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In vitro efficacy of essential oils and extracts of Schinus molle L. against Ctenocephalides felis felis.



Extracts and essential oils from plants are important natural sources of pesticides. These compounds are considered an alternative to control ectoparasites of veterinary importance. Schinus molle, an endemic species of Brazil, produces a high level of essential oil and several other compounds. The aim of this work was to determinate the chemical composition of extracts and essential oils of S. molle and further to evaluate the activity against eggs and adults of Ctenocephalides felis felis, a predominant flea that infests dogs and cats in Brazil. In an in vitro assay, the non-polar (n-hexane) extract showed 100% efficacy (800 µg cm−2; LD50 = 524·80 µg cm−2) at 24 and 48 h. Its major compound was lupenone (50·25%). Essential oils from fruits and leaves were evaluated, and had 100% efficacy against adult fleas at 800 µg cm−2 (LD50 = 353·95 µg cm−2) and at 50 µg cm−2 (LD50 = 12·02 µg cm−2), respectively. On the other hand, the essential oil from fruits and leaves was not active against flea eggs. This is the first study that reports the insecticidal effects of essential oils and extracts obtained from Schinus molle against Ctenocephalides felis felis.


Corresponding author

* Corresponding author. Departamento de Ciências Farmacêuticas (DCFar) – Laboratório de Química de Bioativos Naturais (LQBioN), Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Br 465, Km 7/sala 33, 23897-000 – Seropédica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tel./Fax: +55-21-2682-2807. E-mail:;


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In vitro efficacy of essential oils and extracts of Schinus molle L. against Ctenocephalides felis felis.



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