Lousicidal, ovicidal and repellent efficacy of some essential oils against lice and flies infesting water buffaloes in Egypt

Khater HF, Ramadan MY, El-Madawy RS
Veterinary Parasitology, 2009


The lousicidal and repellent effects of five essential oils were investigated for the first time against the buffalo louse, Haematopinus tuberculatus, and flies infesting water buffaloes in Qalyubia Governorate, Egypt. For the in vitro studies, filter paper contact bioassays were used to test the oils and their lethal activities were compared with that of d-phenothrin. Four minutes post-treatment, the median lethal concentration, LC50, values were 2.74, 7.28, 12.35, 18.67 and 22.79% for camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), onion (Allium cepa), peppermint (Mentha piperita), chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and rosemary oils (Rosmarinus officinalis), respectively, whereas for d-phenothrin, it was 1.17%. The lethal time (50) (LT50) values were 0.89, 2.75, 15.39, 21.32, 11.60 and 1.94 min after treatment with 7.5% camphor, onion, peppermint, chamomile, rosemary and d-phenothrin, respectively. All the materials used except rosemary, which was not applied, were ovicidal to the eggs of H. tuberculatus. Despite the results of the in vitro assays, the in vivo treatments revealed that the pediculicidal activity was more pronounced with oils. All treated lice were killed after 0.5-2 min, whereas with d-phenothrin, 100% mortality was reached only after 120 min. The number of lice infesting buffaloes was significantly reduced 3, 6, 4, 6 and 9 days after treatment with camphor, peppermint, chamomile, onion, and d-phenothrin, respectively. Moreover, the oils and d-phenothrin significantly repelled flies, Musca domestica, Stomoxys calcitrans, Haematobia irritans and Hippobosca equina, for 6 and 3 days post-treatment, respectively. No adverse effects were noted on either animals or pour-on operators after exposure to the applied materials. Consequently, some Egyptian essential oils show potential for the development of new, speedy and safe lousicides and insect repellents for controlling lice and flies which infest water buffaloes.


Khater HF, Ramadan MY, El-Madawy RS. Lousicidal, ovicidal and repellent efficacy of some essential oils against lice and flies infesting water buffaloes in Egypt. Vet Parasitol. 2009;164(2-4):257-266.

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