Chemical profile, characterization and acaricidal activity of essential oils of three plant species and their nanoemulsions against Tyrophagus putrescentiae, a stored-food mite.Exp Appl Acarol 2019; 79(3-4):359-376EA
Essential oils of Ocimum basilicum (L.), Achillea fragrantissima (Forssk.) and Achillea santolina (L.) were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed using gas chromatography (GC) and GC/mass spectrometry (MS). Oil-in-water nanoemulsions (10% active ingredient) were prepared through a high-energy (ultrasonication) emulsification process. Nanoemulsions were characterized by viscosity, pH, thermodynamic stability, droplet size, polydispersity index (PDI) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) measurements. The plant oils and their nanoemulsions showed considerable acaricidal activity against the mold mite, Tyrophagus putrescentiae (Schrank) (Sarcoptiformes: Acaridae). In a contact toxicity bioassay and 48 h post treatment, O. basilicum oil was the most toxic, followed by A. fragrantissima and A. santolina, where LC50 values were 8.4, 14.1 and 21.8 µl/cm2, respectively. LC50 for benzyl benzoate, a standard acaricide was 9.8 µl/cm2. Upon fumigation, responses also varied according to the test oil. Based on the 48-h LC50 values, the same manner of activity was also observed, where O. basilicum was the most toxic followed by A. fragrantissima and A. santolina. When prepared as nanoemulsions (particle size from 78.5 to 104.6) and tested as fumigants, toxicity of the oils was increased drastically with LC50 values of 2.2, 4.7, and 9.6 µl/l air for O. basilicum, A. fragrantissima and A. santolina, respectively. The oils showed a moderate to strong residual acaricidal activity, where O. basilicum oil was the most effective. The results suggest that appropriate nanoemulsions containing the tested oils can be developed to control T. putrescentiae after the required toxicological assessments.