Based on an ethnobotanical study on use for plant species against mosquito bites in the Kota Tinggi District, Johor State, Malaysia, 3 plants selected for study, Citrus aurantifolia (leaves), Citrus grandis (fruit peel), and Alpinia galanga (rhizome), were extracted using hydrodistillation to produce essential oils. These essential oils were then formulated as a lotion using a microencapsulation process and then tested for their repellent effect against Aedes aegypti. N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (deet) was also prepared in the same formulation and tested for repellency as controls. Four commercial plant-based repellent (KAPS®, MozAway®, BioZ Natural®, and Mosiquard®) also were incorporated in the bioassay for comparison purposes. Bioassays revealed that at 20% concentration all repellent formulations demonstrated complete protection for 2 h and >90% for 4 h post-application. The A. galanga–based formulation provided the greatest level of protection (98.91%), which extended for 4 h post-application and was not significantly different from deet at similar concentration. When compared with commercial plant-based repellents (KAPS®, MozAway®, and BioZ Natural®), the 3 lotion formulations showed significantly better protection against Ae. aegypti bites, providing >90% protection for 4 h. In conclusion, our 3 plant-based lotion formulations provided acceptable levels of protection against host-seeking Ae. aegypti and should be developed.
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