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J Med Entomol. 2009 Jul;46(4):832-40.

Dihydronepetalactones deter feeding activity by mosquitoes, stable flies, and deer ticks.

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Central Research & Development, E. I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, DE 19880-0328, USA.


The essential oil of catmint, Nepeta cataria L., contains nepetalactones, that, on hydrogenation, yield the corresponding dihydronepetalactone (DHN) diastereomers. The DHN diastereomer (4R,4aR,7S,7aS)-4,7-dimethylhexahydrocyclopenta[c]pyran-1(3H)-one, DHN 1) was evaluated as mosquito repellent, as was the mixture of diastereomers {mostly (4S,4aR,7S,7aR)-4,7-dimethylhexahydrocyclopenta[c]pyran-1(3H)-one, DHN 2} present after hydrogenation of catmint oil itself. The repellency of these materials to Aedes aegypti L. and Anopheles albimanus Wiedemann mosquitoes was tested in vitro and found to be comparable to that obtained with the well-known insect repellent active ingredient N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET). DHN 1 and DHN 2 also repelled the stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans L., in this study. DHN 1, DHN 2, and p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD), another natural monoterpenoid repellent, gave comparable levels of repellency against An. albimanus and S. calcitrans. Laboratory testing of DHN 1 and DHN 2 using human subjects with An. albimanus mosquitoes was carried out. Both DHN 1 and DHN 2 at 10% (wt:vol) conferred complete protection from bites for significant periods of time (3.5 and 5 h, respectively), with DHN2 conferring protection statistically equivalent to DEET. The DHN 1 and DHN 2 diastereomers were also efficaceous against black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis Say) nymphs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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