Chemical composition and repellency of Origanum vulgare essential oil against Cimex lectularius under laboratory conditions

Mona Sharififard, Ismaeil Alizadeh, Elham Jahanifard, Changlu Wang, Mohammad Ebrahim Azemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius), a nocturnal blood-feeding ectoparasite, is considered an urban pest with public health importance in human environments. We aimed to determine the repellency effect of oregano essential oil, Origanum vulgare, against this pest under laboratory conditions. Methods: The essential oil was prepared from dried leaves using hydro-distillation method. A gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) was used for analysis and identification of oregano essential oil compounds. Treated surface method in Petri dish was carried out to evaluate repellency potential of the oil using 4th and 5th instar nymphs and adults. The concentration-repellency response of oregano essential oil was calculated and compared with a commercial insect repellent stick containing 33% N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET). Results: The oregano essential oil consisted of 158 compounds with terpineol (22.85%) and α-terpinene (20.60%) being the major components by volume. The EC50 and EC99 of oregano oil (effective concentrations causing 50% and 90% repellency of bed bugs) were 1.61 and 6.57mg/cm2 at 9h after application, respectively. The 40% oregano es-sential oil exhibited 100% repellency against bed bug at 3, 5, 9 and 24h after application while the repellency index of DEET 33% was 100% at 3 and 5h and it decreased to 80% and 27% at 9 and 24 hours. Conclusion: Oregano oil 40% exhibited more repellency compared to commercial insect repellent stick containing 33% DEET. Further studies are warranted to confirm the effectiveness of oregano essential oil in personal protecting against bed bug biting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-397
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


  • Cimex lectularius
  • Essential oil
  • Origanum vulgare
  • Repellency


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