Other formulations, such as desiccants and insecticidal soaps, have also been used to provide more environmentally sensitive alternatives to conventional chemical control programs. In general, desiccants contain silica-based compounds that kill ticks through the adsorption of the lipid layer of the cuticle, essentially drying them out. In trials to control blacklegged ticks, the commercially available desiccant Drione, which contains 1% pyrethrin, silica gel, and ammonium fluorosilicate, provided short-term control.
However, the efficacy of desiccants is diminished following rainfall or under conditions of high humidity. Some soaps dissolved in water at sufficient concentrations can provide insecticidal activity, but soaps have been more often used as emulsifiers, spreaders, wetting agents, and stabilizers to enhance the effectiveness of certain insecticide formulations. Field trials of Safer's Insecticidal Soap (0.2% pyrethrin) also provided significant short-term control of blacklegged ticks. The lack of residual activity may require repeated applications of these products.
Fipronil-based veterinary products (e.g. Frontline and Top Spot™) are effective in controlling external arthropod parasites on dogs and cats. They are topically applied and eventually spread over the body and concentrate in sebaceous glands and hair follicles of the animal, where they provide long-term control of ticks and fleas.