Larvicidal activity of Myrtaceae essential oils and their components against Aedes aegypti, acute toxicity on Daphnia magna, and aqueous residue

J Med Entomol. 2011 Mar;48(2):405-10. doi: 10.1603/me10108.


The larvicidal activity of 11 Myrtaceae essential oils and their constituents was evaluated against Aedes aegypti L. Of the 11, Melaleuca linariifolia Sm., Melaleuca dissitiflora F. Muell., Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S. T. Blake, and Eucalyptus globulus Labill oils at 0.1 mg/ml exhibited > or = 80% larval mortality. At this same concentration, the individual constituents tested, allyl isothiocyanate, alpha-terpinene, p-cymene, (+)-limonene, (-)-limonene, gamma-terpinene, and (E)-nerolidol, resulted in > or = 95% mortality. We also tested the acute toxicity of these four active oils earlier mentioned and their constituents against Daphnia magna Straus. M. linariifolia and allyl isothiocyanate was the most toxic to D. magna. Twodays after treatment, residues of M. dissitiflora, M. linariifolia, M. quinquenervia, and E. globulus oils in water were 55.4, 46.6, 32.4, and 14.8%, respectively. Less than 10% of allyl isothiocyanate, alpha-terpinene, p-cymene, (-)-limonene, (+)-limonene, and gamma-terpinene was detected in the water at 2 d after treatment. Our results indicated that oils and their constituents could easily volatilize in water within a few days after application, thus minimizing their effect on the aqueous ecosystem. Therefore, Myrtaceae essential oils and their constituents could be developed as control agents against mosquito larvae.

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Daphnia / drug effects*
  • Insecticides / chemistry
  • Insecticides / pharmacology
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Myrtaceae / chemistry*
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Pesticide Residues
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Toxicity Tests
  • Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical


  • Insecticides
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Pesticide Residues
  • Plant Oils
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Water