Nootkatone, from grapefruit, gets EPA approval for use in insect repellents
Nootkatone–an oil derived from cedar trees and grapefruit–has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in insecticides and insect repellents.
The chemical repels and kills ticks, mosquitoes, and a wide variety of other biting pests. It is considered nontoxic to humans and other mammals, birds, fish and bees.
Nootkatone is responsible for the characteristic smell and taste of grapefruit and is widely used in the fragrance industry to make perfumes and colognes. It is found in minute quantities in Alaska yellow cedar trees and grapefruit skin.
Nootkatone can now be used to develop new insect repellents and insecticides for protecting people and pets. CDC’s licensed partner, Evolva, is in advanced discussions with leading pest control companies for possible commercial partnerships.
Companies interested in developing brand name consumer products will be required to submit a registration package to EPA for review, and products could be commercially available as early as 2022.
Studies show that when nootkatone is formulated into insect repellents, they may protect from bites at similar rates as products with other active ingredients already available and can provide up to several hours of protection.
Nootkatone kills biting pests in a unique way, different from other insecticides already registered by the EPA, including pyrethroids, organophosphates, carbamates, and cyclodienes. Having a new effective ingredient for insecticide available will assist in addressing the growing levels of insecticide-resistance to other products currently in use, according to EPA.
The following video, produced by Evolva in 2016, explains more about nootkatone.
SOURCE OF PRESS RELEASE: United States Environmental Protection Agency