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ADAPTATION OF CITRONELLA GRASS OIL (CYMBOPOGON WINTERIANUS JOWITT) TECNOLOGIES AS AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD FOR COCKROACHES (BLATTELLA GERMANICA L.) REPELLANT

Authors:
  • wondo genet agricultural resarch center

Abstract

Cockroaches (Blattella germanica L.) are considered major pests of homes, restaurants and other structures which contaminate food and eat utensils. This study was aimed to adapt citronella grass oil as an alternative method for cockroach repellent. Cockroaches were reared in the dark and hot area of insect cages set at 25 ± 2 0 C. In the first experiment, different concentrations of citronella oil (5, 10, 15 and 20 μl) were mixed with 1ml of 70% alcohol and poured into Petri dishes. For the second experiment however, similar aliquots were applied on filter papers with 3 replications. Twenty adult cockroaches were then introduced in to the centre of the cages. After 10-15 min, number of cockroaches at each treated and controls were counted and repellency was computed. The third experiment was done by spraying similar aliquots of citronella oil directly on the cockroaches in the cages. In all cases, Water and alcohol alone each at 1ml were used as controls. The results of this study clearly demonstrated that, repellence activity of citronella oil against cockroach was effective in all experiments. Spraying method using 20μl/ml showed 87.77% repellency followed by 15μl/ml, 10μl/ml and 5μl/ml with 76.66%, 72.22% and 66.11% repellency respectively. INTRODUCTION Cockroaches (Blattella germanica L.) are insects of the order Blattodearia, family Blattellidae and are one of the most common household pests (Baldwin and Fasulo, 2005). They are considered major pests of schools, homes, restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, offices and other structures, especially those that handle food and provide warm, moist, cracks and crevices. These insects can contaminate food and eat utensils. Cockroaches have been found all over the earth in every kind of building,, walls and musical instruments (Rust et al., 1991). They have existed > 300 million years ago. Currently, about 3,500 species of cockroach are found worldwide (Esmail et al. 2011). Cockroaches are insects, flattened from top to bottom, usually with two pairs of wings folded flat over the back. Most species rarely fly but they walk very fast. The color usually varies from light brown to black (Roth and Willis, 1960). The cockroach lifecycle actually has three developmental stages. These stages are known as the egg, the nymph, and the adult stages. There is no pupal stage (Koehler, 1993). Many people, particularly children's health are exposed to infectious diseases that are transmitted by insects, specifically cockroach and flies annually. They cause allergic and compromised health in humans. They are also one of the mechanical vectors to transmission of pathogen to human (Kinfu and Erko, 2008). Some pathogens such as bacteria, protozoans and viruses have been found on cockroach bodies. Cockroaches are also the responsible cause to human physiological stress, gastroenteritis, dysentery, diarrhea, allergic response, skin rashes, watery eyes, sneezing, congestion of nasal passages and asthma (Wang and Bennett, 2009; Nalyanya et al., 2009). Therefore the control is very important. However, excessive and irregular application of chemical pesticides has lead to resistance of cockroaches to insecticides (Nasirian et al., 2009).
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ADAPTATION OF CITRONELLA GRASS OIL (CYMBOPOGON
WINTERIANUS JOWITT) TECNOLOGIES AS AN ALTERNATIVE
METHOD FOR COCKROACHES (BLATTELLA GERMANICA L.)
REPELLANT
Mihiret MEKONNEN
1*
, Solomon ABATE
2
, Begashaw MANHILE
3
1
Wondo Genet Agricultural Research Center, P.O. Box 198, Shashemene, Ethiopia
2
Wondo Genet Agricultural Research Center, P.O. Box 198, Shashemene, Ethiopia
3
Wondo Genet College of Forestry and Natural Resource, Hawassa University, P.O. Box 128,
Shashemene, Ethiopia
*Corresponding Author: hanamihiret0@gmail.com
ABSTRACT
Cockroaches (Blattella germanica L.) are considered major pests of homes, restaurants and other
structures which contaminate food and eat utensils. This study was aimed to adapt citronella grass oil
as an alternative method for cockroach repellent. Cockroaches were reared in the dark and hot area of
insect cages set at 25 ± 2
0
C. In the first experiment, different concentrations of citronella oil (5, 10, 15
and 20 μl) were mixed with 1ml of 70% alcohol and poured into Petri dishes. For the second
experiment however, similar aliquots were applied on filter papers with 3 replications. Twenty adult
cockroaches were then introduced in to the centre of the cages. After 10-15 min, number of
cockroaches at each treated and controls were counted and repellency was computed. The third
experiment was done by spraying similar aliquots of citronella oil directly on the cockroaches in the
cages. In all cases, Water and alcohol alone each at 1ml were used as controls. The results of this study
clearly demonstrated that, repellence activity of citronella oil against cockroach was effective in all
experiments. Spraying method using 20μl/ml showed 87.77% repellency followed by 15μl/ml, 10μl/ml
and 5μl/ml with 76.66%, 72.22% and 66.11% repellency respectively.
