Background and objectives: Various plant-based products are safe and biodegradable alternatives to synthetic chemicals for use against mosquitoes. Oil of Pinus longifolia is traditionally used for protection against mosquitoes in some rural areas but there is no documented report of its use against mosquitoes. The present study was undertaken to scientifically evaluate the activity of Pine oil against mosquitoes.
Methods: The oil was procured from the market and its contents were chemically analysed. Larvicidal activity of oil was tested in laboratory bioassays, while repellent action was studied during whole night bait collections in field by direct application on the skin and after its impregnation on mats.
Results: Results showed varying degree of larvicidal activity of Pine oil against mosquitoes with LC50 values ranging between 82 and 112 ppm. The Pine oil had strong repellent action against mosquitoes as it provided 100% protection against Anopheles culicifacies for 11 h and 97% protection against Culex quinquefasciatus for nine hours respectively. Electrically heated mats prepared from Pine oil provided, 94 and 88% protection against An. culicifacies and Cx. quinquefasciatus for 10 and seven hours respectively. INTERPRETAION AND CONCLUSION: Pine oil is effective against mosquito larvae at very higher doses which are not of any practical utility. However, Pine oil showed strong repellent action against An. culicifacies (malaria vector) and Cx. quinquefasciatus (pest mosquito). Thus its use could be popularised as mosquito repellent.