Insecticidal and repellence activity of the essential oil of Pogostemon cablin against urban ants species

Elânia L D Albuquerque, Janaína K A Lima, Felipe H O Souza, Indira M A Silva, Abraão A Santos, Ana Paula A Araújo, Arie F Blank, Rafaely N Lima, Péricles B Alves, Leandro Bacci
Acta Tropica 2013, 127 (3): 181-6
Ants are highly abundant in neotropical regions, with certain species adapted to the urban environment, where they can cause damage to human health. The main method for controlling ants consists of using organosynthetic insecticides, which are potentially toxic to the environment. Essential plant oils are considered a viable alternative to the use of conventional insecticides. In this study, we analyze the bioinsecticidal activity and repellence of patchouli essential oil (Pogostemon cablin) against three species of urban ants: Camponotus melanoticus, Camponotus novograndensis, and Dorymyrmex thoracicus. The chemical composition of the essential oil was analyzed by GC-MS and GC-FID. The major compounds were patchoulol (36.6%) followed by α-bulnesene (13.95%), and α-guaiene (11.96%). Toxicity and repellency bioassays were performed using the essential oil over the ants, and mortality evaluations were performed at 4, 24, and 48 h after performing the bioassays. Mortality percentage of the ants on 7 μg/mg was on average 84%. The essential oil of P. cablin displayed toxicity against all three species of urban ants, with the lowest LD₅₀ being observed for D. thoracicus (2.02 μg oil/mg insect) after 48 h of exposure compared to C. melanoticus (2.34 μg oil/mg insect) and C. novogranadensis (2.95 μg oil/mg insect). The essential oil of P. cablin was strongly repellent to the three species of ants in all concentrations tested (0.01% and 1% v/v). Considering the potential toxicity and repellency of the P. cablin essential oil to the urban ants, future studies could investigate the practical application of this oil to control of this insects.


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