Maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is a major insect pest of stored grain products, causing extensive damage to both grain quantity and quality. The application of synthetic insecticides to control this insect has a negative impact on human health and the environment. Essential oils derived from natural plants are recognized as user- and environmentally friendly alternatives. The use of essential oils from Lamiaceae, which exhibit toxic properties through contact, fumigation, and repellency, provides another option for protecting stored products from various insect pests. The aim of this research was to study the chemical constituents and insecticidal activity of essential oil extracted from the leaves of Indian borage, Plectranthus amboinicus (Lour.) (Lamiales: Lamiaceae), against S. zeamais adults.The chemical composition of the essential oil was analyzed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, and the insecticidal activity against adult maize weevils was investigated in the laboratory. The experimental plan followed a completely randomized design with five replications of seven treatments or concentrations of the essential oil: 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, and 3 µl/ml air. The results revealed that the essential oil from the leaves of P. amboinicus contained 23 chemical constituents (97.51%). Thymol (49.96%) was identified as the main compound followed by caryophyllene, trans-α-bergamotene, 3-methyl-4-isopropylphenol, γ-terpinene, p-cymene, caryophyllene oxide, humulene, 4-hydroxy-2-methylacetophenone, 2-hydroxy-2-phenylbutyramide, (2-oxazolidinylidene)malononitrile, hexestrol, terpinen-4-ol, 1-octen-3-ol, (1R,7S,E)-7-isopropyl-4,10-dimethylenecyclodec-5-enol, α-bisabolene, isoaromadendrene epoxide, α-farnesene, 4-carene, α-muurolene, 3-hexen-1-ol, ledene oxide-(II), and α-myrcene, respectively. The fumigation toxicity (median lethal concentration) to maize weevil adults at 48 h was 292.53 µl/ml air. The essential oil from the leaves of P. amboinicus, when applied at a concentration of 2 µl/ml air for 144 and 168 h, resulted in adult maize weevil mortality exceeding 90%. The highest concentration tested (3 µl/ml air) led to exceptionally high mortality rates, with 99–100% of the maize weevils succumbing to the treatment. These findings demonstrate that essential oil from P. amboinicus leaves holds promise as a fumigation insecticide for reducing the population of maize weevils, a significant pest in stored products.

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Author notes


Resource Management in Agricultural Technology Research Unit, Mahasarakham University, Maha Sarakham 44150, Thailand.


Vocational School of Technical Sciences, Department of Plant and Animal Production, Kırşehir Ahi Evran University, Kırşehir 40100, Turkey.