Ovicidal and adulticidal effects of monoterpenoids against permethrin-resistant human head lice, Pediculus humanus capitis

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Abstract

The improper use of pediculicides containing permethrin has led to the development of resistance. Thus, new alternatives for control are needed. Plant-derived insecticides are attractive alternatives to common chemical insecticides because most of them are environmentally friendly and non-toxic to mammals. The toxic activity of 23 monoterpenoids belonging to several chemical classes was tested against the eggs of permethrin-resistant head lice, Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae). Significant differences in ovicidal action were observed among the tested substances. The most effective chemicals were hydrocarbons and ethers, followed by ketones, alcohols, phenols and esters. A linear relationship between egg mortality and knockdown time (KT50) on adults by the tested components revealed that most of the components were effective on both egg and adult stages. The monoterpenoids described herein are good candidates as effective pediculicides.

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