Because mosquitoes are a public health concern, several chemical insect repellents have been created and used for many years. While some of these products, such as DEET and permethrin, are effective at controlling mosquito populations, their excessive use may lead to animal, human, and environmental harm if applied improperly. Understanding the life cycles of mosquitoes, their feeding preferences, and their responses to natural plant extracts could enable scientists to develop more environmentally safe but still effective insect repellents.
Insecticide resistance in mosquitoes is increasing amidst growing cases of global malaria, leading to high fatality in mostly Africa. To overcome the resistance as well as environmental effects of the synthetic insecticides, preliminary insecticidal and botanical potentiating effects of sub-lethal concentration (LC25) Ficus sycomorus active fraction (AFFS) and its synergistic potential with standard insecticide permethrin were evaluated against malarial vector Anopheles coluzzii (Coetzee & Wilkerson) populations. The glutathione-S-transferase (GST) inhibitory activity of the AFFS was also investigated compared to standard GST inhibitor, diethyl meleate (DEM).
Mosquitoes and other vectors are often exposed to sublethal doses of insecticides. Larvae can be exposed to the run-off of agricultural use, and adults can be irritated by insecticides used against them and move away before they have picked up a lethal dose. This sublethal exposure may affect the success of control of insect-borne diseases, for it may affect the competence of insects to transmit parasites, in particular if the insects are undernourished.