Variation in chemical composition and acaricidal activity against Dermanyssus gallinae of four eucalyptus essential oils
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The results of this study suggest that certain eucalyptus essential oils may be of use as an alternative to synthetic acaricides in the management of the poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae. At a level of 0.21 mg/cm², the essential oil from Eucalyptus citriodora achieved 85% mortality in D. gallinae over a 24 h exposure period in contact toxicity tests. A further two essential oils from different eucalyptus species, namely E. globulus and E. radiata, provided significantly (P < 0.05) lower mite mortality (11 and 19%, respectively). Notable differences were found between the eucalyptus essential oils regarding their chemical compositions. There appeared to be a trend whereby the essential oils that were composed of the fewer chemical components were the least lethal to D. gallinae. It may therefore be the case that the complexity of an essential oil’s chemical make up plays an important role in dictating the toxicity of that oil to pests such as D. gallinae.
KeywordsDermanyssus gallinae Poultry red mite Plant-derived product Botanical pesticide
The authors would like to thank Mr. Paul Donohoe for GCMS analysis and Dr. Ed Okello for assistance with biochemical classification of essential oil constituents. This work was conducted as a satellite study to a project called MITEeHEN, for which funding is gratefully received from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK).
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