Key word: Citronella grass, insect, repellency bioassay, cockroaches
INTRODUCTION
Cockroaches (Blattella germanica L.) are insects of the order Blattodearia, family Blattellidae and are
one of the most common household pests (Baldwin and Fasulo, 2005). They are considered major
pests of schools, homes, restaurants, hospitals, warehouses, offices and other structures, especially
those that handle food and provide warm, moist, cracks and crevices. These insects can contaminate
food and eat utensils. Cockroaches have been found all over the earth in every kind of building,
shelter, cave, mine, pit, nest, in basements, ducts, telephones, sewers, radios, televisions, computers,
planes, ships, boats, microwaves, septic tanks, walls and musical instruments (Rust et al., 1991). They
have existed > 300 million years ago. Currently, about 3,500 species of cockroach are found
worldwide (Esmail et al. 2011).
Cockroaches are insects, flattened from top to bottom, usually with two pairs of wings folded flat over
the back. Most species rarely fly but they walk very fast. The color usually varies from light brown to
black (Roth and Willis, 1960). The cockroach lifecycle actually has three developmental stages. These
stages are known as the egg, the nymph, and the adult stages. There is no pupal stage (Koehler, 1993).
Many people, particularly children’s health are exposed to infectious diseases that are transmitted by
insects, specifically cockroach and flies annually. They cause allergic and compromised health in
humans. They are also one of the mechanical vectors to transmission of pathogen to human (Kinfu and
Erko, 2008). Some pathogens such as bacteria, protozoans and viruses have been found on cockroach
bodies. Cockroaches are also the responsible cause to human physiological stress, gastroenteritis,
dysentery, diarrhea, allergic response, skin rashes, watery eyes, sneezing, congestion of nasal passages
and asthma (Wang and Bennett, 2009; Nalyanya et al., 2009). Therefore the control is very important.
However, excessive and irregular application of chemical pesticides has lead to resistance of
cockroaches to insecticides (Nasirian et al., 2009).
International Journal of Innovative Agriculture & Biology Research 3(1):29-33, Jan-Mar 2015
© SEAHI PUBLICATIONS, 2015 www.seahipub.org ISSN:2354-2934
30
Recently, as an alternative pest control technology, essential oil and their constituents have attracted
attention because of their low toxicity and their high volatility (Li and Zou, 2001). Citronella grass
(Cymbopogon winterianus L.) is an aromatic grass belonging to the Poaceae family. It is assumed to
have originated from Indonesia. Citronella oil was selected as a positive control in all performed
repellency tests because it is a renowned plant-based natural insect repellent, registered for this use in
the United States and considered as a biopesticide with a non-toxic mode of action. It is used alone or
in combination with cedar wood, lavender, peppermint, clove, eucalyptus, and garlic in a number of
commercial insect repellent products (Katz, 2008). Local production of insect repellent would remove
the high cost of importation in developing countries. Several studies have investigated the behavioral
mode of action of repellents through structure-activity studies of contact versus spatial repellency
(Paluch et al., 2009). The repellent development from plants is extremely fertile due to wealth of
insecticidal compounds found in plants as defenses against insects (Harrewijn et al., 1995).
Plant-based repellents are still extensively used in this traditional way throughout rural communities in
the tropics because for many of the poorest communities it is the only means of protection from
mosquito bites (Moore et al., 2002).
Citronella grass is one of the most effective natural repellents among the cultivated plants. Its essential
oil is widely used in commercial production of natural repellents that can be observed on the market. It
is safe for skin and can be applied during a long time without any damage to the user. The objective of
this research was to adapt citronella grass oil as alternative method to cockroach repellant.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Citronella oil extraction
Fresh and disease free leaves of citronella grass (500 gm) were harvested from experimental fields at
Wondo Genet Agricultural research Center. The oil was obtained by hydro-distillation of C.
winterianus for three hrs using Clevenger apparatus and the extracted oil was stored in a refrigerator at
4°C for further use.
Collection and Maintenance of Cockroaches
Cockroaches were collected around a house and kitchen using bottle with air entrance. The collections
were made in the evenings and early in the mornings. According to (Cochran,1983), the cockroaches
were reared in the cages set at 25 ± 2
0
C, 40-50 RH and 12hr photoperiod. Cockroaches were reared
without any restriction and were free to access water and food. Adult Cockroaches were used to
investigate repellence activity of the oil.
