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Behavioral Activity of Catnip (Lamiaceae) Essential Oil Components to the German Cockroach (Blattodea: Blattellidae)

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The essential oil of catnip, Nepeta cataria L., contains two isomers of nepetalactone, E,Z- and Z,E-nepetalactone, and was tested for repellent activity to adult male German cockroaches, Blattella germanica (L.), in a choice-test arena. The two isomers of nepetalactone were purified by using preparative thin-layer chromatography and tested for behavioral activity in the choice-test arena. Significant differences due to concentration were detected by analysis of variance, and the responses were compared by least-squared means analysis. The activities of the essential oil and purified isomers were compared with N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET) by a paired t-test. E,Z-Nepetalactone was the most active of the compounds tested, being significantly more active to this species than equivalent doses of DEET, the essential oil, or Z,E-nepetalactone. Antennectomized insects showed no response to concentrations that were active against intact insects.

Keywords: Blattella germanica; catnip; nepetalactone; repellency

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-95.2.377

Publication date: April 1, 2002

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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