Isolation of N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide (Deet) from Female Pink Bollworm Moths

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  05 Jan 1968:
Vol. 159, Issue 3810, pp. 99-100
DOI: 10.1126/science.159.3810.99


A chemical search for a natural activator of propylure, the sex pheromone of the pink bollworm moth, revealed that the female moths produce N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide, an outstanding insect repellent synthesized commercially and never before reported from natural sources. The compound occurs in fairly large amount in female adults and in much lesser amount in female pupae, but it is completely absent in female larvae and in all stages of the male insect. Its role in the life of the insect has not yet been definitely determined.