Bioefficacy of Mentha piperita essential oil against dengue fever mosquito Aedes aegypti L
Objective: To assess the larvicidal and repellent potential of the essential oil extracted from the leaves of peppermint plant, Mentha piperita (M. piperita) against the larval and adult stages of Aedes aegypti (Ae. Aegypti). Methods: The larvicidal potential of peppermint oil was evaluated against early fourth instar larvae of Ae. aegypti using WHO protocol. The mortality counts were made after 24 and 48 h, and LC50 and LC90 values were calculated. The efficacy of peppermint oil as mosquito repellent was assessed using the human-bait technique. The measured area of one arm of a human volunteer was applied with the oil and the other arm was applied with ethanol. The mosquito bites on both the arms were recorded for 3 min after every 15 min. The experiment continued for 3 h and the percent protection was calculated. Results: The essential oil extracted from M. piperita possessed excellent larvicidal efficiency against dengue vector. The bioassays showed an LC50 and LC90 value of 111.9 and 295.18 ppm, respectively after 24 h of exposure. The toxicity of the oil increased 11.8% when the larvae were exposed to the oil for 48 h. The remarkable repellent properties of M. piperita essential oil were established against adults Ae. aegypti. The application of oil resulted in 100% protection till 150 min. After next 30 min, only 1-2 bites were recorded as compared with 8-9 bites on the control arm. Conclusions: The peppermint essential oil is proved to be efficient larvicide and repellent against dengue vector. Further studies are needed to identify the possible role of oil as adulticide, oviposition deterrent and ovicidal agent. The isolation of active ingredient from the oil could help in formulating strategies for mosquito control.