Evaluation of vetiver oil and seven insect-active essential oils against the formosan subterranean termite
Repellency and toxicity of 8 essential oils (vetiver grass, cassia leaf, clove bud, cedarwood, Eucalyptus globules, Eucalyptus citrodora, lemon-grass and geranium) were evaluated against the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki. Vetiver oil proved the most effective repellent because of its long-lasting activity. Clove bud was the most toxic, killing 100% of termites in 2 days at 50 μg/cm 2. The tunneling response of termites to vetiver oil also was examined. Vetiver oil decreased termite tunneling activity at concentrations as low as 5 μg/g sand. Tunneling and paper consumption were not observed when vetiver oil concentrations were higher than 25 μg/g sand. Bioactivity of the 8 oils against termites and chemical volatility were inversely associated. Listed in decreasing order of volatility, the major constituents of the 8 oils were: eucalyptol, citronellal, citral, citronellol, cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, thujopsene, and both α- and β- vetivone. Vetiver oil is a promising novel termiticide with reduced environmental impact for use against subterranean termites.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Journal of Chemical Ecology
Zhu, B., Henderson, G., Chen, F., Fei, H., & Laine, R. (2001). Evaluation of vetiver oil and seven insect-active essential oils against the formosan subterranean termite. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 27 (8), 1617-1625. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010410325174