Typical Monoterpenes as Insecticides and Repellents against Stored Grain Pests

Molecules. 2016 Feb 23;21(3):258. doi: 10.3390/molecules21030258.


Five monoterpenes naturally occurring in essential oils were tested for their insecticidal and repellent activities against the bruchid beetle Callosobruchus maculatus and the maize weevil Sitophilus zeamais. The monoterpenes were highly efficient as inducers of mortality or repellency against both insect species. They were more efficient in their fumigant activity against C. maculatus than against S. zeamais, while this profile of action was inverted when considering the repellent activities. Eugenol was one the most effective fumigants against both insects and one the most effective repellent against C. maculatus, while citronellal and geranial were one the most effective repellents against S. zeamais. Functional and positional isomerism of the monoterpenes pairs appears to exert little or no influence on theirs effects, especially in case of repellency. The validation of the insecticidal/repellent efficacy of isolated monoterpenes may permit a more advantageous, rapid, economic and optimized approach to the identification of promising oils for commercial formulations when combined with ethnobotanical strategies.

Keywords: Callosobruchus maculatus; Sitophilus zeamais; essential oils; fumigant; pest management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Aldehydes / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Coleoptera
  • Edible Grain / parasitology
  • Eugenol / pharmacology
  • Fumigation
  • Insect Control
  • Insect Repellents / pharmacology*
  • Insecticides / pharmacology*
  • Monoterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Terpenes / pharmacology
  • Weevils


  • Acyclic Monoterpenes
  • Aldehydes
  • Insect Repellents
  • Insecticides
  • Monoterpenes
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Terpenes
  • Eugenol
  • geraniol
  • citronellol
  • citronellal
  • citral