This study investigated the potential of lemongrass oil as a natural insecticide against oleander aphids using microscopic analysis of treated specimens. The findings revealed progressive damage to the aphids' internal tissues over time, with increasing severity at higher oil concentrations. This damage included tearing of the exoskeleton, compromising their defense mechanisms, shrunken salivary glands and dilated midgut, indicating impaired feeding and digestion, and even separation of organs, suggesting widespread cell death. These results strongly support the toxic effect of lemongrass oil on oleander aphids and its potential as a dose-dependent insecticide. Further research is recommended to optimize application methods, minimize environmental impact, and elucidate the underlying mechanisms of action, including potential effects on the aphid cytoskeleton


oleander aphid Lemongrass oil Insecticide Natural product


How to Cite
Sabah S. Ghazi, Zeinab S. A. Abouelnaga, & Hayder B. Ali. (2024). Toxicological and Histopathological Effects of Lemongrass Oils on Oleander Aphids (Aphis nerii). Texas Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences, 26, 22–33. https://doi.org/10.62480/tjabs.2024.vol26.pp22-33


  1. Abdulazeez, M.A., Abdullahi, A.S. and James, B.D., 2016. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon spp.) oils. In Essential oils in food preservation, flavor and safety (pp. 509-516). Academic Press.
  2. Afify, A. and Potter, C.J., 2020. Insect repellents mediate species-specific olfactory behaviours in mosquitoes. Malaria journal, 19(1), pp.1-10.
  3. Álvarez, A., Poejo, J., Matias, A.A., Duarte, C.M., Cocero, M.J. and Mato, R.B., 2017. Microwave pretreatment to improve extraction efficiency and polyphenol extract richness from grape pomace. Effect on antioxidant bioactivity. Food and Bioproducts Processing, 106, pp.162-170.
  4. Ansari, I., El-Kady, M.M., Arora, C., Sundararajan, M., Maiti, D. and Khan, A., 2021. A review on the fatal impact of pesticide toxicity on environment and human health. Global Climate Change, pp.361-391.
  5. Bagi, I., 2008. Common milkweed (L.). The Most Important Invasive Plants in Hungary, Institute of Ecology and Botany, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Vácrátót, pp.151-159.
  6. Balti, M.A., Hadrich, B., Kriaa, K. and Kechaou, N., 2018. Lab-scale extraction of essential oils from Tunisian lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus). Chemical Engineering and Processing-Process Intensification, 124, pp.164-173.
  7. Bidinotto, L.T., Costa, C.A., Costa, M., Rodrigues, M.A. and Barbisan, L.F., 2012. Modifying effects of lemongrass essential oil on specific tissue response to the carcinogen N-methyl-N-nitrosurea in female BALB/c mice. Journal of Medicinal Food, 15(2), pp.161-168.
  8. Davies, K.J., 2000. Oxidative stress, antioxidant defenses, and damage removal, repair, and replacement systems. IUBMB life, 50(4‐5), pp.279-289.
  9. Du, B., Lofton, J.M., Peter, K.T., Gipe, A.D., James, C.A., McIntyre, J.K., Scholz, N.L., Baker, J.E. and Kolodziej, E.P., 2017. Development of suspect and non-target screening methods for detection of organic contaminants in highway runoff and fish tissue with high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, 19(9), pp.1185-1196.
  10. e Silva, M.T.R., Calandrelli, A., Rinaldi, L.K., Miamoto, A., Moreno, B.P., da Costa, W.F., Silva, C., Alberton, O. and Dias-Arieira, C.R., 2021. Arbuscular mycorrhizae maintain lemongrass citral levels and mitigate resistance despite root lesion nematode infection. Rhizosphere, 19, p.100359.
  11. Frank, S.D., Klingeman III, W.E., White, S.A. and Fulcher, A., 2013. Biology, injury, and management of maple tree pests in nurseries and urban landscapes. Journal of Integrated Pest Management, 4(1), pp.B1-B14.
  12. Gad, A. M. 1951. The head capsule and mouth parts in the Ceratopogonidae (Diptera, Nematocera). Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Egypt, 35, 17-75.
  13. Ghortale, M. and Somani, S.J., 2023. Design And Evaluation of Lemongrass Lotion for Skin Nourishment. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, (2), pp.1-1.
  14. Giannetti, D., Mandrioli, M., Schifani, E., Castracani, C., Spotti, F.A., Mori, A. and Grasso, D.A., 2021. First report on the acrobat ant Crematogaster scutellaris storing live aphids in its oak-gall nests. Insects, 12(2), p.108.
