Mosquito repellent activity of volatile oils from selected aromatic plants

Parasitol Res. 2017 Feb;116(2):821-825. doi: 10.1007/s00436-016-5351-4. Epub 2016 Dec 24.


Essential oils from fresh leaves of four aromatic plants viz., Ocimum sanctum, Mentha piperita, Eucalyptus globulus and Plectranthus amboinicus were extracted by hydrodistillation. The test solutions were prepared as 20% essential oil in ethanol and positive control as 20% DEET in ethanol. Essential oil blend was prepared as 5% concentration. Nulliparous, 3-5-day-old female adult Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were used for repellency screening as per ICMR protocol. The study showed that the repellency of 20% essential oil of O. sanctum, M. piperita and P. amboinicus were comparable with that of the standard DEET (20%) as no mosquito landing on the test was observed up to 6 h. The E. globulus oil exhibited mosquito repellency only upto 1½ h. Considerable mosquito landing and feeding was displayed in negative control. In the case of the oil blend, no landing of mosquitoes was seen up to 6 h as that of positive control. The results showed that the essential oil blend from O. sanctum, M. piperita, E. globulus and P. amboinicus could repel Ae. aegypti mosquitoes or prevent from feeding as in the case of DEET even at a lower concentration of 5%. This study demonstrates the potential of essential oils from O. sanctum, M. piperita, E. globulus and P. amboinicus and their blend as mosquito repellents against Ae. aegypti, the vector of dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

Keywords: Aedes aegypti; Essential oil; Mosquito; Repellent; Vector.

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Dengue / prevention & control*
  • Dengue / virology
  • Eucalyptus / chemistry
  • Female
  • Insect Repellents / pharmacology*
  • Mentha piperita / chemistry
  • Mosquito Control / methods*
  • Ocimum sanctum / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Plectranthus / chemistry


  • Insect Repellents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils