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Essential oils act against Aedes aegypti larvae

CDC The larvicide is made from cashew nuts and castor oilCDC

A biodegradable larvicide made from cashew nuts and castor oil is in the final stage of development, intended to kill the larvae of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue, zika, and other diseases. The substance is a surfactant, a kind of detergent made from oils that decreases the surface tension of the cells of the larvae, causing them to die. “Experiments show that 0.2 milligrams of the product per liter of water kills 100% of the larvae,” says the coordinator of the group that created the larvicide, Dênis Pires de Lima, from the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS) in Campo Grande. The proposal won the Elsevier Foundation 2017 Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge, which received 780 entrants, and Lima used the €50,000 prize to fund laboratory testing of the product. The larvicide is currently being trialed in several neighborhoods in Campo Grande.