Natural essential oils taken from a citrus fruit peel may prove to be a significant ingredient in alternative, non-toxic mosquito control programs.
The essential oils, Citrus reticulata L., C. reticulata chinase Blanco and C. sinensis Osbeck, were extracted from a citrus fruit similar to an orange (and available in many countries of the world) and tested on mosquito larvae by researchers from the Department of Pesticide Chemistry and Technology and the Department of Tropical Health at Alexandria University in Egypt.
Dr. Mohamed E. I. Badawy, lead author and professor at the Department of Pesticide Chemistry and Technology at Alexandria University in Egypt commented, "This study, which we believe to be the first of its kind, shows that the essential oils from the peels of citrus plants were very effective against larvae and adults. This means there could be a natural and hugely accessible product available, which could be used as a method of mosquito control."
Because mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of diseases to both humans and animals, it is important, according to researchers to have an alternative mosquito control program available, particularly for regions of the world where no such alternatives exist.
Researchers will continue to test the oils and their effectiveness on mosquitoes.
The research is published in the journal Natural Product Research.