Botanical insecticides are considered to be the best alternative to synthetic chemical insecticides because they pose little threat to the environment or to human health. This study is the first report on the effect of jujube (Zizyphus jujuba) plant extracts against larvae of Culex pipiens mosquitoes. The study was designed to evaluate the larvicidal potency of jujube plant oil, dry ground leaves, and organic extracts of leaves using different solvents against third instar larvae. The ingredients of jujube were extracted by two ways: by grinding fresh leaves immediately in solvents or by soaking dry ground leaves powder in solvents for 72 h. The results showed that larvae were highly susceptible to jujube oil, plant extracts and crude plant powder. The best results were obtained with jujube oil, followed by the dry leaf extract in petroleum ether, and finally the crude plant powder. Histological and ultrastructural studies on jujube oil-treated larvae revealed that gut, muscles and cuticle layers were severely damaged, which indicates the toxic effect of jujube oil. In conclusion, the jujube plant oil and organic extracts are promising agents for controlling Cx. pipiens larvae.
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Vol. 22 • No. 4