Natural Compounds that are New and Effective Insecticides

Technology #13239


The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in licensing novel, natural compounds for insect control. Vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, and trypanosomiasis are major causes of human and animal mortality throughout the world. These and other insect-borne diseases have profound effects on the socioeconomic development of affected countries. Mosquitoes and flies are some of the most common vectors of numerous human and animal pathogens. Researchers at the University of Florida have identified three insect attractant compounds that showed remarkable toxicity to these pests. Due to heightened public concerns over synthetic pesticide use and their negative health and environmental effects, development of additional effective pesticides is becoming increasingly important. The three novel compounds identified by UF researchers are all naturally derived and are used in flavors and fragrances and thus have low toxicity to non-target organisms. They also have the potential for controlling multiple arthropod species of medical and veterinary importance and were found to be effective when sprayed on both surfaces and fabrics.


Spray and contact biopesticides for personal and commercial use


  • Benign to humans, animals, and the environment, offering safe alternative to existing pest control technologies
  • Utilizes natural and commercially available chemicals, minimizing production and manufacturing costs
  • Efficacious insecticide against at least three species of mosquitoes and three species of fly, having potential to significantly impact pest and disease control worldwide
  • Proven effective under laboratory and prolonged environmental conditions when sprayed on surfaces or fabrics, providing variety of potential uses


The three semiochemicals, melafleur, cyclemone A, and beta damascone, were found to be highly efficacious against three mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, and Anopheles quadrimaculatus, the house fly, Musca domestica, stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans, and sand fly, Lutzomyia shannoni. The semiochemicals possess several essential qualities of effective insecticides including rapid reactivity, knockdown, kill and residual activity, excellent photo stability, resistance to weathering, and low mammalian toxicity. In addition to their behavior modifying features, the three novel compounds would serve as an effective alternative to permethrin and other common synthetic insecticides. Beta damascone is used in tobacco, vine, and whisky products, while cyclemone A and melafleur are used in the fragrance industry. The low cost of these compounds, their low non-target toxicity, and their ready availability from natural and commercial sources bode well for rapid registration and commercialization.