Apiaceae essential oils and their constituents as insecticides against mosquitoes—A review

Eleonora Spinozzi, Filippo Maggi, Giulia Bonacucina, Roman Pavela, Maria C. Boukouvala, Nickolas G. Kavallieratos, Angelo Canale, Donato Romano, Nicolas Desneux, André B.B. Wilke, John C. Beier, Giovanni Benelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Apiaceae is a family encompassing medicinal and aromatic plants. They produce essential oils (EOs) inside oil canals, known as ducts and vittae, which occur in their vegetative and reproductive organs. Given the high EO yields and the availability of raw material from cultivations widespread all over the world, Apiaceae are exploitable for different industrial applications. An interesting perspective is their utilization in the fabrication of botanical insecticides effective against insect vectors of public importance such as mosquitoes, aiming to be eco-friendly alternatives to synthetic insecticides. On this basis, in the current review, we collected scientific evidence supporting the use of Apiaceae EOs and their major constituents as active ingredients in insecticidal formulations against larvae and adults of several mosquitoes that are important pathogen vectors (e.g., Anopheles, Aedes and Culex species). For this purpose, we analysed the published data on their larvicidal, ovicidal, oviposition deterrent, pupicidal, adulticidal, and repellent effects, using efficacy thresholds as in the case of larvicidal activity (LC50 (lethal concentration killing 50 % of the exposed population) < 50 ppm). Toxicity to non-target organisms, including vertebrates, has also been reviewed. The major EO constituents have been highlighted, each with its spectrum of mosquitocidal activity, providing insights on their multiple modes of action. The urgent need to develop highly stable micro/nano-formulations for real-world use has been outlined. Current weaknesses and strengths in the steps toward the development of botanical insecticides have been analysed to increase awareness of the future challenges necessary to open the doors to the industrial utilization of Apiaceae EOs by agrochemical companies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113892
JournalIndustrial Crops and Products
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Apiaceae
  • Essential oil
  • Larvicide
  • Mosquito
  • Ovicide
  • Pupicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Apiaceae essential oils and their constituents as insecticides against mosquitoes—A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this