Calliphora vomitoria L. is a very common synanthropic blowfly. Since it is attracted by human food, it plays a main role in the transmission of foodborne diseases. Among aromatic plant essential oils (EOs), those of spices are the most suitable to protect food from insect pests. In the present work, we determined the bioactivity of three oregano EOs against C. vomitoria. The chemical analyses showed that the EOs belonged to three chemotypes, one with a prevalence of carvacrol and two with a prevalence of thymol. The bioassays showed that the bioactivity of the EOs significantly varies among chemotypes, with the thymol chemotype showing an overall higher efficacy compared to the carvacrol one.
Blowflies play a substantial role as vectors of microorganisms, including human pathogens. The control of these insect pests is an important aspect of the prevention of foodborne diseases, which represent a significant public health threat worldwide. Among aromatic plants, spices essential oils (EOs) are the most suitable to protect food from insect pests. In this study, we determined the chemical composition of three oregano EOs and assessed their toxicity and deterrence to oviposition against the blowfly Calliphora vomitoria L. The chemical analyses showed that the EOs belonged to three chemotypes: one with a prevalence of carvacrol, the carvacrol chemotype (CC; carvacrol, 81.5%), and two with a prevalence of thymol, the thymol/ p-cymene and thymol/γ-terpinene chemotypes (TCC and TTC; thymol, 43.8, and 36.7%, respectively). The bioassays showed that although all the three EOs chemotypes are able to exert a toxic activity against C. vomitoria adults (LD 50 from 0.14 to 0.31 μL insect −1) and eggs (LC 50 from 0.008 to 0.038 μL cm −2) as well as deter the oviposition (Oviposition Activity Index, OAI, from 0.40 ± 0.04 to 0.87 ± 0.02), the bioactivity of oregano EOs significantly varies among the chemotypes, with the thymol-rich EOs (TCC and TTC) overall demonstrating more effectiveness than the carvacrol-rich (CC) EO.