As an alternative to conventional synthetic pesticides, recently interest has focused on evaluating plant extracts as potential insecticides on the premise that these materials are less specific in their mode of action. Hence insects will require longer lasting resistance in order to circumvent them. In addition, plant extracts are mostly biodegradable, which suggests that their application would be more environmentally acceptable and compatible with IPM programmes. Numerous plant extracts or plant-derived compounds can potentially be incorporated into alternative and novel strategies aiming to control various insects such as diamond back moth (P. xylostella).
Extracts from tropical plants have been considered, such as those from the rhizomes of Alpinia galanga (Zingiberaceae), fruits of Amomum cardamomum (Zingiberaceae), tubers of Cyperus rotundus (Cyperaceae) and seeds of Gomphrena globosa (Amaranthaceae) (Ohsawa and Ohsawa, 2001). Active compounds in C. rotundus and A. galanga have been identified as a-cyperone and 1'-acetoxychavicol, respectively; both reduced the larval density of P xylostella at least as effectively as the pyrethroid insecticide deltamethrin. Most recently, Sureshgouda and Kalidhar (2005) reported that extracts of karanj (Pongamia pinnata) seed when sprayed on to cabbage leaves reduced the feeding ability of the first instar of the diamond back moth (P. xylostella).
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