Integrated Pest Management Reviews

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 25–34 | Cite as

The potential of botanical essential oils for insect pest control



Today,Insect Pest management (IPM) has to face up to the economic andecological consequences of the use of pest control measures.Fifty years of sustained struggle against harmful insects usingsynthetic and oil-derivative molecules has produced perversesecondary effects (mammalian toxicity, insect resistance andecological hazards). The diversification of the approachesinherent in IPM is necessary for better environmental protection.Among the alternative strategies, the use of plants, insecticidal allelochemicals appears to be promising. Aromatic plants, and their essential oils, are among the most efficient botanicals. Their activities are manifold. They induce fumigant and topical toxicity as well as antifeedant or repellent effects. They are toxic to adults but also inhibit reproduction. Although mechanisms depend on phytochemical patterns and are not yet well known, this widespread range of activities is more and more being considered for both industrial and household uses: essential oils are presently regarded as a new class of ecological products for controlling insect pests

Chemical ecology plant-insect relationships plant allelochemicals toxicity plant protection insect pest management damaged crops food quality 


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© Chapman and Hall 1997

Authors and Affiliations

    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d‘Ecologie Moleculaire (UPRES 159), IBEAS-Sciences BiologiquesUniversite de Pau et des Pays de l‘AdourFrance

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