Brand: AMITIK ® EC Cattle & Pig SPRAY

Company: COOPERS

FORMULATION: powder concentrate for spraying animals

ACTIVE INGREDIENT(S): Amitraz: 12.5% = 125 g/L

CHEMICAL CLASS of the active ingredient(s): Amidines


PARASITES CONTROLLED (spectrum of activity)




Cattle Ticks (Rhipicephalus = Boophilus microplus) NSW, QLD, WA, NT only

400 mL product in 200 L water (= 250 ppm)

Treat at intervals of 19-21 days. Controls organophosphate and synthetic pyrethroid resistant strains of the Cattle Tick. Refer to General Directions

Paralysis Ticks (Ixodes holocyclus) Treat at intervals of 7-10 days.
Bush Ticks (Haemaphysalis longicornis) NSW, QLD, WA, NT & VIC Treat at intervals of 7-21 days.
Sheep, Goats, Deer Cattle Ticks (Rhipicephalus = Boophilus microplus) NSW only 400 mL product in 200 L water (= 250 ppm)  Treat animals on quarantined holdings at 14-21 day intervals. Treat animals being moved at 3 to 7 day intervals.
Pigs Mange mites (Sarcoptes scabiei var. suis) All states 40 mL product in 200 L water (= 2500 ppm)  Remove feed and bedding from pens, cover drinking bowls and clean out pen. Spray pigs with minimum 2 L spray wash, especially inside ears and legs, under jowls and areas covered by scabs. Replace discarded bedding with clean material. Repeat treatment after 7-10 days. Refer also to General Directions

 Spray races

  Unstabilized Stabilized
Method Stabilization is not required when  all spraywash is used within 24 hours Stabilization required if unused wash is to be retained for later use.
Initial charging 400 mL product in 200 L water (= 250 ppm) 400 mL product in 200 L water (= 250 ppm)
Mixing Pour required amount of product into a bucket and stir thoroughly. Pour contents of bucket into reservoir or sump. Rinse bucket and add rinsings. Fill reservoir with total volume required.
Stirring Spraywash in sump must be stirred thoroughly at start of each spraying session and again if there is a break of more than half an hour during spraying.
Reinforcing Each time the level of the spraywash in the sump drops by 200 L, add 250 mL product, without adding water, and continue spraying. If the level of wash is allowed to fall excessively without reinforcement, concentration of the product will fall and its efficacy will be reduced. Repeat reinforcement until no more wash can be pumped out. If continuing spraying, make up more wash at the initial charge rate and complete spraying. When the wash is polluted, clean out the sump before recharging.
Stabilizing Important: Because the wash is not stabilized, any remaining wash must be discarded and a new batch made up for the next spraying session. Alternatively wash may be stabilized as opposite. If after spraying, unused spraywash is retained in the sump, add lime stabilizer. Mix lime to a smooth paste with water and strain into wash, at the rate of 2kg / 200 L of spraywash and stir vigorously. Further additions of hydrated lime at the rate of 1 kg / 200 L wash must be made at intervals of 2 months when regular spraying is not in progress. Stir or agitate at regular intervals.
Sampling Sampling not required. Stir sump vigorously before taking a sample from a nozzle on the race. Sample bottles are available from your local agent or company's representative. Analysis of dip samples is available through the Biochemistry Branch, Animal Research Institute, Yeerongpilly, QLD 4105.

General Instructions

Ensure all parts of the animal are thoroughly wet, especially belly, legs and inside ears (most important for pigs). Animals should be restrained in a crush for spraying. A pump capable of delivering a coarse spray should be used. Knapsack sprays are NOT recommended.

A fresh spray wash must be made up for each day's treatment. Clean out the spray reservoir at the end of each day and discard any remaining wash. Two treatments at 7-10 days interval are recommended for sows and gilts before entering farrowing pens, for piglets at weaning, and for pigs newly brought into the piggery. Boars should be treated every 3 months.

See product label for additional directions. 


  • LD50 (acute oral) in rats: for the a.i. 523-800 mg/kg (according to MSDS)
  • LD50 (acute dermal) in rats: for the a.i. >1600 mg/kg (according to MSDS)
  • Estimated hazard class according to the WHO: III, slightly hazardous

Suspected poisoning? Read the article on amitraz safety in this site.

Withholding periods (=withdrawal times) in days for meat & milk (country-specific differences may apply: read the product label)

  • Meat: AUS NIL (ESI for beef NIL; ESI not established for sheep, goat & pig meat)
  • Milk for human consumption: AUS NIL.

WARNING !!!: Never use on humans, horses and other equines, dogs or cats. Amitraz is particularly toxic to horses, cats and Chihuahua dogs.

At a dosage close to the therapeutic one amitraz can show a sedative effect on cattle. After dipping or spraying cattle with amitraz it is typical that a few animals, especially young or weaker ones lay down or fall to the ground and remain sleepy for a certain time. Normally they recover spontaneously or they can be sprayed with abundant water (which washes away part of the product that should protect them...) to accelerate recovery.

You may be interested in the following articles in this site dealing with the general safety of veterinary products:


Risk of resistance? YES; there is reported resistance to amitraz for the cattle tick (Boophilus = Rhipicephalus microplus) in Australia and Latin America, and for the tropical cattle tick (= blue tick, Boophilus = Rhipicephalus decoloratus) in Southern Africa.

