Temperature-Dependent Fumigant Activity of Essential Oils Against Twospotted Spider Mite (Acari: Tetranychidae)

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Fumigant activity of 34 commercial essential oils was assessed on female adults and eggs of twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae) at three temperatures (5, 15, and 25°C). Common thyme, cinnamon, and lemongrass oils were equally effective on twospotted spider mite adults showing 85.8‐100% mortality at 5 and 10 μl/liter air at 25°C. At a lower temperature of 15°C, lemongrass and peppermint resulted in ≥90% mortality of adults at 10 μl/liter air. Only lemongrass was relatively active at 5 μl/liter air, at 15°C. At 5°C, lemongrass and peppermint caused significantly higher adult mortality than controls but only at 10 μl/liter air. Common thyme oil showed the highest ovicidal activity at 5 μl/liter air at 25°C. Among the main components of common thyme and lemongrass oils, citral was lethal to twospotted spider mite adults at all tested temperatures. Carvacrol, thymol, and citral caused the same inhibitory effects on the hatch of twospotted spider mite eggs at 25°C. However, citral was more active than other compounds to twospotted spider mite eggs at 15°C. Therefore, we conclude that citral has the best potential for development as a fumigant against twospotted spider mite on agricultural products harvested late in the growing season.

Keywords: citral; common thyme; essential oils; lemongrass; quarantine

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC10249

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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