Insecticidal activity of essential oils from native medicinal plants of Central Argentina against the house fly, Musca domestica (L.)
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The insecticidal activity of nine essential oils (EOs) against the house fly (Musca domestica) was evaluated by placing flies in a screw-cap glass jar holding a piece of EO-treated cotton yarn. The dose necessary to kill 50% of flies (LC50) in 30 min was determined at 26 ± 1°C. The EOs showed LC50 values ranging from 0.5 to 46.9 mg/dm3. The EO from Minthostachys verticillata was the most potent insecticide (LC50 = 0.5 mg/dm3) followed by EOs from Hedeoma multiflora (LC50 = 1.3 mg/dm3) and Artemisia annua (LC50 = 6.5 mg/dm3). The compositions of the nine EOs, obtained by hydrodistillation of medicinal herbs, were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy. These analyses showed that (4R)(+)-pulegone (69.70%), menthone (12.17%), and limonene (2.75%) were the principal components of M. verticillata EO. (4R)(+)-pulegone was also the main constituent (52.80%) of H. multiflora, while artemisia ketone (22.36%) and 1,8-cineole (16.67%) were the major constituents of A. annua EO. The terpene (4R)(+)-pulegone showed a lower toxicity (LC50 = 1.7 mg/dm3) than M. verticillata or H. multiflora EOs. Dimethyl 2,2-dichlorovinyl phosphate, selected as a positive control, showed an LC50 of 0.5 mg/dm3. EOs from M. verticillata and H. multiflora show promise as natural insecticides against houseflies.
KeywordsLimonene Musca Domestica Artemisia Annua DDVP Menthone
Financial support for this work was provided by the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Técnica, FONCYT, PICT 33593. We thank Joss Heywood for revising the English language.
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