• Testing of Acaricidal Activity

One principle for the control of house dust mites is to reduce the mite population in the environment whether that environment is bedding, soft cushioned furniture or carpeting. There are many ways to do this including the washing of bedding or soft toys with hot water containing a detergent, vacuuming, replacing carpeted floors with vinyl or wood flooring and through the use of an acaricide. An acaricide is a chemical substance, synthetically produced or concocted from a natural herb which upon contact is toxic to dust mites. The acaricide may come as a spray, foam or in powder form.

Based on our extensive experience testing acaricidal coated fabrics and anti-mite solution, we have observed that the test results could be deleteriously affected by (1) an apparatus which does not curtail the mites to the area under scrutiny; (2) an inability to accurately count the number of live or dead mites at the conclusion of the observation period, either due to unreliable observers lacking sufficient training and expertise or an unsatisfactory recovery procedure which is a methodological issue.

To obviate these problems we have patented an apparatus and developed procedures for evaluating how well the acaricide or the anti-mite solution functions in eliminating dust mites. The effectiveness of these compounds is expressed as a percentage of mites killed. Since dust mites are microscopic in size, and difficult to see, we use our Siriraj Chamber to restrict mites to the area under investigation. These results are more reliable than those obtained from conventional testing in a Petri dish. Moreover, depending on the length of the observation period, it is possible to evaluate the potency of the acaricide over a short or a long term, i.e. as the optimal duration of acaricidal activity diminishes, we can still test for residual effectiveness.

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