  15. Jangra, S. and Ghosh, A., 2022. Rapid and zero-cost DNA extraction from soft-bodied insects for routine PCR-based applications. PloS one, 17(7), p.e0271312.
  16. Lamichhane, J.R., Dachbrodt-Saaydeh, S., Kudsk, P. and Messéan, A., 2016. Toward a reduced reliance on conventional pesticides in European agriculture. Plant Disease, 100(1), pp.10-24.
  17. Lei, J., A. Finlayson, S., Salzman, R.A., Shan, L. and Zhu-Salzman, K., 2014. Botrytis-Induced Kinase1 modulates Arabidopsis resistance to green peach aphids via Phytoalexin Deficient. Plant physiology, 165(4), pp.1657-1670.
  18. Luiz de Oliveira, J., Ramos Campos, E.V. and Fraceto, L.F., 2018. Recent developments and challenges for nanoscale formulation of botanical pesticides for use in sustainable agriculture. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 66(34), pp.8898-8913.
  19. Manisha, B.L., Ramana, N., Hemadri, T., Ramaiah, M., Varma, P.K. and Jayaram, C.S., 2022. Burgeoning trends using green chemicals to impede the obliterating invasive insects. In New and Future Developments in Microbial Biotechnology and Bioengineering (pp. 289-311). Elsevier.
  20. Marques, A.M., Lima, C.H., Alviano, D.S., Esteves, R.L. and Kaplan, M.A.C., 2013. Traditional use, chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of Pectis brevipedunculata essential oil: A correlated lemongrass species in Brazil. Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture, pp.798-808.
  21. Meena, S., Kumar, S.R., Venkata Rao, D.K., Dwivedi, V., Shilpashree, H.B., Rastogi, S., Shasany, A.K. and Nagegowda, D.A., 2016. De novo sequencing and analysis of lemongrass transcriptome provide first insights into the essential oil biosynthesis of aromatic grasses. Frontiers in plant science, 7, p.1129.
  22. Meeran, M.N., Seenipandi, A., Javed, H., Sharma, C., Hashiesh, H.M., Goyal, S.N., Jha, N.K. and Ojha, S., 2021. Can limonene be a possible candidate for evaluation as an agent or adjuvant against infection, immunity, and inflammation in COVID-19?. Heliyon, 7(1).
  23. Melo, J.G.D., Martins, J.D.G.D.R., Amorim, E.L.C.D. and Albuquerque, U.P.D., 2007. Quality of products made from medicinal plants commercialized in Brazil: horsechestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum L.), lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf), and gotu kola (Centella asiatica (L.) Urban. Acta Botanica Brasilica, 21, pp.27-36.
  24. Moldoveanu, S. C., & David, V. 2002. Sample preparation in chromatography, Journal of Chromatography Library, vol. 65, Elsevier.
  25. Montllor, C.B., 2017. The influence of plant chemistry on aphid feeding behavior. In Insect-Plant Interactions, CRC Press, 1990, 125-174.
  26. Moustafa, M.A., Awad, M., Amer, A., Hassan, N.N., Ibrahim, E.D.S., Ali, H.M., Akrami, M. and Salem, M.Z., 2021. Insecticidal activity of lemongrass essential oil as an eco-friendly agent against the black cutworm Agrotis ipsilon (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Insects, 12(08), p.737.
  27. Moustafa, M.A., Awad, M., Amer, A., Hassan, N.N., Ibrahim, E.D.S., Ali, H.M., Akrami, M. and Salem, M.Z., 2021. Insecticidal activity of lemongrass essential oil as an eco-friendly agent against the black cutworm Agrotis ipsilon (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Insects, 12(08), p.737.
  28. Mukarram, M., Choudhary, S., Khan, M.A., Poltronieri, P., Khan, M.M.A., Ali, J., Kurjak, D. and Shahid, M., 2021. Lemongrass essential oil components with antimicrobial and anticancer activities. Antioxidants, 11(1), p.20.
  29. Mukarram, M., Khan, M.M.A., Zehra, A., Choudhary, S., Naeem, M. and Aftab, T., 2021. Biosynthesis of lemongrass essential oil and the underlying mechanism for its insecticidal activity. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: Healthcare and Industrial Applications, pp.429-443.
  30. Mwithiga, G., Maina, S., Muturi, P. and Gitari, J., 2022. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) agronomic traits, oil yield and oil quality under different agro-ecological zones. Journal of Agriculture and Food Research, 10, p.100422.
