The toxicities of 44 plant essential oils against larvae of Cadra cautella (Walker) were examined using direct contact and vapor phase toxicity bioassays and compared with the lethal activity of chlorpyrifos-methyl, diazinon, dichlorvos, and fenthion, four widely used organophosphorus insecticides. Responses varied according to plant material used and exposure dose and time. In a filter paper contact toxicity bioassay, potent toxicity was produced from buchu leaf, niaouli, and rosemary oils at 2.4 mg/cm2 and armoise, cypress, galbanum, and mace oils at 4.7 mg/cm2. In vapor phase toxicity bioassays with larvae, cypress, galbanum, niaouli, and rosemary oils were much more effective in closed containers than in open containers, indicating that the lethal effects of these oils were largely because of action in the vapor phase. As judged by 24-h LC50 values, potent fumigant action was observed with niaouli oil (64.7 mg/liter air) and rosemary oil (64.6 mg liter/air). Cypress and galbanum oils exhibited weak fumigant activity. These essential oils were less active than dichlorvos (0.86 mg/liter air). Little or no fumigant action was observed with chlorpyrifos-methyl, diazinon, and fenthion. Essential oils described herein, particularly niaouli and rosemary oils, merit further study as potential larvicides for the control of C. cautella.
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Vol. 99 • No. 2