Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have isolated a natural compound, callicarpenal, from the American beautyberry that has been shown to repel mosquitoes, ticks, and fire ants. Callicarpenal, an all natural insect repellent, is an alternative to commercially available synthetic repellents and more effective than currently available natural repellents on the market. Callicarpenal is as effective as DEET, and more effective than picaridin (Bayrepel) in the bioassays used against mosquitoes, and is also as effective as DEET and picardin against the deer tick. It could be a good alternative to synthetic repellents such as DEET and picaridin, and could be marketed as an all-natural repellent. Natural pesticides (repellents) are typically less harmful to the environment, more specific to particular insects, and public perception is typically better. Certainly DEET and picaridin are excellent repellents; however, the industry is searching for “natural” alternatives that are better accepted than DEET. Callicarpenal is potentially a safer and perhaps more effective insect repellent. The market potential is huge because 38 percent of Americans use a DEET based product every year. Using aerosols or creams, it could be applied topically.
The compound would have to be registered with the EPA. In addition, inexpensive methods for developing this compound are needed.
Companies interested in insect repellents would be interested in this technology.
Please refer to S.N. 11/374,866 (Docket #0059.05), “Novel Clerodanes and Methods for Repelling Arthropods,” which was filed on March 14, 2006. Foreign rights are available.
Charles L. Cantrell
Natural Products Utilization Research University, MS 38677
Phone: (662) 915-5898
Fax: (662) 915-1035
Stephen O. Duke
(Same as first inventor)
Phone: (662) 915-1036
Fax: (662) 915-1035
Jerome A. Klun
Chemicals Affecting Insect Behavior Lab
Beltsville, MD 20705
Phone: (301) 504-9388
Fax: (301) 504-6580