Scorpion stings are prevalent and sometimes deadly. Rosemary oil deters phytophagous insects, so we investigated whether scorpions, which prey on insects, might also be deterred. We tested the repellant properties of rosemary oil on adult Centruroides vittatus Say, 1821 scorpions in an arena lined with sand infused with rosemary oil on one side and mineral oil on the other. A middle, neutral zone consisting of dry sand ensured independence between the two sections. Scorpions spent significantly more time on the mineral oil sand (P = 0.0031). Next, we tested 1,8-cineole, the primary component of rosemary oil, against mineral oil and found no preference (P = 0.789). These findings suggest that scorpions may be repelled holistically by rosemary oil, rather than the tested primary component. Future studies could test other components of rosemary oil in varying combinations to determine the critical ingredients responsible for the avoidance behavior induced by the complete mixture.
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Vol. 47 • No. 1