Phyto-compounds and mosquito control


Do all plant based molecules with benzene rings possess vertebrate toxicity?

Vertebrate Toxic Agents
Mosquito Control
Joy Anogwih
70 months ago

2 answers


It is commonly accepted that Benzene and the products of its metabolism can be toxic to humans. As to the extent and what the acceptable levels of exposures are, more research is needed. However, when dealing with human or vertebrate toxicity, I would argue that is it safer to err on the side of caution. As to toxicity to mosquitos (and vertebrates) I would not venture to state that ALL plant based molecules with benzene rings can be toxic as not all have actually been discovered let alone tested.

Delano L
69 months ago
Thank you Delano. Indeed, there is a need for more research in this area especially with phyto-chemicals showing good insecticidal properties. - Joy 69 months ago

Plant releases of an array of volatile chemical substances into the environment, that are known to play important functions, such as attracting pollinators, thermal tolerance of photosynthesis, and defense against herbivores. Several plant compounds have been identified as responsible for host plant location by foraging mosquitoes. The following are the major class of plant volatiles identified that attracts mosquito.
Natural mosquito attractive plant compounds
Hexanal, limonene, (Z)-and (E)-linalool oxide, β-pinene, (Z)-and (E)-β-ocimene, and (E)-β-farnesene, Phenylethyl alcohol, phenylacetaldehyde, lilac aldehydes, (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate, linalool oxide, linalool, benzaldehyde, lilac alcohol, acetophenone, methyl salicylate and hexanal, 1-hexenol, Z-3-Hexen-1-ol, monoterpene (cyclic & bicyclic), Phenylacetaldehyde, benzaldehyde and (E)-2-nonenal.

1.    Mishra P, Tyagi BK, Chandrasekaran N, Mukherjee A. Biological nanopesticides: a greener approach towards the mosquito vector control. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 Jul 18. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9640-y.
2.    Fiorenzano JM, Koehler PG, Xue RD. Attractive Toxic Sugar Bait (ATSB) For Control of Mosquitoes and Its Impact on Non-Target Organisms: A Review  Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Apr 10;14(4). pii: E398.
3.    Govindarajan M, Benelli G. Eco-friendly larvicides from Indian plants: Effectiveness of lavandulyl acetate and bicyclogermacrene on malaria, dengue and Japanese encephalitis mosquito vectors. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2016 Nov;133:395-402..
4.    Benelli G. Research in mosquito control: current challenges for a brighter future. Parasitol Res. 2015 Aug;114(8):2801-5.
5.    Ghosh A, Chowdhury N, Chandra G.  Plant extracts as potential mosquito larvicides. Indian J Med Res. 2012 May;135(5):581-98.
6.    Joseph CC, Ndoile MM, Malima RC, Nkunya MH. Larvicidal and mosquitocidal extracts, a coumarin, isoflavonoids and pterocarpans from Neorautanenia mitis. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2004 Aug;98(8):451-5.

Samares B
69 months ago
Hi Samares, I also found some of the stated secondary metabolites in some plant species that I worked on earlier with repellent and insecticidal properties. My major concern is the potential of their hexane components to exhibit vertebrate toxicity. I guess as earlier suggested by Delano, the best way to know is through research... Nonetheless, I appreciate your good comment - Joy 69 months ago

Have some input?