Ultrasound assisted formation of essential oil nanoemulsions: Emerging alternative for Culex pipiens pipiens Say (Diptera: Culicidae) and Plodia interpunctella Hübner (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) management
Over the last years, nanotechnology has contributed to the development of new botanical insecticides formulations based on essential oils (EO), which are safe for the human health and the environment. Nanoemulsions (NEs) can enhance the bioactivity of the EO to prevent the premature volatility and degradation of the active ingredients. In our work, geranium EO (Geranium maculatum L.) was used to develop micro and nanoemulsions adding Tween 80 as surfactant. For NEs formulation, ultrasound was applied and the physicochemical and ultrasound parameters were optimized: oil: surfactant ratio = 1:2, ultrasound power = 65 W, sonication time = 2 min, cycles = 30 on/20 off and ultrasonic probe distance = 3.7 cm. The NEs obtained had 13.58 nm and polydisperse index (PDI) values of 0.069. They were stored at 25 °C and were stable for 60 days.The present study also demonstrated the potential of NEs to enhance the toxicity of geranium EO against larvae of Culex pipiens pipiens (EO LC 50 = 80.97 ppm, NEs LC 50 = 48.27 ppm) and Plodia interpunctella (EO + β-cypermethrin LD 50 = 0.16 μg larvae −1 , NEs + β-cypermethrin LD 50 = 0.07 μg larvae −1 ). Overall, our findings pointed out that NEs can increase twofold the insecticidal efficacy of EO, and thus, they can be considered further for the development of botanical insecticides.
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