Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cinnamon Oil Kills Mosquitoes

Date:
July 16, 2004
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Cinnamon oil shows promise as a great-smelling, environmentally friendly pesticide, with the ability to kill mosquito larvae more effectively than DEET, according to a new study.

Cinnamon oil shows promise as a great-smelling, environmentally friendly pesticide, with the ability to kill mosquito larvae, according to a new study published in the July 14 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

The researchers also expect that cinnamon oil could be a good mosquito repellant, though they have not yet tested it against adult mosquitoes.

Besides being a summer nuisance, mosquitoes pose some major public health problems, carrying such deadly agents as malaria, yellow fever and West Nile virus. While conventional pesticide application is often effective in controlling mosquito larvae before they hatch, repeated use of these agents has raised serious environmental and health concerns.

“These problems have highlighted the need for new strategies for mosquito larval control,” says Peter Shang-Tzen Chang, a professor in the School of Forestry and Resource Conservation at National Taiwan University and lead author of the paper. Scientists are increasingly turning to more benign natural chemicals to ward off mosquitoes and other pests.

Chang and his coworkers tested eleven compounds in cinnamon leaf oil for their ability to kill emerging larvae of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. “Four compounds — cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, eugenol and anethole — exhibited the strongest activity against A. aegypti in 24 hours of testing,” Chang says.

Larvicidal activity is judged with a measurement called LC50. “The LC50 value is the concentration that kills 50 percent of mosquito larvae in 24 hours,” Chang explains. Lower LC50 translates into higher activity, because it takes a lower concentration to kill larvae in the same amount of time. All four compounds had LC50 values of less than 50 parts per million (ppm), with cinnamaldehyde showing the strongest activity at an LC50 of 29 ppm.

Other common essential oils, such as catnip, have shown similar promise in fighting off mosquitoes, but this is the first time researchers have demonstrated cinnamon’s potential as a safe and effective pesticide, according to Chang.

Cinnamaldehyde is the main constituent in cinnamon leaf oil and is used worldwide as a food additive and flavoring agent. A formulation using the compound could be sprayed just like a pesticide, but without the potential for adverse health effects — plus the added bonus of a pleasant smell.

Bark oil from the Cinnamomum cassia tree is the most common source of cinnamaldehyde, but the tree used in this study — indigenous cinnamon, or Cinnamomum osmophloeum — has been of interest to researchers because the constituents of its leaf oil are similar to those of C. cassia bark oil. The leaves of C. osmophloeum, which grows in Taiwan’s natural hardwood forests, could be a more economical and sustainable source of cinnamon oil than isolating it from bark, Chang says.

Though the team only tested the oil against the yellow fever mosquito, cinnamon oil should prove similarly lethal to the larvae of other mosquito species, the researchers say. In further studies they plan to test cinnamon oil against other types of mosquitoes as well as different commercial pesticides.

“We think that cinnamon oil might also affect adult mosquitoes by acting as a repellant,” Chang says. The researchers haven’t yet tested this theory, but they plan to find out in the near future.

The Council of Agriculture of the Executive Yuan, a government agency in Taiwan, provided support for this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Cinnamon Oil Kills Mosquitoes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040716081706.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2004, July 16). Cinnamon Oil Kills Mosquitoes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040716081706.htm
American Chemical Society. "Cinnamon Oil Kills Mosquitoes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040716081706.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins