Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) repellency field tests of essential oils from plants traditionally used in Laos

J Med Entomol. 2012 Nov;49(6):1398-404. doi: 10.1603/me12025.


Essential oils of Hyptis suaveolens (Lamiaceae), Croton roxburghii (Euphorbiaceae), and Litsea cubeba (Lauraceae) were tested in the field near Vientiane city, Lao PDR, on humans for repellent activity against mosquitoes. Landing mosquitoes were collected and later identified. The most abundant mosquitoes captured belonged to the genera Armigeres, Culex, and Aedes. All the plant oils tested at concentrations of 1.7 microg/cm(2), 3.3 microg/cm(2), and 6.3 microg/cm(2) were significantly more mosquito repellent than the negative control. Croton oil was significantly repellent against mosquitoes of the three genera at the highest (6.3 microg/cm(2)) concentration tested. Litsea oil was significantly repellent against Armigeres at all (1.7 microg/cm(2), 3.3 microg/cm(2), and 6.3 microg/cm(2)) concentrations tested. Hyptis oil was significantly repellent against Armigeres at 3.3 microg/cm(2) and 6.3 microg/cm(2) and against Culex at 1.7 microg/cm(2) and 6.3 microg/cm(2). The oils were analyzed for chemical content of volatiles, mainly terpenes. Main constituents were beta-pinene, sabinene, and 1,8-cineol from oils of the green parts of H. suaveolens; alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and alpha-phellandrene from fresh bark of C. roxburghii; and alpha-pinene, beta-phellandrene, sabinene, and 1,8-cineol from fresh fruits of L. cubeba.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Croton / chemistry
  • Culicidae*
  • DEET
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyptis / chemistry
  • Insect Repellents / analysis*
  • Litsea / chemistry
  • Male
  • Mosquito Control*
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Population Density
  • Young Adult


  • Insect Repellents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • DEET