A flowering plant may provide a safe, biodegradable replacement for DEET as a primary insect repellent. Researchers at the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research have published a paper in the journal Molecules demonstrating that Stenaria nigricans contains compounds that repel mosquitos.
The study is the latest development in an ongoing, long-term partnership between the NCNPR, housed in the School of Pharmacy, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to screen natural products for a variety of potential uses in the areas of health and agriculture.
“There is very little information about the use of natural products in insect management, so that’s what we have set out to do,” said Ikhlas Khan, NCNPR director. “We are looking for natural sources that have compounds or molecules that have the potential to repel insects like mosquitoes and fire ants. Everyone is looking for natural remedies to take care of these problems.”
Stenaria nigricans, a perennial commonly known as bluet or diamond flower, produces small white or pale-lavender flowers with four petals arranged in a diamondlike pattern.
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