According to a study, cinnamon oil was found to be an effective environmentally safe pesticide that also exuded a pleasant odor.
Although it hasn't been tested for use against adult mosquitoes, researchers are hopeful that cinnamon oil will act as an effective mosquito repellant.
Along with being an annoyance to summer outdoor enthusiasts, mosquitoes also pose the threat of potentially major health problems because of the deadly agents they carry such as malaria, yellow fever and the West Nile virus.
The serious health and environmental concerns that arose from the use of unsafe conventional pesticide applications have prompted the search for natural and healthier chemicals to control mosquito larvae.
In a study, researchers tested 11 compounds that contained cinnamon leaf oil to determine how effective they were at destroying the emerging larvae produced by the yellow fever mosquito. It was discovered that the following four compounds, cinnamalaehyde, cinnamyl acetate, eugenol and anethole displayed the most aggressive activity against the yellow fever mosquito.
The compound, cinnamaldehyde, which is the main constituent found in cinnamon leaf oil, could be used as an effective pesticide without the risk of negative health and environmental consequences.
EurekAlert July 14, 2004