UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Insecticidal Activity of 28 Essential Oils and a Commercial Product Containing Cinnamomum cassia Bark Essential Oil against Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky Yang, Yunho; Isman, Murray B.; Tak, Jun-Hyung


Maize weevils, Sitophilus zeamais, are stored product pests mostly found in warm and humid regions around the globe. In the present study, acute toxicity via contact and residual bioassay and fumigant bioassay of 28 essential oils as well as their attraction–inhibitory activity against the adults of S. zeamais were evaluated. Chemical composition of the essential oils was analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and a compound elimination assay was conducted on the four most active oils (cinnamon, tea tree, ylang ylang, and marjoram oils) to identify major active constituents. Amongst the oils examined, cinnamon oil was the most active in both contact/residual and fumigant bioassays, and exhibited strong behavioral inhibitory activity. Based on the compound elimination assay and chemical analyses, trans-cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon oil, and terpinen-4-ol in tea tree and marjoram oils were identified as the major active components. Although cinnamon oil seemed promising in the lab-scale bioassay without rice grains, it failed to exhibit strong insecticidal activity when the container was filled with rice. When a cinnamon oil-based product was applied both in an empty glass jar and a rice-filled container, all weevils in the empty jar were killed, whereas fewer than 15% died in the rice-filled container.

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