Efficacy of Active Ingredients From the EPA 25(B) List in Reducing Attraction of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) to Humans


Mosquitoes of the Aedes genus are vectors for dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever viruses. Mosquito repellents are an effective way to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. In the early 90s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a list of active ingredients that pose minimum risk to human health that can be used as pesticides or repellents without passing the EPA registration process. The present study examined the efficacy of 21 of the active ingredients listed by the EPA 25 (B) exempt list and five commercially available sprays that only contained active ingredients from the EPA 25(B) list in repelling female Aedes aegypti (L.) females. We performed choice bioassays in a controlled laboratory environment, using a Y-tube olfactometer to determine attraction rates of humans to female Ae. aegypti in the presence of one of the 21 active ingredients and five commercially available repellent sprays. We found that cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, spearmint oil, lemongrass oil, and garlic oil reduced mosquito attraction to human odor. Of the five commercial repellent sprays, only one reduced mosquito attraction for up to 30 min in our assay. The EPA 25 (B) list contains active ingredients that under the conditions of our assay repel Ae. aegypti.

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