Repellency bioassay
In this study, three experiments were conducted as described by (Negahban et al., 2006). In the first
experiment, insect repellent activity of citronella oil was tested by mixing different concentrations (5,
10, 15 and 20 μl) of the oil with 1 ml of 70% alcohol. Water and 70% alcohol each at 1 ml were used
as control. Each solution was dispensed into Petri dish with three replications. Then, the different
treatments were carefully arranged in alternative patterns in the insect cages. Twenty adult
Cockroaches were then introduced in to the centre of the cages and after 10-15 min, number of
Cockroaches at each treated and controls was counted and repellency was computed using the formula
of (Liu et al.,2006) as:
R = (C E) / T ´ 100
Where C is the number of insects in the control, E is the number of insects in oil treated chamber and
T is the number of total insects released in the central chamber.
For the second experiment, similar aliquots (5, 10, 15 and 20 μl) dissolved in 1 ml of 70% alcohol was
applied on filter paper (6.5 cm diameter). Filter papers treated with 1 ml alcohol and water alone was
used as control. Similar replications and treatment arrangement as for the first experiment was used.
Then, twenty adult Cockroaches were released in to the centre of the cages and after 10-15 min,
number of Cockroaches at each treated and control was counted and the repellency was computed
using the above formula.
The third experiment was done by spraying similar aliquots (5, 10, 15 and 20 μl) of citronella oil on
the cockroaches. Water and alcohol each at 1ml were used as control. Three replications were used.
Twenty adult Cockroaches were released into Petri dish inside the cages. Then, each solution was
directly sprayed onto the cockroaches inside the Petri dishes and after 10-15 min, number of
Mekonnen et al….. Int. J. Innovative Agric. & Bio. Res. 3 (1):29-33, 2015
31
cockroaches at each treated and control was counted and repellence activity of the oil was computed
using the above formula. Difference between means was assessed using the least significance
difference (LSD) test at P < 0.05.
RESULT
The relative repellency of citronella oil against cockroach in all treatments is shown in Table 1. There
was a significant (P < 0.05) overall difference in repellence activity among the treatments. At the
highest concentration (20 μl/ml), the mean number of adult cockroaches was very low in all
experiments, indicating the better repellence activity of citronella oil at higher concentration. The
repellence activities were 70%, 66.11% and 87.77%
in the first, second and third experiments
respectively (Table 1). Among all concentrations investigated, 20μl/ml was more effective than other
concentrations followed by 10, 5 and 1 μl/ml in all the experiments. The present results suggested that
mode of application of treatments was the pre-dominant reason for the improved repellence activity of
the essential oil. When compared among the different methods of treatments application, the most
effective repellence activity (87.77%) was observed in the third experiment (spraying method) using
20μl/ml (Table 1).
Table 1 Percentage repellency of citronella grass essential oil against cockroach
Concentration
(μl/ml)
Experiment 1
Experiment 2
Experiment 3
mean
5
48%
d
50.33%
d
66.11%
d
54.88
10
57%
c
54.44%
c
72.22%
c
61.22
15
63%
b
61.11%
b
76.66%
b
66.92
20
70%
a
66.11%
a
87.77%
a
74.62
Mean
77.33
74.40
100.92
CV
2.02
1.65
1.64
LSD
2.42
1.92
2.48
Means with the same letter within the column are not significantly different at p < 0.05% by Duncan’s
Multiple Range test.
DISCUSSION
The present study results clearly demonstrated that the use of citronella oil for cockroach repellent had
a considerable practical significant. In this study, spraying method using 20μl/ml oil was proved to be
more effective in repelling cockroaches. However, significantly better repellence activities were
recorded in all other concentrations compared to the controls. Likewise, Wasuwat et al., (1990)
reported that repellency of a cream containing 14% citronella oil was about two hours against Aedes
aegypti (L.). On the other hand, Suwonkerd and Tantrarongfoj, (1994) showed that a repellent cream
containing less than 10% citronella oil provided only two hours protection against Anopheles minimus.
A 10% citronella oil formulation was found to repel against this species for at least four hours under
laboratory conditions. According to Katz, (2008) the components present in the oil of Citronella
species are responsible for the desirable repellent characteristics of the plants against mosquitoes,
when applied at the rate of 20 μl/cm2.
