Repellent activity of some essential oils against Simulium species in India

S Hazarika, Sunil Dhiman, Bipul Rabha, R K Bhola, Lokendera Singh
Journal of Insect Science 2012, 12: 5
Use of repellents seems to be most reliable method of personal protection against annoyance and infections associated with haematophagous insects. We have investigated the biting activity of Simulium and tested the repellency of five essential oils extracted from Homalomena aromatica Schott (Alismatales: Araceae), Pogostemon heyneanus Bentham (Lamiales: Lamiaceae), Citrus aurantifolia Swingle (Sapindales: Rutaceae), Vitex negundo L. (Lamiales: Lamiaceae), and Ageratum conzoides L. (Asterales: Asteraceae) on the human volunteers against Simulium (blackflies) in three locations of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Blackflies preferred biting legs (> 79%) as compared to hand and face with profound biting activity during 1000-1100 h (> 23%) and 1500 - 1600 h (> 28%). The essential oil extracted from Homalomena aromatica, Vitex negundo and Ageratum conizoides provided > 2 h protection at 5% concentration and > 5 h protection at 10% concentration in all the three testing locations. The repellency of Homalomena aromatica, Vitex negundo and Ageratum conizoides essential oils after 6 h application was > 50% at 5% concentration and > 90% at 10% concentration. The study provides evidence for the potential of these essential oils in developing new repellents against blackflies.


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