The quest to make human less attractive to mosquitoes has fuelled decades of scientific research on mosquitoes behaviour and control. They interfere with the work and spoil hours of leisure time. Mosquitoes also transmit diseases such as malaria, filarisis and many other viral diseases like yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis etc. The strategies for reducing the mosquito borne diseases have been to pronged, centring around habitat control and the use of personal protection in the form of insect repellents.

Most commonly used synthetic mosquito repellent available in the market is based on DEET (N,N-diethyl- 3- methyl benzamide). Although synthetic repellents provide better protection against mosquito bites yet their toxicity, non-biodegradability, unpleasant odour etc., makes them less attractive compared to those of repellents from herbal origin. Various essential oils have been reported to have repellent activity against mosquitoes. Azadirachta Indica A.Juss., commonly known as neem in India, produces seeds which can be extracted to get neem seed oil (NSO). NSO has been used in various insecticidal and medicinal preparations. It can also be used for mosquito repellent purposes. Reports regarding the use of NSO as mosquito repellent are available in the literature. However, most of the studies addressed to the use of NSO in conjunction with coconut oil or mustard oil. There is enough scope to further work in this area. Controlled release by microencapulation is one of the way to improve further the effectivity of NSO as mosquito repellent.

Some entomologists now conclude that neem has such remarkable powers for controlling insects that it will usher in a new era in safe, natural pesticides. Extracts from its extremely bitter seeds and leaves may, in fact, be the ideal insecticides: they attack many pestiferous species; they seem to leave people, animals, and beneficial insects unharmed; they are biodegradable; and they appear unlikely to quickly lose their potency to a build up of genetic resistance in the pests. All in all, neem seems likely to provide nontoxic and long-lived replacements for some of today's most suspect synthetic pesticides.

The present review emphasizes on the potential efficacy of neem seed oil as an effective natural pesticide as well as mosquito repellent and larvicide and aims at to create awareness among the people towards greener alternatives

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Green alternatives for malaria control and integrated pest management

Nirmala Devi   Gauhati University

The quest to make human less attractive to mosquitoes has fuelled decades of scientific research on mosquitoes behaviour and control. They interfere with the work and spoil hours of leisure time. Mosquitoes also transmit diseases such as malaria, filarisis and many other viral diseases like yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis etc. The strategies for reducing the mosquito borne diseases have been to pronged, centring around habitat control and the use of personal protection in the form of insect repellents.

Most commonly used synthetic mosquito repellent available in the market is based on DEET (N,N-diethyl- 3- methyl benzamide). Although synthetic repellents provide better protection against mosquito bites yet their toxicity, non-biodegradability, unpleasant odour etc., makes them less attractive compared to those of repellents from herbal origin. Various essential oils have been reported to have repellent activity against mosquitoes. Azadirachta Indica A.Juss., commonly known as neem in India, produces seeds which can be extracted to get neem seed oil (NSO). NSO has been used in various insecticidal and medicinal preparations. It can also be used for mosquito repellent purposes. Reports regarding the use of NSO as mosquito repellent are available in the literature. However, most of the studies addressed to the use of NSO in conjunction with coconut oil or mustard oil. There is enough scope to further work in this area. Controlled release by microencapulation is one of the way to improve further the effectivity of NSO as mosquito repellent.

Some entomologists now conclude that neem has such remarkable powers for controlling insects that it will usher in a new era in safe, natural pesticides. Extracts from its extremely bitter seeds and leaves may, in fact, be the ideal insecticides: they attack many pestiferous species; they seem to leave people, animals, and beneficial insects unharmed; they are biodegradable; and they appear unlikely to quickly lose their potency to a build up of genetic resistance in the pests. All in all, neem seems likely to provide nontoxic and long-lived replacements for some of today's most suspect synthetic pesticides.

The present review emphasizes on the potential efficacy of neem seed oil as an effective natural pesticide as well as mosquito repellent and larvicide and aims at to create awareness among the people towards greener alternatives

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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