The High Throughput Screening System (HITSS) has been applied in insecticide behavioral response studies with various mosquito species. In general, chemical or natural compounds can produce a range of insect responses: contact irritancy, spatial repellency, knock-down, and toxicity. This study characterized these actions in essential oils derived from citronella, hairy basil, catnip, and vetiver in comparison to DEET and picaridin against Aedes aegypti and Anopheles minimus mosquito populations. Results indicated the two mosquito species exhibited significantly different (P<0.05) contact irritant escape responses between treatment and control for all tested compound concentrations, except with the minimum dose of picaridin (P>0.05) against Ae. aegypti. Spatial repellency responses were elicited in both mosquito species when exposed to all compounds, but the strength of the repellent response was dependent on compound and concentration. Data show that higher test concentrations had greatest toxic effects on both mosquito populations, but vetiver had no toxic effect on Ae. aegypti and picaridin did not elicit toxicity in either Ae. aegypti or An. minimus at any test concentration. Ultimately, this study demonstrates the ability of the HITSS assay to guide selection of effective plant essential oils for repelling, irritating, and killing mosquitoes.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2