Relative Efficacy of Various Oils in Repelling Mosquitoes

Indian J Malariol. 1995 Sep;32(3):104-11.


Field studies were carried out to determine the relative efficacy of repellant action of vegetable, essential and chemical base oils against vector mosquitoes. Results revealed that essential oils viz. Cymbopogan martinii martinii var. Sofia (palmarosa), Cymbopogan citratus (lemon grass) and Cymbopogan nardus (citronella) oils are as effective as chemical base oil namely mylol. These oils provide almost complete protection against Anopheles culicifacies and other anopheline species. Per cent protection against Culex quinquefasciatus ranged between 95-96%. Camphor (C. camphora) oil also showed repellent action and provided 97.6% protection against An. culicifacies and 80.7% against Cx. quinquefasciatus. Vegetable oils namely mustard (B. compestris) and coconut (C. nucisera) showed repellent action, however the efficacy of these oils was not much pronounced against Cx. quinquefasciatus. Results of statistical analysis revealed significant difference between vegetable and essential oils (p < 0.01) against tested species of mosquitoes. Essential oils were found marginally superior in repellancy than camphor and mylol (p < 0.01) against An. culicifacies and Cx. quinquefasciatus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles / drug effects
  • Culex / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insect Repellents*
  • Mosquito Control*
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage*


  • Insect Repellents
  • Plant Oils