Pesticides are the most common ways of controlling a wide range of pests but it is a double-edged sword, capable of controlling pests but posing risks for the environment, humans, and other animals.
Researchers have found that a potential alternative for controlling one particular pest, the yellow fever mosquito, in edible plant oils.
To explore plant oils as safe and environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides, Teresia Njoroge and May Berenbaum, Ph.D., at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tested the lethal effects of several edible plant oils on Aedes aegypti.
The goal of the study, Noroge says, was to “test the concept that edible oils can be an effective, non-toxic tool for the control of container-dwelling Aedes aegypti in the drinking water storage containers of people in settings that lack piped water systems.”
They recorded several results but generally the edible oils were potent enough in certain concentrations with certain compounds to control the mosquitoes. The results are published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.