is a product used in the control of
It was developed by researchers at Harvard
How it Works: Theory
Mice are the
primary source of infection for the ixodid
ticks (deer tick
, Ixodes Scapularis or Ixodes Dammini, I.
Pacificus, I. Ricinis (in Europe) that carry Lyme Disease spirochetes
). The Damminix (named for I. Dammini, a less used
name) product targets the ticks on the mice without harming the
mice. Mice are always gathering nesting material. The Damminix tick
tubes contain nesting material (cotton) impregnated wth a proven
field mice are able to do the rest: collecting the cotton, getting
the tick-killing agent onto their fur in their nests, and killing
ticks as they attach. Permethrin
does not harm mice, (or other mammals
or birds). Damminix is especially useful as it is not necessary to
blanket spray a given area (and run any inherent risks due to
chemical exposure), the treatment is highly localized due to the
direct self selection behaviour of the disease vector (mice looking
for nesting material), this greatly reduces the exposure risks to
humans that might otherwise occur. A similar technology is used in
a rodent fur mite control product, MiteArrest
Damminix appears to help control
tick populations, particularly in the year following initial use.
Note that it is not effective on the West Coast.
tick-killing spray pesticides that have been used include those
containing diazinon, chlorpyrifos, and carbaryl. Animal studies
have reported severe toxic effects associated with these chemicals.
Some of these agents in fact are being phased out for home use. If
there is a high probability of human exposure, parents should
consider the effects of a very negligible risk for a highly
treatable infection versus potential excessive use of possibly
Alternatives: Biocontrol and Chemical
alternative to Damminix is fipronil
. It is used in the the Maxforce Tick
Management system (from Aventis
), in which fipronil is painted onto rodents
attracted to plastic baitboxes. This product requires professional
installation. As of June 2006, this product is no longer available.
<ref>http://www.maxforcetms.com</ref> The reason
appears to have been that in 2005, there were selective reports of
grey squirrels "chewing" into some Maxforce TMS boxes in areas of
the northeastern United States, compromising the child resistant
box. Due to this problem, the US Federal Environmental Protection
(EPA) has asked that all similarly designed TMS boxes
applied in 2006 be covered with a protective shroud capable of
preventing squirrel damage.
How it Works: Practice
biodegradable tubes are spaced at 15-foot intervals in mouse
habitat areas and left out for the mice to find. Application twice
a season (spring and fall) is recommended. The effectivity of the
treatment increases as the number of contiguous properties
employing the treatment increases. This product targets the tick
life cycle only in the eastern US. It is avaialble only in MD, PA,
NY, RI, CT, NH, NJ and MA.
External links Damminix Home Page Protecting Property from Tick Infestation
(UMM Patient Education)