Plant Volatile Oils and Compounds as Ecofriendly Mosquito Control Products: Review on Recent Developments

Michael Gabriel Paulraj, Savarimuthu Ignacimuthu

1G.S. Gill Research Institute, Guru Nanak College, Chennai – 600 042. Tamil Nadu, India,
2Xavier Research Foundation, St Xavier’s College, Palayamkottai – 627 002. Tamil Nadu, India,
ABSTRACT: Mosquitoes occupy the fi rst place among the most dangerous insects in the world, because they kill more than fi ve lakhs people every year around the world by transmitting lethal pathogens. People use many methods and devices to combat the mosquito problem. Chemical pesticides are commonly used to control mosquitoes and their bites around the world. Since the last two decades public has started to avoid the use of synthetic chemicals for mosquito management due to their harmful eff ects on environment and human health. Pesticide resistance in mosquitoes is a major side eff ect of synthetic chemical applications. Volatile oils or essential oils obtained from green plants are considered as reliable alternatives for mosquito management. Several hundred volatile oils and volatile compounds have been tested against eggs, larva, pupa and adults of various vector mosquito species. Oils, extracts and powders of leaf, fl owers and bark of many aromatic plants are being used as mosquito repellents in many countries for many centuries. Scientifi c validation of biological activities of several botanicals has been intensifi ed in the last three decades and several herbal mosquito control products have been commercialized. The aim of the present review article is to provide up-to-date information on biological activities of plant volatile oils and volatile compounds against vector mosquitoes and to highlight the promising volatile compounds for the development of new herbal mosquito control products.
Keywords: volatile oils, 1,8- cineole, thymol, larvicides, repellents, mosquitoes.
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