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Title: Effect of catnip oil and its major components on the Formosan subterranean termites

item Chauhan, Kamlesh

Submitted to: Biopesticides International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/30/2006
Publication Date: 3/31/2007
Citation: Chauhan, K.R., Raina, A. 2007. Effect of catnip oil and its major components on the Formosan subterranean termites. Biopesticides International 2(2):137-143.

Interpretive Summary: The plant in the mint family known as catnip produces certain volatile chemicals that repel some insects like mosquitoes and attract other insects like aphids. Due to their limited availability, though, the chemicals have not been used to a large extent as control agents. We developed an economical process to isolate these chemicals from catnip oil, which subsequently allowed us to evaluate their efficacy as repellents against an important termite pest. While no repellent activity was found, the compounds did act as an insecticide. This information will be used by scientists and pest management companies interested in developing natural products as insect controls.

Technical Abstract: Various semiochemical properties are key attributes of ZE (4aS, 7S, 7aR) and EZ (4aS, 7S, 7aS)-nepetalactone isomers quantitatively separated from commercially available catnip oil. When evaluated against Formosan subterranean termites, these environment friendly and commercially viable monoterpenoids exhibited strong termiticidal activity.