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Larvicidal activity of neem oil (Azadirachta indica) formulation against mosquitoes

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      Abstract

      Background

      Mosquitoes transmit serious human diseases, causing millions of deaths every year. Use of synthetic insecticides to control vector mosquitoes has caused physiological resistance and adverse environmental effects in addition to high operational cost. Insecticides of botanical origin have been reported as useful for control of mosquitoes. Azadirachta indica (Meliaceae) and its derived products have shown a variety of insecticidal properties. The present paper discusses the larvicidal activity of neem-based biopesticide for the control of mosquitoes.

      Methods

      Larvicidal efficacy of an emulsified concentrate of neem oil formulation (neem oil with polyoxyethylene ether, sorbitan dioleate and epichlorohydrin) developed by BMR & Company, Pune, India, was evaluated against late 3 rd and early 4 th instar larvae of different genera of mosquitoes. The larvae were exposed to different concentrations (0.5–5.0 ppm) of the formulation along with untreated control. Larvicidal activity of the formulation was also evaluated in field against Anopheles, Culex, and Aedes mosquitoes. The formulation was diluted with equal volumes of water and applied @ 140 mg a.i./m 2 to different mosquito breeding sites with the help of pre calibrated knapsack sprayer. Larval density was determined at pre and post application of the formulation using a standard dipper.

      Results

      Median lethal concentration (LC 50) of the formulation against Anopheles stephensi, Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes aegypti was found to be 1.6, 1.8 and 1.7 ppm respectively. LC 50 values of the formulation stored at 26°C, 40°C and 45°C for 48 hours against Ae. aegypti were 1.7, 1.7, 1.8 ppm while LC 90 values were 3.7, 3.7 and 3.8 ppm respectively. Further no significant difference in LC 50 and LC 90 values of the formulation was observed against Ae. aegypti during 18 months storage period at room temperature. An application of the formulation at the rate of 140 mg a.i./m 2 in different breeding sites under natural field conditions provided 98.1% reduction of Anopheles larvae on day 1; thereafter 100% reduction was recorded up to week 1 and more than 80% reduction up to week 3, while percent reduction against Culex larvae was 95.5% on day 1, and thereafter 80% reduction was achieved up to week 3. The formulation also showed 95.1% and, 99.7% reduction of Aedes larvae on day 1 and day 2 respectively; thereafter 100% larval control was observed up to day 7.

      Conclusion

      The neem oil formulation was found effective in controlling mosquito larvae in different breeding sites under natural field conditions. As neem trees are widely distributed in India, their formulations may prove to be an effective and eco-friendly larvicide, which could be used as an alternative for malaria control.

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      Most cited references 22

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      A Method of Computing the Effectiveness of an Insecticide

       W. Abbott (1925)
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        Botanical insecticides, deterrents, and repellents in modern agriculture and an increasingly regulated world.

        Botanical insecticides have long been touted as attractive alternatives to synthetic chemical insecticides for pest management because botanicals reputedly pose little threat to the environment or to human health. The body of scientific literature documenting bioactivity of plant derivatives to arthropod pests continues to expand, yet only a handful of botanicals are currently used in agriculture in the industrialized world, and there are few prospects for commercial development of new botanical products. Pyrethrum and neem are well established commercially, pesticides based on plant essential oils have recently entered the marketplace, and the use of rotenone appears to be waning. A number of plant substances have been considered for use as insect antifeedants or repellents, but apart from some natural mosquito repellents, little commercial success has ensued for plant substances that modify arthropod behavior. Several factors appear to limit the success of botanicals, most notably regulatory barriers and the availability of competing products (newer synthetics, fermentation products, microbials) that are cost-effective and relatively safe compared with their predecessors. In the context of agricultural pest management, botanical insecticides are best suited for use in organic food production in industrialized countries but can play a much greater role in the production and postharvest protection of food in developing countries.
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          Properties and potential of natural pesticides from the neem tree, Azadirachta indica.

           H Schmutterer (1989)
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]National Institute of Malaria Research, Field Unit, Sector-III, BHEL, Hardwar 249043, India
            [2 ]National Institute of Malaria Research, 22 Sham Nath Marg, Delhi 110054, India
            Contributors
            Journal
            Malar J
            Malaria Journal
            BioMed Central
            1475-2875
            2009
            8 June 2009
            : 8
            : 124
            2702347
            1475-2875-8-124
            19500429
            10.1186/1475-2875-8-124
            Copyright © 2009 Dua et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Research

            Infectious disease & Microbiology

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