Repellent and toxic properties of plant oils and extracts on Cydalima perspectalis Walker (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)
Buxus plants in Europe become frequently infested by the Box tree moth, Cydalima perspectalis Walker (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) but applicable biological control methods are limited. To make a first step in preventing egg deposition on Buxus plants, seven essential oils (Carum carvi, Juniperus communis, Lavendula angustifolia, Melaleuca alternifolia, Pinus sylvestris, Rosmarinus officinalis and Thymus vulgaris), one seed oil (Sambucus nigra) and six plant extracts (Equisetum arvense, Juniperus communis, Quassia amara, Salvia officinalis, Tanacetum vulgare and Thymus vulgaris) were investigated on their potential to influence oviposition preference in the greenhouse. The four essential oils exhibiting the highest repellency values (RV = 0.61–0.94) were further assessed in laboratory leaf disc bioassays on larvae. Despite the strong repellent effect of S. nigra on female oviposition, no impact could be detected on the larvae. These were significantly susceptible to exposed leaf discs treated with T. vulgaris and M. alternifolia essential oils including feeding deterrence, survival and larval weight. T. vulgaris was the most effective oil considering both effects. The effective lethal concentration (LC50) of T. vulgaris was calculated to be 1% at 72 h. Our results suggest the possibility of using essential oils to protect Buxus plants in order to reduce the overall risk for defoliation by larval feeding.
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