Comparative study of the topical effectiveness of the Andiroba oil (Carapa guianensis) and DEET 50% as repellent for Aedes sp

Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. Sep-Oct 2004;46(5):253-6. doi: 10.1590/s0036-46652004000500004. Epub 2004 Oct 22.


DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) is nowadays the most effective mosquito repellent available, however, its use can present some topical and systemic side effects. Some botanical compositions, as Andiroba (Carapa guianensis), have been proved repellent properties at low cost and toxicity. An experimental study was driven involving four volunteers submitting their forearms covered with Andiroba oil at 100%, DEET 50%, refined soy oil, Andiroba oil 15% and in the absence of products, directly to healthy females of Aedes sp. The times of first and third bites were checked. The results showed that the median of the first bite without any product was 17.5s and the third bite, 40.0s. In the soy oil, the bites happened in 60.0s and 101.5s, in the presence of Andiroba oil 100%, in 56.0s and 142.5s and in Andiroba oil 15%, in 63.0s and 97.5s. The volunteers using DEET 50% had not received bites after 3600s in most of the experiments (p < 0.001 Wilcoxon). Pure Andiroba oil compared to the soy oil, forearm without product and Andiroba oil 15%, showed discreet superiority (p < 0.001 Wilcoxon). Our conclusion is that this study demonstrated that the pure Andiroba oil presents discreet repellent effect against bite of Aedes sp., being significantly inferior to DEET 50%.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aedes*
  • Animals
  • DEET / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insect Bites and Stings / prevention & control*
  • Insect Repellents / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Meliaceae*
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage*


  • Insect Repellents
  • Plant Oils
  • DEET