Copaiba oil and Neem extract can be a potential alternative for the behavioral control of Sitophilus zeamais

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Abstract

Insects’ ethology is an important factor when it is desired to carry out pest management. This knowledge makes it possible to manipulate behavioral activities, repel, or attract insects according to needs and interests. The maize weevil Sitophilus zeamais (Mots., 1855) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), one of the main stored grain pests, has been the target of studies of behavioral changes studies through natural substances due to its resistance to different insecticidal classes. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the effect of sublethal concentrations of neem extract and copaiba oil on the locomotor behavior of S. zeamais. The behavioral characteristic considered were walking activity, the frequency of contact of insects with the treated grain mass, and the time spent for this behavior. The walking activity of the S. zeamais increased with exposure to Neem extract and Copaiba oil. In general, the Neem extract and Copaiba oil-induced more contact with grain mass than the control, suggesting an attractive effect on the insect, however more significant for the Neem oil. The insect’s behavior was altered, presenting a specific path due to Copaiba oil and Neem extract stimuli. These results indicate that Copaiba oil and Neem extract can be a potential alternative for controlling S. zeamais on stored products since changes in this pests’ behavior can reduce qualitative and quantitative grain damage. Thus, the development of products based on Copaiba oil and Neem extract may be helpful for storage pest management.

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Martins, J. C., Silva, M., Silva, R. S., Ferreira, S. R., & Picanço, M. C. (2024). Copaiba oil and Neem extract can be a potential alternative for the behavioral control of Sitophilus zeamais. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 84. https://doi.org/10.1590/1519-6984.254628

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