This study was designed to compare the behavioral responses of Aedes aegypti to a single essential oil and to a mixture of two or three essential oils using an excito-repellency test chamber. Mixtures were prepared from essential oils extracted from Litsea cubeba (LC), Litsea salicifolia (LS), and Melaleuca leucadendron (ML). In general, the mixture of essential oils produced a much stronger escape response by Ae. aegypti, regardless of the test conditions. No significant difference in escape responses was seen when the mixture of oils was compared with a standard commercial product containing DEET. Greater contact irritancy was seen from mixed oils of LC and LS than with other mixed oils. Mixtures of LC and LS at 0.075% showed the highest synergistic action (65.5% escaped) compared to that with unmixed oil alone at the same concentration (LC=20% and LS=32.2%). In addition, mixtures of LC and LS at 0.075% demonstrated the highest non-contact repellency (62.7%) and showed a greater effect than the use of LC (20%) or LS (20.3%) alone. We conclude that mixtures of two essential oils show potential as active ingredients for mosquito repellents.
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Vol. 39 • No. 2