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Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology
Vol. 20 (4), 2017, Pages: 1122-1129

Efficacy of essential oils to control the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

Emiliano Nicolás Jesser, Jorge Omar Werdin-González, Ana Paula Murray, Adriana Alicia Ferrero

Laboratorio de Zoología de Invertebrados II, Departamento de Biología, Bioquímica y Farmacia, Universidad Nacional del Sur, San Juan 670, B8000CPB Bahía Blanca, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Essential oils (EOs) have been recognized as an important source of biopesticides. This work investigated the chemical constituents and bioactivity of six essential oils namely lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Mill.), peppermint (Mentha piperita L.), geranium(Geranium maculatum L.), palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) Wats), eucalyptus(Eucalyptus globulus Labill.) and bergamot (Citrus bergamia Risso) against adults of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, a cosmopolitan pest that infests a wide range of stored products. Analysis by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC–MS) revealed the presence of several compounds, mainly mono- and sesquiterpenes. The contact toxicity assay showed that the EO from palmarosa was the most toxic with a LD50 value of 22.8 μg cm-2. The toxicity order was palmarosa > geranium > peppermint > lavender > bergamot > eucalyptus. In fumiganttoxicity assay, the greatest effect was found with the EO from eucalyptus with a KT50 value of 8.34 min. The toxicity order was eucalyptus > peppermint > geranium = lavender > bergamot > palmarosa. The EO from palmarosa showed the highest residual activity when the insects were exposure to its volatiles constituents. Finally, all EOs produce sublethal activity promoting effects in the fecundity. In conclusion, the EOs could be used as potential biopesticides for P. interpunctella control.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Indian meal moth, Essential oils, Contact and fumigant toxicity, Residual activity, Sublethal effects.

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