Request for research: How effective is IPA against ticks?

How effective is isopropanol against insects?

Isopropanol 99.9% v / v (IPA) is extremely effective against insects when dosage is sufficient. When used locally, skin absorption in humans and mammals is limited and metabolites are negligibly harmful. This justifies application to small areas of the skin.

Winged insects in particular demonstrate how poisonous IPA is, often the insects die within a few seconds to half a minute. This is less true for fleas and ticks, and ticks in particular are less sensitive. My amateur research indicates that ticks do die after a one-time intense complete wetting. However, wetting in the field is not always effective.

Now a small amount of fipronil is added, just to make sure a tick that survives IPA will die. Concentration fipronil per IPA: 0.28g/dm3, 0.36 g/kg.

The procedure consists of completely wetting the tick, with a hand spray or small plant spray, often in the field.

Table of Contents

Research questions

  • How useful is it to fight ticks with IPA and IPA + fipronil in the field?
  • Are disadvantages to be expected if a tick has already attached itself to the host? This could include emptying the stomach contents of the tick, which means that Borrelia et al still pose a risk.
  • To what extent is IPA 99.9% v / v able to kill Borrelia et al so that the risk of human contamination is limited?


Research is desirable because this method could be a valuable addition to existing pet insecticides and as an alternative to humans.

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