Interestingly, after the introduction of amitraz in the 1970's, it was not broadly used in many regions because soon it was largely replaced by synthetic pyrethroids that were as effective against ticks but controlled flies and other insects as well. As a consequence, field resistance of cattle ticks to amitraz spread rather slowly in many places or did not develop at all. In the meantime, resistance of ticks (and flies!) to synthetic pyrethroids has reached such levels, that amitraz has experienced a very strong revival in many countries during the last decade. As a consequence, resistance of cattle ticks to amitraz is now spreading rapidly. And there are also reports on multi-resistant tick populations, i.e. simultaneously resistant to amitraz and organophosphates or synthetic pyrethroids.

This means that if this product does not achieve the expected efficacy against cattle ticks, it may be due to resistance and not to incorrect use, which is usually the most frequent cause of product failure.

Alternative chemical classes/active ingredients to prevent resistance of external parasites through product rotation:

These alternative products may not be available in all countries, or may not be available for spraying, or may not be effective against all the concerned parasites.

There are no reports on resistance of pig mange mites to amitraz.

Learn more about resistance and how it develops.


Are the active ingredients of this product ORIGINAL* or GENERICS**?


*Meaning that they are still patent protected and generics are not yet available
**Meaning that they have lost patent protection and may be acquired from manufacturers of generic active ingredients other than the holder of the original patent.

COUNTRIES where this brand/product is marketed: Australia (only QLD, NSW, VIC, NT, WA).
GENERIC BRANDS available? YES. numerous. AMITIK EC is itself a brand with generic amitraz marketed by COOPERS in Australia.

Click here to learn more about GENERIC vs. ORIGINAL drugs.

For an overview on the most used antiparasitic spray, dip & dust BRANDS click here.


Amitraz is an amidine introduced in the 1970s by Boots & Co. It was marketed under well- known brands such as TAKTIC and TRIATIX. Amitraz was the first amidine (also called formamidines) used against ticks on cattle and it followed the organochlorines and organophosphates that had been discovered in the 1950s-1960s.

Amitraz is highly effective against all kinds of ticks that affect livestock. Besides a killing effect, it also shows a rather characteristic tick detaching effect as well as a significant repellent effect. The result is that correct treatment of cattle or other livestock with amitraz usually results in an very satisfying control of ticks, and this with very modest product costs. This formulation is also approved for controlling pig mange mites, but at a significant higher rate than against ticks. Amitraz is also effective against other lice and mite species that affect livestock, but some manufacturers do not include such claims in their products, probably to save development costs.

However amitraz has several major disadvantages for use on cattle when compared with its major competitors, the synthetic pyrethroids, e.g.:

  • It is completely ineffective against biting flies (e.g. horn & buffalo flies, stable flies), which often need to be controlled together with the ticks.
  • It needs to be stabilized with lime (hydrated slaked lime) when used in plunge dips and in spray-races where the dip wash is not consumed within 24 hours. Otherwise within a few hours the amitraz in the wash is broken down to compounds that are ineffective against the parasites.
  • It strips, i.e. not only the volume of the dip or sump diminishes along the dipping or spraying processes, but also the concentration of a.i. in the remaining wash, which complicates the management of dips and spray races.

Due to these disadvantages, products with synthetic pyrethroids largely replaced amitraz in the 1980s-1990s: They controlled biting flies, were stable in dips and spray races, and most of them did not strip. Later on, much more convenient ready-to-use pour-ons (with synthetic pyrethroidsfluazuron and macrocyclic lactones) conquered the market for tick control. However, with the fast development of cattle tick and buffalo fly resistance to synthetic pyrethroids amitraz has experienced a notorious revival worldwide. Where plunge dips or spray races remain operational and amitraz resistance is not yet a problem, products with amitraz are a valuable option for tick control on large cattle herds. In fact, in many places, amitraz products are nowadays the only products available for plunge dips and spray races that still work well against cattle ticks.

Topically applied, amitraz as well as organophosphates and synthetic pyrethroids are basically contact insecticides. This means that when the parasite comes in contact with the active ingredient that impregnates the host's hair coat, it penetrates through the cuticle (i.e. the "skin" of insects and other arthropods) into its organism, where it disturbs essential biological processes, in this case the nervous system.

After administration to livestock or other animals, amitraz does not have a systemic mode of action, i.e. it is not transmitted to the parasite through the blood of the host. Topically administered amitraz is poorly absorbed through the skin of the hosts, and what is absorbed is quickly broken down and/or excreted. Consequently the concentration reached in the blood is too low to kill the ticks. But this is also the reason for the low to NIL withholding periods for meat or milk. This is in contrast with fluazuron and macrocyclic lactones (e.g. doramectin, eprinomectin, ivermectin, moxidectin, etc.), which do have a systemic mode of action and reach the ticks mainly through the blood of the host.

For best results it is very important to ensure a complete coverage of the animals' hair coat. Depending on size and hair coat, adult cattle need 3 to up to 10 liters wash per head for complete wetting. To learn more about correctly spraying cattle and other livestock read the corresponding article on spraying livestock in this site.


This article IS NOT A PRODUCT LABEL. It offers complementary information that may be useful to veterinary professionals and users that are not familiar with veterinary antiparasitics. 

Information offered in this article has been extracted from publications issued by manufacturers, government agencies (e.g. EMEA, FDA, USDA, etc.) or in the scientific literature. No guarantee is given on its accuracy, integrity, sufficiency, actuality and opportunity, and any liability is denied. Read the site's DISCLAIMER.

In case of doubt contact the manufacturer or a veterinary professional.