Journal of Wood Science

, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 522–526

Essential oil from the leaves of Cryptomeria japonica acts as a silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) repellent and insecticide

  • Sheng-Yang Wang
  • Wan-Chi Lai
  • Fang-Hua Chu
  • Chien-Tsong Lin
  • Shi-Yen Shen
  • Shang-Tzen Chang
Original Article


This is the first article to report the evaluation of a natural product used as an antisilverfish agent. Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina), primitive wingless insects, feed on a variety of materials, including paper, cotton, starch, and cereals. They can be a problem in libraries and other places where books, documents, and papers are stored. In this pilot study, the essential oil from leaves of Cryptomeria japonica was investigated to test its properties as a silverfish repellent and insecticide. The results from a repellency bioassay show that the essential oil significantly repelled silverfish. The repellent activity was 80% at a dosage of 0.01 mg/cm3. When silverfish were exposed to a concentration of 0.16 mg/cm3 of essential oil, they were killed within 10h. The chemical composition of essential oil, the emissions from a test chamber, and the residue left on filter papers previously soaked with the essential oil in a chamber were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The components of the essential oil were found to be: elemol (18.22%), 16-kaurene (11.63%), 3-carene (9.66%), sabinene (9.37%), 4-terpineol (9.06%), β-eudesmol (5.70%), α-pinene (5.62%), and limonene (5.26%). Only some constituents of the essential oil compounds collected by solid-phase microextraction were found to be emitted in the test chamber. The main constituents were: 3-carene (21.03%), p-cymene (10.95%), limonene (9.49%), β-myrcene (9.39%), γ-terpinene (9.10%), α-terpinene (8.57%), and 4-terpineol (7.97%).

Key words

Silverfish (Lepisma saccharinaRepellency Insecticide Cryptomeria japonica Essential oil 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Sloderbeck PE (2004) Silverfish and firebrats. Kansas State UniversityGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Slater A, Kastanis G (1997) Silverfish and firebrats: how to control them. Oakland University, Calf Div Agric Nat Res Leaflet 2101Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lahlou M (2004) Method to study the phytochemistry and bioactivity of essential oils. Phytother Res 18:435–448PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cheng SS, Lin HY, Chang ST (2005) Chemical composition and antifungal activity of essential oil from different tissues of Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica). J Agric Food Chem 53:614–619PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jang YS, Lee CH, Kim MK, Kim JH, Lee SH, Lee HS (2005) Acaricidal activity of active constituent isolated in Chamaecyparis obtusa leaves against Dermatophagoides spp. J Agric Food Chem 53:1934–1937PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Liu ZL, Ho SH (1999) Bioactivity of the essential oil extracted from Evodia rutaecarpa Hook f. et Thomas against the grain storage insects, Sitophilus zeamais motsh and Tribolium castaneum (Herbst). J Stored Prod Res 35:317–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Morita S, Yatagai M (1994) Antimite compounds of the hexane extraction from Domaiboku of Yakusugi (Cryptomeria japonica). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 40:996–1002Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Yatagai M, Makihara H, Oba K (2002) Volatile components of Japanese cedar cultivars as repellents related to resistance to Cryptomeria bark borer. J Wood Sci 48:51–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ito S, Kodama M, Nishiya H, Narita S (1969) Structure of cryptomerone, a bisabolane sesquiterpene from Cryptomeria japonica. Tetrahedron Lett 37:3185–3186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Shieh B, Iizuka Y, Matsubara Y (1981) Monoterpenoid and sesquiterpenoid constituents of the essential oil of sugi (Cryptomeria japonica D. Don.). Agric Biol Chem 45:1493–1495Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lee CL, Lin HY (1986) Study on the essential oil of tree leaves 1. The leaf oil constituents of Cryptomeria japonica. Bull Exp For Natl Taiwan Univ 169:1–7Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Nagahama S, Tazaki M (1993) Terpenoids of wood oil of sugi (Cryptomeria japonica). Peculiarities of obisugi variety. Mokuzai Gakkaishi 39:1077–1083Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nagahama S, Tazaki M, Sanetika T, Nishimura K, Tajima M (1998) Terpenoids of the wood oil of sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) V. Components of form Ayasugi. Mokuzai Gakkaishi 44:282–286Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Nagahama S, Iwaoka T, Ashitani T (2000) Terpenoids of the wood oil of sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) VI. Components of elite clones KenKuma-3, KenKoyu-3 and KenAira-14. Mokuzai Gakkaishi 46:225–230Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Nagahama S, Tukamoto T, Torii N, Sonoda T, Yamanobe T (2001) Terpenoids of the wood oil of sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) VII. Components of elite clones minamatasho-4, and five others. Mokuzai Gakkaishi 47:487–492Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nagahama S, Fujii H, Sonoda T, Sasaki M (2002) Terpenoids of the wood oil of sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) VIII. Components of kenkunisaki-5 and five other elite clones. Mokuzai Gakkaishi 48:380–386Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Su WC, Fang JM, Cheng YS (1994) Abietanes and kauranes from leaves of Cryptomeria japonica. Phytochemistry 35:1279–1284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Su WC, Fang JM, Cheng YS (1994) Labdanes from leaves of Cryptomeria japonica. Phytochemistry 37:1109–1114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Su WC, Fang JM, Cheng YS (1995) Sesquiterpenes from leaves of Cryptomeria japonica. Phytochemistry 39:603–607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Su WC, Fang JM, Cheng YS (1996) Diterpenoids from leaves of Cryptomeria japonica. Phytochemistry 41:255–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yatagai M, Sato T (1986) Terpenes of leaf oils from conifers. Biochem Syst Ecol 14:469–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Buchbaure G (2000) The detailed analysis of essential oils leads to the understanding of their properties. Perfum Flav 25:64–87Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japan Wood Research Society 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheng-Yang Wang
    • 1
  • Wan-Chi Lai
    • 1
  • Fang-Hua Chu
    • 2
  • Chien-Tsong Lin
    • 1
  • Shi-Yen Shen
    • 1
  • Shang-Tzen Chang
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ForestryNational Chung-Hsing UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of ForestryNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

Personalised recommendations