Summer is Here! So are the Insects! What Choices Do We Have Using Essential Oils?

The Larvicidal Activity of some Essential Oils –

Did you know that some Essential oils have larvicidal activity?

Larvicidal activity is an insecticide designed to kill larval pests. That means it can be used to literaly kill the larvae of the mosquito too. This is really cool when one thinks that some essential oils can be used for this purpose.

For example Ajowan (Trachyspermum ammi) and Peru balsam (Myroxylon pereira) oils can be used to treat and eliminate the mosquito larvae with an enviable efficiency 97.5% (S1)

Ajwain or Ajowan ( is a plant used as a spice mostly in the Indian cuisine: deliciously blending it with green beans and root vegetables or steamed cabbage. Research into the properties of the essential oil extracted from this interesting spice shows that its components (Thymol, phenolic compounds) are strongly germicide and antispasmodic (S2).

In the table below are some oils that can be used safely for the purpose described above.

Above all, keep safe, cool and have a great a great Christmas.

Essential Oil Activity Source
Larvicidal Repellent
Sweet Orange

(Citrus sinensis)

American basil

(Ocimum americanum)

Yes Yes
Clove Basil or African basil

(Ocimum gratissimum)

Lemon grass

(Cymbopogon citratus)


(Trachyspermum ammi)

Prevents mosquito eggs from hatching

Mosquito larvae as well as some cockroaches

All spice

(Pimenta dioica),

Kills Japanese termites S5

(Carum carvi),

Kills Japanese termites S5

(Anethum graveolens),

Kills Japanese termites Yes S5

(Pelargonium graveolens)

Kills Japanese termites Yes S5


S1S J Agr and Food Chem, 2012 May: 60 (23), pp 5909–5914, DOI 10.1021/jf301296d,

S2 Int J Infect. 2014 July: 2(1):e19394,

S4 Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 2004 Aug: 99(5), 541-544.

S5 J. Agric. Food Chem., 2009, 57 (15), pp 6596–6602,



Always test is you are allergic to any of the oils you intend using. See Blog: Allergies testing. Use dilutions of one teaspoon with 5-6 drops of essential oil.

Furthermore, dilute 2-3 drops with a teaspoon of carrier oil of your choice and remember to check with your family Doctor before attempting to use any essential oil. This is especially important if you are pregnant, nursing or undertaking any special medication.

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