Plant essential oils from apiaceae family as alternatives to conventional insecticides
Ecologia Balkanica 2013; 5(1) : 149-172
Main method to control insect pest is using synthetic insecticides, but the development of insect resistance to this products, the high operational cost, environmental pollution, toxicity to humans and harmful effect on non-target organisms have created the need for developing alternative approaches to control insect pest. Furthermore, the demand for organic crops, especially vegetables for the fresh market, has greatly increased worldwide. The ideal insecticide should control target pests adequately and should be target-specific, rapidly degradable, and low in toxicity to humans and other mammals. Plant essential oils could be an alternative source for insect pest control because they constitute a rich source of bioactive chemicals and are commonly used as flavoring agents in foods. These materials may be applied to food crops shortly before harvest without leaving excessive residues. Moreover, medically safe of these plant derivatives has emphasized also. For these reasons, much effort has been focused on plant essential oils or their constituents as potential sources of insect control agents. In this context, Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family would rank among the most important families of plants. In the last few years more and more studies on the insecticidal properties of essential oils from Apiaceae family have been published and it seemed worthwhile to compile them. The focus of this review lies on the lethal (ovicidal, larvicidal, pupicidal and adulticidal) and sublethal (antifeedant, repellent, oviposition deterrent, Growth inhibitory and progeny production) activities of plant essential oils and their main components from Apiaceae family. These features indicate that pesticides based on Apiaceae essential oils could be used in a variety of ways to control a large number of pests. It can be concluded that essential oils and phytochemicals isolated from Apiaceae family may be efficacious and safe replacements for conventional synthetic insecticides.