Control of Dermanyssus gallinae (De Geer 1778) and other mites with volatile organic compounds, a review.
Dermanyssus gallinae (De Geer 1778), commonly named the poultry red mite (PRM), is considered to be the most harmful ectoparasite in poultry farms in Europe. This species feeds on the blood of laying hens, but spends most of its time hidden in cracks and crevices around hen nests. To control PRM populations in poultry houses, chemical pesticides are currently used; however, concern is growing regarding the harmful residues found in eggs and hens, along with the increased resistance of mites against several compounds. Alternatives to synthetic compounds are now being explored, including vaccines, biological control, physical control and semiochemical control based on the chemical ecology of PRM. This review focused on the different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) identified from D. gallinae and other mite species that have been discovered to control them. Pheromones (aggregation pheromone, sex pheromone and alarm pheromone) and kairomones promoting attraction behaviour in D. gallinae and other mite species are presented, while VOCs from essential oils and plant extracts with repellent properties are also explored. Finally, devices using VOCs on PRM in the field are described, with devices that have been tested on other Acari species being mentioned as potential directions for the future control of PRM.