Chemical composition and fumigant toxicity of some essential oils against Ephestia kuehniella

J Econ Entomol. 2011 Aug;104(4):1212-9. doi: 10.1603/ec10284.


The chemical constituents of some essential oils extracted from aromatic plants (savory, Satureja thymbra L.; Turkish oregano, Origanum onites L.; myrtle, Myrtus communis L.; marjoram, Origanum majorana L.; laurel, Laurus nobilis L.; lemon, Citrus limon L.; sticky goosefoot, Chenopodium botrys L.; and tansy, Tanecetum armenum [DC.] Suchultz Bip.) were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Fumigant toxicity of volatile compounds was tested against Mediterranean flour moth, Ephestia kuehniella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), eggs and adults. Percentage of mortality and longevity of E. kuehniella adults were estimated after essential oil treatments. LC50 and LC99 values were determined for each exposure time for each essential oil. Marjoram and lemon oils were the most effective of all the essential oils tested. The major components were linalool, 1.8-cineole, citral, 2-(4a.8-dimethyl-, and p-cymene for marjoram, laurel, lemon, goosefoot, and tansy, respectively. The LC50 and LC99 values were estimated as 3.27 and 5.13 microl liter(-1) air for marjoram and 4.05 and 5.57 microl liter(-1) air for lemon essential oils at the longest exposure time. Decreasing longevity effect of marjoram and lemon was more prominent compared with other essential oils. We suggest that essential oils obtained from certain aromatic plants have potential as fumigants for stored product pests.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chenopodium / chemistry
  • Fumigation*
  • Insect Control / methods*
  • Lamiaceae / chemistry*
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Moths*
  • Myrtus / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Sesquiterpenes / chemistry
  • Tanacetum / chemistry


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • laurel oil
  • lemon oil