  31. Myers, A.T., 2019. The interacting influences of habitat context and predators on monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus L.) Oviposition and survival in agricultural landscapes. Michigan State University.
  32. Ojewumi, M.E., Banjo, M.G., Oresegun, M.O., Ogunbiyi, T.A., Ayoola, A.A., Awolu, O.O. and Ojewumi, E.O., 2017. Analytical investigation of the extract of lemon grass leaves in repelling mosquito. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 8(5), pp.2048-2055.
  33. Oyedele, A.O., Gbolade, A.A., Sosan, M.B., Adewoyin, F.B., Soyelu, O.L. and Orafidiya, O.O., 2002. Formulation of an effective mosquito-repellent topical product from lemongrass oil. Phytomedicine, 9(3), pp.259-262.
  34. Plata-Rueda, A., Rolim, G.D.S., Wilcken, C.F., Zanuncio, J.C., Serrão, J.E. and Martínez, L.C., 2020. Acute toxicity and sublethal effects of lemongrass essential oil and their components against the granary weevil, Sitophilus granarius. Insects, 11(6), p.379.
  35. Postma, T.L., 2009. Neurotoxic animal poisons and venoms. Clinical Neurotoxicology, 55(2-3), pp.463-489.
  36. Powell, G., Tosh, C.R. & Hardie, J., 2006. Host plant selection by aphids: behavioral, evolutionary, and applied perspectives. Annual Review of Entomology, 51, 309-330.
  37. Reitz, S.R. and Funderburk, J., 2012. Management strategies for western flower thrips and the role of insecticides. Insecticides–pest engineering, 1, pp.355-84.
  38. Ritter, Keith Solomon, Paul Sibley, Ken Hall, Patricia Keen, Gevan Mattu, Beth Linton, L., 2002. Sources, pathways, and relative risks of contaminants in surface water and groundwater: a perspective prepared for the Walkerton inquiry. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A, 65(1), pp.1-142.
  39. Rohim, A.N., Poerwanto, M.E., Solichah, C. and Holford, P., 2023. Repellency of Lemongrass Extract (Cymbopogon nardus) in Solid and Liquid Formulation on Diaphorina citri and Menochilus sexmaculatus. In BIO Web of Conferences (Vol. 69, p. 01030). EDP Sciences.
  40. Royer, D., Humpf, H.U. and Guy, P.A., 2004. Quantitative analysis of Fusarium mycotoxins in maize using accelerated solvent extraction before liquid chromatography/atmospheric pressure chemical ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Food additives and contaminants, 21(7), pp.678-692.
  41. Singh, B.R., Singh, V., Singh, R.K. and Ebibeni, N., 2011. Antimicrobial activity of lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) oil against microbes of environmental, clinical and food origin. Int Res J Pharm Pharmacol, 1(9), pp.228-236.
  42. Singh, P., Kaur, G., Singh, A., Sharma, T. and Dar, B.N., 2023. Improved mechanical, functional and antimicrobial properties of corn starch-based biodegradable nanocomposites films reinforced with lemongrass oil nanoemulsion and starch nano-crystal. Materials Chemistry and Physics, 308, p.128267.
  43. Smith, S.E., Dickson, S. and Walker, N.A., 1992. Distribution of VA mycorrhizal entry points near the root apex: Is there an uninfectible zone at the root tip of leek or clover?. New Phytologist, 122(3), pp.469-477.
  44. Tello, M.L., Tomalak, M., Siwecki, R., Gáper, J., Motta, E. and Mateo-Sagasta, E., 2005. Biotic urban growing conditions—threats, pests and diseases. In Urban forests and trees: a reference book (pp. 325-365). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  45. Tlak Gajger, I. and Dar, S.A., 2021. Plant Allelochemicals as Sources of Insecticides. Insects 2021, 12, 189.
  46. Toungos, M.D., 2019. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon, L. Spreng) valuable grass but underutilized in Northern Nigeria. International Journal of Innovative Food, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture, 7(2), pp.6-14.
  47. Velásquez, A.C., Castroverde, C.D.M. and He, S.Y., 2018. Plant–pathogen warfare under changing climate conditions. Current biology, 28(10), pp.R619-R634.
  48. Wifek, M., Saeed, A., Rehman, R. and Nisar, S., 2016. Lemongrass: a review on its botany, properties, applications and active components. International Journal of Chemical and Biochemical Sciences, 9(1), pp.79-84.