Submitted to: Journal of the Mosquito Control Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2008
Publication Date: 12/12/2008
Citation: Polsomboon S., Grieco, J., Chauhan, K. R., Tanasinchayakul, S., Chareonviriyaphap T. 2008. Behavioral responses of catnip (Nepeta cataria L.) by two species of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti (L.) and Anopheles harrisoni Harbach and Manguin, in Thailand. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 24(4):513–519.
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 mosquitoes in field studies. This information will be used by scientists and pest management companies interested in developing natural products as insect controls.
Technical Abstract: An investigation of the biological effect of catnip oil (Nepeta cataria L.) on the behavioral response of field collected Ae. aegypti and An. harrisoni were conducted using an automated excito-repellency test system. Aedes aegypti showed significant higher escape rates from the contact chamber at 5% catnip oil compared to other concentrations (P < 0.05). With Anopheles harrisoni, a high escape response was seen at 2.5% catnip oil from the contact chamber, while in the noncontact chamber, a higher escape response was observed at a concentration of 5%. In summary, the behavioral action of catnip oil on two field caught mosquito species were identified by automated excito-repellency test system and revealed that this compound exhibits both irritant and repellent properties.