a plastic arena. All tests were conducted with the American dog tick. The two-choice test and the position of ticks on the treated versus the untreated surface can be affected by toxic effects of the repellent on tick motor and sensory activities at any time during the course of the assay, however no toxic effects were observed. Tests do not take into consideration the interaction that may occur between the two repellents used.

Results. The results of a single replicate of the control and the mean of three replicates each of the treatments (Buzz Away Extreme versus OFF! Active IV (25% DEET)) at six time points are presented in Table 2. No overall difference (mean for left and right sides of arena across all time periods) in distribution was found for the control dish indicating that tick distribution was random in the absence of a repellent (t = 2.67, P = 0.06).

Test conclusions.

  • Significantly more ticks were present on the half of the arena containing cotton cloth treated with OFF! Active IV than the side treated with Buzz Away Extreme 60 and 90 min post-introduction of ticks to arenas.
  • No statistical difference in tick distribution was found between treatments at 5, 10, 15, or 30 min post-introduction of ticks to arenas.

Table 1. Mean distribution of American dog ticks and percent repellency for cotton cloth treated with two sprays of Buzz Away Extreme or OFF! Active IV versus untreated cotton cloth. (Test date: 9 May, 2006).

Time Control Buzz Away Extreme Spray OFF! Active IV Spray % Repellency % Repellency
(h:min) L R L (Treated) R (Untreated) L (Treated) R (Untreated) Buzz Away OFF! Active
2:5 3 3 0 6 0 5* 100 100
2:10 3 3 0 6 0.3 5.7 100 90
2:15 2 4 0 6 0 6 100 100
2:30 2 4 0 6 0 6 100 100
3:0 5 1 0 6 0 6 100 100
3:5 4 2 0 6 0.3 5.7 100 92.5

* Ticks in simultaneous contact with control and treatment halves of cloth were not counted in determining percent repellency.

Table 2. Mean (? SD) distribution of American dog ticks in side-by-side comparison on cotton cloth treated with two sprays of Buzz Away Extreme or OFF! Active IV versus untreated cotton cloth. (Test date: 13 May, 2006).

Time Control OFF! Active IV Spray Buzz Away Extreme Spray P-value df
(h:min) L R  
2:5 4 2 4.0 ? 1.0 2.0 ? 1.0 0.0705 4
2:10 5 1 3.3 ? 2.5 2.7 ? 2.5 0.7619 4
2:15 4 2 4.7 ? 1.5 1.3 ? 1.5 0.0557 4
2:30 3 3 4.7 ? 1.5 1.3 ? 1.5 0.0557 4
3:0 5 1 5.3 ? 1.2 0.7 ? 1.2* 0.0078 4
3:5 5 1 5.3 ? 0.6 0.7 ? 0.6* 0.0006 4

*Statistical difference in tick distribution observed between cloth treated with OFF! Active IV and cloth treated with Buzz Away Extreme (a = 0.05)

The study was conducted by North Carolina State University PhD. candidate Brooke Witting.