The impact of three different doses of botanical insecticide derived from the syringa tree, Melia azedarach and the neem tree, Azadirachta indica was tested on the behaviour of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus). Both botanical insecticides had a significant impact on larval behaviour. At higher doses the extracts showed feeding deterrent activity, with larvae preferring the untreated sides of cabbage leaves and consuming less of the treated half of cabbage leaves. The botanical insecticides had less of an effect on the oviposition behaviour of P. xylostella moths. In laboratory and glasshouse trials, significantly fewer eggs were oviposited on the plants that had been treated with syringa extracts. Therefore, the syringa extracts appear to have a repellent effect. In contrast, when exposed to the neem extracts the moths did not discriminate between control plants and treated plants. Behavioural observation indicated that, despite the lower number of eggs oviposited on cabbage treated with syringa extracts, the moths chose cabbage treated with the highest dose of syringa more often than they chose control cabbage plants. Similar observations were found in cabbage plants treated with neem, moths chose the medium dose more often than they chose the control. Oviposition and feeding deterrent properties are important factors in pest control, and results from this study indicate that botanical insecticides have the potential to be incorporated into control programmes for P. xylostella in South Africa. [KEYWORDS: Plutella xylostella ; Azadirachta indica ; Melia azedarach ; insecticides ; plant extracts ; South Africa ; control and damage control]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-465
JournalBulletin of Entomological Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2005

ID: 349828