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Plant essential oils as green pesticides for pest and disease management
ISMAN Murray B.
Certain plant essential oils show a broad spectrum of activity against pest insects and plant pathogenic fungi, and some oils have a long tradition of use in the protection of stored products. Recent investigations indicate that some chemical constituents of these oils interfere with the octopaminergic nervous system in insects. As this target site is not shared with mammals, most essential oil chemicals are relatively non-toxic to laboratory animals and fish in toxicological tests, and meet the criteria for "reduced risk" pesticides. Some of these oils and their constituent chemicals are widely used as flavoring agents in foods and beverages and are even exempt from pesticide registration in the United States. This special regulatory status combined with the wide availability of essential oils from the flavor and fragrance industries, has made it possible to fast-track commercialization of essential oil-based pesticides in the U.S.A. Though well received by consumers for use against home and garden pests, these "green pesticides" can also prove effective in agricultural situations, particularly for organic food production.
American Chemical Society
ISSN : 0097-6156 CODEN : ACSMC8
A.C.S. symposium series A. 2004, vol. 887, pp. 41-51 [11 pages]
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