Parasitology Research

, Volume 106, Issue 1, pp 207–212 | Cite as

Insecticidal activity of essential oils from native medicinal plants of Central Argentina against the house fly, Musca domestica (L.)

  • Sara M. PalaciosEmail author
  • Alberto Bertoni
  • Yanina Rossi
  • Rocío Santander
  • Alejandro Urzúa
Original Paper


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.


Limonene Musca Domestica Artemisia Annua DDVP Menthone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara M. Palacios
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alberto Bertoni
    • 1
  • Yanina Rossi
    • 1
  • Rocío Santander
    • 2
  • Alejandro Urzúa
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Química Fina y Productos NaturalesUniversidad Católica de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias del Ambiente, Facultad de Química y BiologíaUniversidad de Santiago de ChileSantiagoChile

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