Insecticidal activity of powder and essential oil of Cryptocarya alba (Molina) Looser against Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky

Juan J. Pinto1, Gonzalo Silva1*, Inés Figueroa1, Maritza Tapia1, Angélica Urbina1, J. Concepción Rodríguez2, and Angel Lagunes2
Cereals constitute a relevant part of human and domestic animal diet. Under storage conditions, one of the most significant problems of these crops is insect pests as the maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky). This insect species is usually controlled by means of synthetic insecticides but problems as toxic residues and resistance has led to the search for more friendly control alternatives such as botanical insecticides. The aim of this research was to evaluate, under laboratory conditions, the insecticidal properties of the powder and the essential oil of peumo (Cryptocarya alba Molina Looser; Lauraceae) leaves against S. zeamais. The variables assessed were toxicity by contact and fumigant activity, adult emergence (F1), repellent effect, and impact on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seed germination. A completely randomized design was used with five treatments and 10 replicates. The higher mortality levels were obtained at 80 g powder kg-1 grain and 40 mL essential oil kg-1 grain of C. alba; in both cases, the mortality of adult S. zeamais surpassed 80%. The emergence of adults S. zeamais (F1) was reduced by 100% at 80 g powder kg-1 grain and 40 mL essential oil kg-1 grain. Germination of wheat seeds treated with C. alba powder and essential oil was not affected. Both, the powder and the oil treatments showed repellent effect, but not fumigant activity.
Keywords: Bioinsecticide, maize weevil, peumo, stored grains
1Universidad de Concepción, Facultad de Agronomía, Vicente Méndez 595, Casilla 537, Chillán, Chile. *Corresponding author (gosilva@udec.cl). 2Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus Montecillo, km 38,5 Carr. México-Texcoco, Montecillo, Estado de México, México