Natural essential oils extracted from the peel of oranges could be an effective and eco-friendly alternative way to deter mosquitoes. [Photo: Bigstock]

Orange essential oil keeps mosquitoes away

18 October, 2017

Natural Health News — Natural essential oils extracted from the peel of oranges could be an effective and eco-friendly alternative way to control mosquitoes.

Citrus oils are easily pressed from the skin of the fruits and therefore can be produced in large quantities, say the researchers, which means the mandarin oil could be used in areas which have little or no access to an alternative.

The study in the journal Natural Product Research, looked at oil distilled from three types of citrus: mandarin (Citrus reticulata), Chinese wild mandarin (C. reticulata chinase Blanco) and a variety of sweet orange (C. sinensis Osbeck).

What you need to know

» Egyptian researchers have studied several types of orange essential oils to find out which is most effective at controlling mosquitoes.

» Sweet orange oil worked best for killing both larvae and adult mosquitoes followed by two types of mandarin oil.

The C. sinensis oil was the most active against larvae, even at lower concentrations. It was also the most effective as a fumigant against adult mosquitoes. For both larvae and adults C. reticulata chinase was the second most effective oil followed by the C. reticulata oil. The researchers suggest that as each type of orange oil had different dominant volatile oil compounds they might also work well in combination.

With mosquitoes being responsible for the transmission of many diseases to humans and animals in the world due to rapid urbanisation and poor water management, the potential for an easily accessible and non-toxic mosquito control program is much needed.

In addition many conventional approaches can be toxic to humans, and there is evidence that the mosquitoes are becoming resistant to them.

Dr. Mohamed E. I. Badawy, lead author and professor at the Department of Pesticide Chemistry and Technology at Alexandria University in Egypt commented “This study, which we believe to be the first of its kind, shows that the essential oils from the peels of citrus plants were very effective against larvae and adults. This means there could be a natural and hugely accessible product available which could be used as a method of mosquito control.”