The Open Toxinology Journal, 2011, 4, 1-13 1
1875-4147/2011 Bentham Open
Open Access
Larvicidal Activity of Some Botanical Extracts, Commercial Insecticides
and their Binary Mixtures Against the Housefly, Musca Domestica L.
S. A. Mansour*,1, R. F.A. Bakr2, R. I. Mohamed1 and N.M. Hasaneen3
1Environmental Toxicology Research Unit (ETRU), Department of Pesticide Chemistry, National Research Centre,
Dokki, Cairo, Egypt
2Department of Entomology, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
3Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Sohag University, Egypt
Abstract: Following preliminary screening of 13 ethanolic plant extracts, belonging to 10 different families, a total of 11
extracts were subjected to detailed toxicity evaluation against the larval stage of the housefly, Musca domestica L. The
larvicidal LC50 values were < 100 ppm for Piper nigrum (50.1 ppm), Azadirachta indica (76.9 ppm), Conyza aegyptiaca
(77.0 ppm) and Cichorium intybus (96.8 ppm); representing the highest potent extracts among the bioassayed candidates.
Punica granatum extract exhibited the lowest toxicity (213.9 ppm). In comparison, commercial insecticides showed superior
larvicidal toxicity; accounting to the following LC50 values: 0.029, 0.03, 0.61 and 0.64 ppm for deltamethrin, methomyl,
chlorpyrifos and flufenoxuron, respectively. Combining botanical extracts with insecticides, at equitoxic dosages
(e.g., LC25 values), induced potentiating effects for a 44 bioassayed mixtures against the housefly larvae. Moreover, mixing
the insecticides at LC0 (a concentration level causing no observed mortality) with the LC50 of each of the plant extracts
have resulted in 44 paired combinations. Mostly, the "synergistic factor; S.F." ranged between 1.6 - 1.9; giving rise
to high synergistic effects. Specifically, the synergistic effect was much pronounced for mixtures of the insecticide deltamethrin
with different botanical extracts. Most of the tested toxicants induced different forms of developmental effects
after exposure of 3rd larval instars to sublethal concentrations (LC25 ppm). Larvae treated with A. indica, Citrus aurantifolia,
Eucalyptus globulus (leaves or fruits), P. granatum, Salix safsaf, Sonchus oleraceus, Zea mays, as well as the insecticides
chlorpyrifos, deltamethrin and methomyl failed to develop into adult stages. Morphologically, there were different
forms of pupal and adult abnormalities, where the treatments of P. granatum and S. oleraceus caused abnormal pupal size
in addition to pupal-adult intermediate. In the resulted Musca domestica adults, the effects were seen as one-winged insects,
small size, compressed body and abdomen elongation. Such deformations were attributed to treatments of C. intybus,
C. aegyptiaca, Piper nigrum and the IGR flufenoxuron. The overall results of the present investigation reveal the
broad-spectrum toxic properties of the tested plant extracts against Musca domestica larvae; which may encourage further
research on housefly control in tropics using indigenous plants.
Keywords: Housefly, Botanical biocides, Insecticides, Toxicity, Joint action, Developmental effects.
Musca domestica Linnaeus (Diptera: Muscidae), is a serious
health threat to human beings and livestock by transmitting
many infectious diseases [1]. It acts as important
mechanical carriers of pathogenic bacteria, such as Shigella
sp, Vibrio cholerae, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus
aureus, and Salmonella sp. [2]. However, the immature
stages have several industrial and medical applications [3-6].
Such challenging situation requires a management strategy
to interfere with the insect development in order to maintain
adult stage population as lower as possible through controlling
larval stage population. The high cost of chemical pesticides
and the environmental hazards as a result of pesticide
usage have encouraged scientists to seek less hazardous and
*Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pesticides &
Environmental Toxicology at National Research Centre, Dokki, Cairo,
Egypt; Tel: (202) 33371211; Fax: (202) 33370931;
cheaper pesticide groups. Considerable efforts have been
made to synthesize an alternative to overcome this problem.
Botanical products have become more prominent in assessing
current and future pest control alternatives [7]. Over the
past two decades, surveys of plant families have discovered
sources of new botanical insecticides, which could possibly
meet some of this demand. For instance, the potential of
neem products is being conducted internationally [1, 8] and
there is a general trend these days to reduce the risk to human
life [9]. Accordingly, botanical insecticides based on
natural compounds from plants, are expected to be a possible
alternative. They tend to have broad-spectrum activity, relative
specificity in their mode of action, and easy to process
and use. They also tend to be safe for animals and the environment
Many plants have been reported about their potential
insecticidal actions on different stages of M. domestica via
crude extracts or extracted active compounds [11-15]. Some
results also showed their effects on metamorphosis or emergence
or fecundity or life span of house flies [12, 15, 16].