Do traditional mosquito repellent plants work as mosquito larvicides?
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Malaria is a serious health problem in many African countries, including Zimbabwe1 and the concept that malaria transmission can be interrupted by the use of residual insecticides has long been the basis for malaria control programmes. In Zimbabwe, mosquitoes are widely controlled by the use of residual spraying in rural areas and this is paid for the government.2 This puts pressure on scarce resources to sustain the mosquito control programme, hence there is need to evaluate indigenous plants as mosquito larvicides. Of all the plants mentioned as mosquito repellents, Lippia javanica and Ocimum canum were very common and therefore were evaluated as larvicides. The Bulawayo City council used Termephos “Abate®” to control nuisance mosquitoes10 and 300 litres of used oil to treat defective septic tanks. Coopex Larvicide® containing 2 pc permethrin was evaluated in Gokwe11 and results suggest that the larvicide has no effect on the pupa but the emerging adults die later on.