It was found that burning an unscented candle had the same effects on reducing the biting rate of
mosquitoes in the field as a citronella candle. On the other hand, the potential of citronella oil was
reported to reduce pest damage and to increase quality of Chinese kale (Zehnder, 2004). Similarly,
Neem oil when formulated as 2% in coconut oil provided complete protection for 12 hours from
Anopheles mosquitoes (Sharma et al., 1993). Eucalyptus-based repellent product, contains a mixture of
p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), isopulegone and citronellol. Eucalyptus oil itself, the principal ingredient
of which is PMD, provided protection comparable to N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) in repelling
Anopheles mosquitoes in field studies (Trigg, 1996).
Harris and Dent (1999) indicated that biopesticides are effective in controlling pests that have
developed resistance to chemical pesticides and leaving little or no toxic residues thus are commonly
harmless to beneficial insects and other non-target organisms. Biopesticides such as Neem products
have been reported to reduce the infestation of various insect pests in tea. In recent years, several
32
essential plant oils had been found to have repellent properties. Such plants included citronella, cedar,
verbena, pennyroyal, geranium, lavender, pine, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, thyme, allspice, garlic and
peppermint (Mohinder, 2001).
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Authors would like to acknowledge Wondo Genet Agricultural Research Center and Aromatic and
Medicinal plants Research project for providing all the necessary facilities and support.
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... Citronella oil is believed to be an effective repellent for many insects such as cockroaches where it provides 70-87.8% control depending on dose and exposure time [8]. Similarly, Mekonnen et al. 2015 [8] documented the repellency of cream containing 14% citronella oil for about two hours against Aedes aegypti (L.), while another study [9] has also reported that citronella oil (at the rate of 20 µL/cm2) is responsible for the desirable repellency against mosquitoes. ...
... control depending on dose and exposure time [8]. Similarly, Mekonnen et al. 2015 [8] documented the repellency of cream containing 14% citronella oil for about two hours against Aedes aegypti (L.), while another study [9] has also reported that citronella oil (at the rate of 20 µL/cm2) is responsible for the desirable repellency against mosquitoes. The present study also observed that the extract of citronella causes high mortality in all the three tested insects at a lower dose than in the study mentioned above. ...
... Similarly, citronella oil has been tested to increase the quality of Chinese kale by repelling insect pests [10]. The product containing principal ingredients of Euca-lyptus has provided significant protection from mosquito's bites (in the field) by repelling them [8]. Many reports have mentioned that cinnamon extracts in general act as antioxidants. ...
... They act as neurotoxicant and act on acetylcholinesterase enzyme activity and blocking octopamine receptors, which are unique to invertebrates such as insects; this fact strongly encourages the use of essential oils as bioinsecticides (Kostyukovsky et al., 2002;Souguir et al., 2013). Depending on dose and exposure time, CEO is used as an effective repellent for many insect species (Mekonnen et al., 2015). ...
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... pada konsentrasi lebih dari 0,005 μL/cm 2 bersifat repelen terhadap hama gudang T. castaneum dengan persentase repelensi sebesar 53%. Minyak A. nardus juga bersifat repelen terhadap hama gudang Oryzaephilus surinamensis (Manzoor, Nasim, Saif, & Asma Malik, 2011) dan efektif sebagai repelen untuk mengendalikan kecoa (Mikonnen, Abate, & Manhile, 2015). Bahkan menurut Zhang et al. (2011) geraniol dan citronellol memiliki aktivitas repelensi lebih kuat terhadap hama gudang T. castaneum dibandingkan dengan DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). ...
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The present study investigated the probable responsible reasons for non-response the B. germanica to permethrin only in World Health Organization glass jar method after insecticide spraying control failure with pyrethroid insecticide groups in Islamic Republic of Iran. Eleven German cockroach strains were collected from field populations of nine infested kitchen student dormitories and two infested hospitals after insecticide spraying control failure with pyrethroid insecticide groups in Iran. The current study, in World Health Organization glass jar and knock down methods conducted on newly emerged adult males. All feral strains, with various levels of resistance to pyrethroids, in World Health Organization glass jar method at 400 min (6 h) time exposures, was not observed mortality, while the susceptible strain was observed 100% mortality in 25 min time exposures. Susceptible strain at LT50 after assessing on mortality data from the replicates by probit analysis in World Health Organization glass jar method was 15.3 min. In this study, all feral strains in World Health Organization glass jar method after 400 min (6 h) time exposures, was not observed mortality, that showed these strains very high-level resistance to permethrin. In the knock down method, the resistance ratios were 3.6 to 26.1-folds compare with the susceptible reference strain. In a comparison, among this study and previous studies resistance ratios of 8.6 to 17.7-folds for permethrin in topical application, indicated that German cockroach have had under pressure spraying. German cockroach have had in vicinity to pyrethroid insecticides especially permethrin in these locations in long period for non-responding to permethrin insecticide only in World Health Organization glass jar method, and the field evident confirm this subject.
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